Ladd Lane School sixth grader, Tony Gualda, was bitten by the racing bug early on, and is no stranger to competing in the sport. In fact, the young driver recently kicked the 2012 season off at the Lemoore Raceway, in Lemoore, California.
Ladd Lane school sixth grader, Tony Gualda, is no stranger to the sport of racing and is anticipating success during the 2012 season. (Photo by bryanlugo.com)
Tony Gualda recently kicked off his second season in the Restricted class of Micro Sprint racing at the Lemoore Raceway in Lemoore, California. (Photo by bryanlugo.com)
"On practice day, both the team and I learned a lot about the track," recalled the driver. "It was bigger and flatter, more of a driver's track. We had to make adjustments to tighten the car up since the track was dry-slick. My confidence level was high," he continued. "My lap times were faster than the main event winner of the last race of the previous season." When asked the key to success at this particular event, Gualda's answer was short and to the point. "Being calm, and keeping the car under control while the track has slicked off, making my car very loose."
Qualifying tenth, the young driver earned the pole position during his heat race. After a fierce battle, Gualda took forth place in his heat, putting him at a mid-pack starting position for the main in a field of eighteen cars.
"To me, more cars were an advantage, since I can keep my momentum up when there are many drivers using one groove. I like racing with a lot of drivers at this track. Everybody races me very hard and clean," he explained.
Gualda had a great start in the main event, and had already worked his way into the sixth position when a yellow flag was waved due to a spin in turn two. After the restart, he found himself in seventh and continued to hold the spot for several laps. Gualda was passed by a fellow driver with only seven laps to go. Although strongly contended, the young driver managed to hang on, ending the night with an eighth place finish.
When asked if he was satisfied with the end result, Gualda explained, "I was happy with the finishing position. We had a fifteenth place car, but I was still able to keep it in the top ten, not spin out, or hurt the car."
When asked his strong point as a driver Gualda said, "Being able to keep calm and breath, not driving over my head, and trying different lines until I found one that makes the car faster."
Although Tony Gualda's driving skills will have a huge bearing on his success during the 2012 season, he is also acutely aware of the importance of his team. "My team is very important to me," shared Gualda. "My dad is always working 110% to get the car faster, during the week, as well as on the weekends. I'm able to give him great information, so we know how to adjust the car."
Keeping the car in tip-top running condition is always a top priority for team TG Motorsports. "Maintenance is very important to me," he explained. "To finish first, you must first finish. In my six years of racing, I have only had two DNF's, both engine failure, one in my Outlaw Kart, and one in my 600 Micro."
That in mind, Tony Gualda and team TG Motorsports depend upon K&N products to keep their engines contaminant free. "I have six championships with the K&N air filters on my Outlaw Kart," shared Tony, "and last year, my first year of racing my micro sprint, I gained five miles per hour from the beginning to the end of the year. I've been sponsored by K&N for one year and use their High Flow horsepower making air filters and their spin-on oil filters. They help my oil stay clean and give me horsepower to get to the winner's circle. K&N products are great, long lasting, horsepower making products," he continued.
"To be successful throughout 2012, I'll have to be consistent, make good decisions on and off of the track, keep breathing, have fun and win," explained Gualda. When asked what fans could expect from Tony Gualda and TG Motorsports this season, he said, "A consistent finishing, confident driver. When you come to see me, you will see an exciting race with a great finish."
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