Dan Digiacomo returned to the ASA Speed Truck Challenge Saturday night for the Twin 50's at Irwindale Speedway. The 2001 Rookie of the Year drove the #31 truck prepped by Rich's Motorsports.
The day started off bad when the rear end broke during the first practice. With little chance of making qualifying, Rich and Dan drove to Rich's shop in Corona to get a new rear end. The crew worked hard and got the truck ready to race, but too late for qualifying. Without any practice or shake down laps, Digiacomo started last in the 26 truck field.
"I laid back the first couple laps to make sure the truck was OK and to see how it was handling," said Digiacomo. "Everything seemed OK so I took off for the front. We were shooting for a top ten in the first 50 lap run. The truck tightened up towards the end and I was down on horsepower but we got to tenth."
During the break the crew made some stagger changes, rejetted and changed the plugs. With only one set of tires for both races Digiacomo could only hope for the best.
"The next fifty was a workout," said Digiacomo. "It was tight from the start. I had to run the high grove and I scrapped the wall a couple of times. I was trying to keep up with Hatch, but I fell behind quite a bit. It took a while to figure it out."
By the last few laps Dan and Lee were side by side fighting for sixth. A caution in the final laps set up a 2 lap dash with Digiacomo and Hatch door-to-door to the line. Digiacomo ended up seventh, picking up 19 positions and winning the "AllStatesLeasing.com" Hard Charger Award.
"It was a lot of fun to be back racing with my friend Lee Hatch and my old Speed Truck crew, the #19 truck of Scott Franchimone and his dad Robert," said Dan. "They were a huge part of me winning Rookie of the Year in 2001. Congratulations to Scott and Robert for winning Rookie of the Year this year.
Digiacomo continued, "I'd like to thank Norm Hopper and Norm Hopper Medical for setting this up for me while I was vacationing in Hawaii. I didn't get home until Friday night. Thanks to all the guys, including my Dad, that helped get the truck together so we could race. I hope to put something together so I can race a few races next year with Speed Truck and do this some more. I really like racing with these guys"
Dan Digiacomo raced Speed Trucks from 2001 to 2003 then moved to the Auto Club Late Model series at Irwindale Speedway in 2004 finishing 9th in points and winning Rookie of the Year. He will be racing late models again in 2005. Anyone interested in sponsorship for either series, please call Dan at 949-678-0240 or Kelley at 949-289-8616.