New car has Olsen feeling awesomewaterford
WATERFORD — Steve Olsen of Essex says he doesn’t take anything for granted when he gets behind the wheel of an X-Car at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.
“There are just so many great cars and great competitors,” Olsen said. “My goal is just to finish.”
His finishes in 2018, however, have been the best of his three-year X-Car career.
On June 27 he grabbed his first-ever win, taking the lead from Josh Cicio late in the race and pulling away. It was his second podium run of the year. He is fourth in the point standings after being shut out of the Top 10 last year.
Olsen will be trying to make it two in a row Wednesday during a special edition of Wild & Wacky Wednesday at the Speedbowl. The weekly divisions — the X Cars, Super X Cars, Legends and Bandoleros — will be joined by mid-size and compact Enduro cars that will be competing in the second Enduro of the year. Then the action will shift to the sky for a dazzling fireworks display.
Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for kids 13-16 and children 12-and-under free.
The action is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start.
A special barbecue will take place from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. and is open to fans, drivers and crew members. The cost is $15 for adults, $10 for youths 13-16, $5 for children 5-12 and free for kids under 5.
The feeling was priceless a week ago for Olsen, however, as he joined the long list of X-Car winners at the Speedbowl.
“I was in shock at first,” Olsen said. “I didn’t think I was going to get by the 22 (Cicio) after I got by the 27 (Corey Caddick). When I did, I told myself ‘Wow! This is really going to happen.
“It was an awesome feeling, especially when you realize all the hard work that went into it.”
Olsen went shopping during the last part of the season, purchasing the X-Car that was driven to the track championship from Kyle Gero.
“The car really was on rails last week,” Olsen said. “This is the first time since last year that the car felt like that. I did a couple of things differently, I changed the way I drive and the car really seemed to come in for me.”
Olsen had a brief stint in Super X car several seasons ago before joining the X-Car field. He says his new car has made all the difference.
“I keep learning, and that’s helped me,” Olsen said, “but I wouldn’t be fourth in points without having such a great car that Kyle Gero built. He’s very supportive. He’s always texting me, giving me advice.”
Olsen said he was looking for a new ride when he found out Gero’s car was for sale.
“I was looking for a while, and then I took a step back, not knowing what was going to happen,” Olsen said. “When I heard about Kyle’s car, I gave him a call and looked at it. There was still a few weeks left in the 2017 season at that point. He wanted to finish the season and win the championship, but then he had the car ready for me for the Finale. And I won my heat race my first time in the car.”
Olsen says he’s has gotten comfortable in the new car.
“When I first bought the car, I went to practice two or three weeks in a row and now I’m very comfortable with it. I am exactly where I want to be. I take a lot of measurements to make sure I can keep it that way.”
Olsen’s sponsors include PennyWise Oil of Westbrook, Olsen Sanitation and Trunk Candy Clothing of Essex..
While his brother Mike gives him a hand on the car from time to time, maintaining the 68 car is basically a one-man show.
“The crew is pretty much myself,” Olsen said. “I’m the owner, driver and crew chew chief.”
Which is why the win last week was so satisfying. Olsen says his main goal, however, is just to be consistent.
“And stay out of trouble and stay out of crashes,” Olsen said. “That’s how you get to be fourth in points.
“I just like being around the track. I think the atmosphere is so much better this year. All the drivers are really working together well.”
And when you can get that first career win, things are even better.
Press release from the New London-Waterford Speedbowl
Contact Mike Serluca at MikeS@ Speedbowlct.com