Toole, Utah – Arriving at the first road course event on the ARCA Menards West schedule Lawless Alan had high expectations. The double header at Utah Motorsports Park was Alan’s chance to score some good points and perhaps challenge for his first win. After a dominating practice that saw Alan as much as two seconds faster than the field, race day proved it’s what you have at the checkered flag that counts.
“I love road racing,” Alan said. “Racing in the Trans Am presented by Pirelli’s TA2 category last year taught me a lot.” The 20-year-old TA2 Rookie of the Year rolled of the truck fast… very fast. “We killed it in practice. I could not have been more excited for qualifying and the race. The car was the best it’s been all year, and I really felt we were primed for our first win.”
Race day started with Alan qualifying off pole. “The car was good, just not dominating like it had been. Second was my best ever qualifying and I knew from practice we had the pace to challenge for the win.” But all was not right with the No.12 AUTOParkit, Siemens, Bill McAnally Racing (BMR), Toyota Camry.
At the drop of the green Alan dropped to fourth. “I don’t know what it is about starting from the outside but I have not been able to make it work this year,” Alan said. “I tried to keep the pressure up but the car was just not as good as it had been in practice…. not even close.”
Unlike previous events this season, Alan found himself falling down through the field. “I was shocked. The car was a handful and kept getting worse.” Alan changed his lines and braking points but nothing helped… then it happened. “We’d been pounding the rumble strips as we crested the hill in nine all weekend and then I lost my steering completely.”
Featured in NBC’s “Bounty Rookie Spotlight” Alan was getting a ton of TV coverage. Sitting trackside with the hood open commentators speculated that it was engine trouble that had Alan off track with hood raised. “With the second race just minutes after the first I wanted to see what was wrong so I could tell the crew. I saw the suspension had collapsed but that’s all I could tell.”
Upon inspection the crew found both the upper and lower control arms had failed. With very little time they unloaded the backup car and went about getting it ready for Alan to run in race two. “It was intense,” Alan said about waiting. “The race started and I was still standing next to the car in the paddock. I could not believe it, but that’s racing.”
Alan was able to join the race in progress finishing 12th and running the same times as the winner. “Car was good, but we were eight laps down right off the bat. I was happy I could jump into a strange car and go as fast at the leaders but that’s not how we wanted this weekend to go.”
BMR Team Owner Bill McAnally said, “Tough weekend for Lawless for sure. He just can’t seem to catch a break. He was wicked fast and had the field covered yesterday, it’s too bad he had trouble. Lawless has been much better than his results all year – but he can’t seem to catch a break come race day. It will come, he’s a great kid with a lot of talent, he’s just had horrible luck.”