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VRA Sprint Car - Niemela Produces Strong Fourth In Pro Sprints Main At Ventura

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Ventura California, June 5, 2011: The Markus Niemela Experience rolled into Ventura Raceway last evening to produce a series of strong performances in the #69 Steve Watt Enterprises/Maxwell Industries car, netting a second in the ten lap heat, and a fourth in the main.

Niemela, who is currently the only Finnish driver in the US non-winged sprint car ranks, now unofficially stands 10th in the 2011 VRA Championship, with an average finish of 5th based on six events.

“The car was fast out of the box and I posted a second in practice, then followed that up with a second in the heat, creating a direct transfer to the main. There, I was gridded sixth, and it looked like the race was going to be fast and trouble-free until I started to lose the brakes at lap five.

This changed my style considerably, and as a result fell back to ninth until I could get a handle on the driving limitation. Luckily the track was so fast that the brake issue wasn't a disaster, but it was indeed hard to drive in traffic.

In the end, the car was so good otherwise that I was probably the fastest car on the track whenever I'd get a lap without traffic. Once I worked that problem out, I started moving up again, and finished fourth, although I almost got third at the end,” he said with a smile.

Niemela is slated to run his next VRA Sprint Car event in two weeks, again in the Pro Sprint division.