Gordy Gundaker seems to be ahead to the enjoyable and advantages that may come from racing along with his shut buddy and fellow Longhorn driver Nick Hoffman in 2023. (Jacy Norgaard Photograph)
CONCORD, NC — Gordy Gundaker has confronted many ups and downs throughout his rookie season with the World of Outlaws CASE Development Tools late mannequin sequence. Nevertheless, his latest rise within the 2022 season has delivered a confidence enhance that has him trying ahead to extra success as he prepares for his second season on the Tour.
The St. Charles, Missouri driver is seventh within the sequence standings, posting 4 top-fives and top-five finishes — three of them coming within the final six races of 2022 through the Kansas-Missouri swing in October.
Whereas he hoped he would have higher finishes all through the season, Gundacker mentioned he knew there could be a studying curve with operating on a Nationwide Tour.
“It is form of how I want our complete 12 months had gone,” mentioned Jondaker. “However that is a part of studying and being out on the street with these guys. It did not at all times go as deliberate, so it was good to finish the 12 months with loads of curiosity and realizing we’re aggressive and we are able to at all times be upfront with all these guys.”
The subsequent time Jondaker hits the observe in his No. 11 automotive is the 2023 sequence opener throughout Sunshine Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park on January 19-21.
He hopes that momentum from the tip of the season will result in a profitable begin to 2023 within the quickest half mile on the earth.
“I feel it is going to be a terrific confidence booster for Volusia,” mentioned Jondaker. “Clearly, the primary few weekends there and in March, realizing we’ve good race vehicles, the fitting gear and all the pieces we must be profitable, we simply have to exit and carry out.
“By the tip of the 12 months, we actually labored our stuff out. We labored with Jason Durham, (the brand new Stormy Scott crew chief), And his return to Penske (shocks) is an enormous factor for me, our group, and Longhorn (chassis) generally. “
Gundaker will not be the one Longhorn on tour in 2023, as each Nick Hoffman and Payton Freeman have launched their plans to run with World of Outlaws CASE Late Fashions subsequent season, together with the return of Tanner English.
Hoffmann and Gundacker have already got a detailed relationship as the 2 have been pals for years. Their friendship might be a key benefit for Gundaker, as they’ve somebody to share info with through the 11-month season.
“Nick is one in all my greatest pals, and we have been shut pals for a very very long time,” mentioned Gundaker. “It will be a lot enjoyable simply going up and down the street and hanging out, however it’s clearly good for each of us.
“We’ll be within the Longhorn vehicles and we’ll be capable to share info, work with one another, and feed one another.”
This info will solely assist the 30-year-old driver, who admits he is nonetheless studying the ropes of the several types of tracks the sequence races on—particularly over the half-mile.
Earlier than final season, Jondaker’s expertise on these tracks was minimal. However he mentioned he is beginning to get a greater grip on learn how to obtain success.
“I feel the observe time goes to be huge, and in addition a bunch of half-miles that I’ve to go that I have never actually raced,” mentioned Jondaker. “I solely raced the half-mile race 5 or 10 occasions all through my profession earlier than final 12 months, so now I’ve doubled that. By the point I obtained to Charlotte, I understood lots concerning the air and the way it’s essential race in these locations which might be aggressive typically and those that are not Extraordinarily.
“The extra you get these, the higher. I feel by the point we get to Volusia and the Sunshine Nationals; we’ll open some eyes.”
Gundaker hopes his information and expertise will proceed to proceed his path ahead, regardless of the ups and downs he’ll face through the 53-race racing schedule.