By MIKE MALLETT
The 2018 season has been somewhat of a breakout season for young gun Mike Maresca. Maresca has found his way to victory lane on multiple occasions while racing both the Modified and the Late Model. On Saturday afternoon at the World Finals he had one of his best runs with the Super DIRTcar Series. Maresca finished fourth in the first 40-lap main-event.
Maresca charged forward after starting 23rd on the field. He got as high as second, even pulling to the outside of Brett Hearn for a restart to battle for the lead. As he continues to learn, he’s becoming more of a threat to the Modified field.
“We’ve been working on hard on the Modified and trying to get better,” he said. “I’m definitely excited. We’ve had a couple good runs lately. So that is confidence booster to finish off the year with a pretty good run. If it wasn’t for a couple of mistakes we may have finished second or third.”
Part of the learning process is understanding the mistakes you are making and doing what you can to ensure that those don’t happen again. He made a few late in the race which cost him a podium effort.
“I would have liked to win,” Maresca said afterwards. “When I got on the front row I thought that there was no excuse not to win or have a good finish. I made a couple mistakes. I notice I make a lot of mistakes compared to those guys, but they have a lot more experience than I do. It important as a driver to not make those mistakes again so when I get in situations like that next time maybe I can win.”
Maresca went into further detail about the mistakes he made in the closing laps. He was trying to get a run off the second turn and he just missed it. Although it hurt his finish, the good thing is he knew what he did wrong.
“I was trying to come off the corner straight and I think I did the wrong thing to do that where I turned down off the corner off of turn two,” cited Maresca. “It was a little bit too early and I got sideways. This place, the margin for error, even if you are little sideways the car behind you is coming off straight and the closing speed is really high. I knew as soon as I did it I was in a little bit of trouble. I’m happy that I’m to the point in my racing career that I know not to do it next time. That is a good thing I think, just having the active mindset when I’m racing.”
The Saturday night Modified finale didn’t run off as well for Maresca as he ended up finishing in the 14th position.
Maresca didn’t have the same good fortune over the weekend in the Late Model. He had a few bumps and bruises after qualifying action on Friday night. He got together with another car in the heat race beating up his car a bit. Unfortunately, he failed to make either of the main-events with the Late Model.
“That was rough,” commented Maresca about the Late Model. “I made a big mistake and got in there sideways and got into someone. I felt like an ass for doing that. I’d be upset if someone did that to me. It was just crazy out there with the aerodynamics stuff. With how important track position is people are willing to kill each other and their families in order to get a position in the heat race. I guess, including myself, because I was part of it and partaking.”
It was a weekend full of ups and downs, but the most important thing is Maresca gained more seat and more experience as he continues to learn how to be a more consistent driver overall in both the Modified and the Late Model.