Damage Control

September 20, 2021

Damage Control

Damage Control

New York – What was meant to be a celebration of racing on home turf at The Trans Am presented by Pirelli’s visit to Watkins Glen International quickly changed to an event where damage control was the theme. The F.A.ST. Auto Racing Team came away disappointed but proud of their team’s efforts after both cars suffered major damage in Saturday’s race.

Team owner Adrian Wlostowski said, “This was such a crazy weekend… We came into qualifying very optimistic as we found speed with each setup change. My fast lap of a 1:50.85 would have put me on pole the last time Trans Am visited the Glen, but the series has become ultra-competitive, and my time was only good enough for sixth. While further back than I would have liked, I started Saturday’s race feeling good until I was hit. The impact left my Hawk Performance, F.A.S.T Auto, Howe Racing Enterprises, Camaro with a heavily damaged rear and the balance badly off. It took everything I had just to finish.”

F.A.S.T Auto Racing team member and driver of the No. 98A D&M Electrical Contracting Inc. Camaro Doug Winston said, “This past weekend’s doubleheader at the Glen was a roller coaster ride for the whole team. Adrian sustained heavy damage early in Saturday’s race when he was hit. But in true Adrian fashion, he kept going despite major damage to the rear of his car and his wing twisted like a corkscrew. As I followed Adrian up the esses, I watched in admiration as he wheeled his very loose Hawk Performance Camaro without so much as a lift. Given the condition of his car and the positions lost, his ninth-place finish was nothing short of extraordinary.”

The F.A.S.T Racing Team found Lady Luck was simply not on their side as Wlostowski was not the only team member to be on the receiving end of ] contact during Saturday’s crash laden event.

“Adrian’s luck was bad – but my luck was worse” Winston continued. “I got hit not once, but twice, under full course cautions. On the first occasion I was hit and spun when one of the Masters drivers missed his braking point. I headed to pit road and the crew did a great job getting me out without losing a lap. When we went back to racing I worked my way back within one position when I was punted into the wall by a TA carwhen he attempted a pass under double yellow flags. While I was able to get the car back to pit lane, the damage was too extensive for me to continue, so my day was done.”

With two severely bent and battered cars, the F.A.S.T Racing Team pulled out all the stops to get both cars on the grid for Sunday’s event. When Saturday’s checkers where thrown the crew wasted no time getting the cars back to the paddock to begin their long evening into night’s work.

Wlostowski said, “I think that the team might have gained some inspiration from the earlier remembrance for the 20th anniversary of 9-11.They worked tirelessly to repair the cars for Sunday’s second race of the doubleheader. I can’t say enough about this team. They really showed the fight and determination of New Yorkers at our home track. 

“Although my car looked pretty good, the substantial rear frame damage made it a handful to drive, and I had a heavy vibration. The final restart’s melee and race ending black flag turned out to be a godsend. We discovered the vibration caused the right front upper A-arm bolts to back off and we were moments away from losing the wheel. Once again, I want to thank the entire team for a truly heroic effort. The support from Hawk Performance provided us with the resources to brake harder and deeper into those corners and that really helped considering all of the damage I was fighting!” 

Winston said, “Unfortunately on Sunday, my day was cut short when a master power switch caught fire and filled the cockpit with smoke forcing me to retire. Despite my personal disappointment, I’m beyond proud to be part of this team. You can’t control what’s happens in a race, but you can control how you handle it. Everyone on the team proved they can manage adversity as well as any in the Trans Am paddock. It was an amazing effort by everyone just to make the grid Sunday and for Adrian to finish fifth with his car as bad as it was – is inspiring for all of us.” 

Wlostowski said, “We have a lot of work to get my car ready for VIR. Watkins Glen was tough on a lot of teams and our equipment. As much as I’m looking forward to the next round, I’m hoping everyone will take a deep breath. We had a fantastic race at Nashville and showed how TA2 cars can race – we need to get back to that.”


Photo by Chris Clark



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