By: Tanner Watkins
November 12, 2019 | 8:00 AM
In a scenario that drivers saw playing out over the last three days, a slight change in Sunday’s Open-Wheels.com 500 Mile Race starting lineup has been confirmed: Broken Aero’s Brandon Traino is unable to participate in the race due to scheduling conflicts, and Team Talent’s Andrew Wood is back in the show after initially qualifying 34th.
Over the past weekend, Traino missed Pole Day qualifications as he was serving in his pit crew capacity during NASCAR’s race weekend at ISM Raceway in Phoenix.
The Carolina club driver made it back home just in time to turn in a run during the final hour of Bump Day which was fourth-fastest over the two days at 229.750mph. Traino would have started the race 21st as the fastest Day Two qualifier, and now all drivers behind him move up one spot in the order.
Traino has been called into duty to once again serve as a pit crew member for Drew Herring’s entry during NASCAR’s Homestead-Miami Speedway championship weekend.
“Unfortunately, I have to withdraw from the Open Wheels.com 500 Mile Race this year,” Traino confirmed. “I work as a tire changer in NASCAR for the No. 96 Gaunt Brothers team. They were in limbo about running the season finale at Homestead.
“I got word today that they are running and that is the same day as the Cup Series finale. I wish my teammates the best of luck as well as the rest of the field.”
For Wood, he narrowly missed making the field after his third and final attempt on Sunday was 34th-quick – one spot short of guaranteeing his spot in the field of 33. As the first alternate, there was a chance that he would find his way into the field, and now that reality has arrived.
“I woke up to some amazing news this morning that Broken Aero has withdrawn the No. 9 car from the event, which now puts me in the field,” said Wood. “I’m ecstatic! (It is a) shame that Traino cannot enter the race, but I will use this opportunity to put forth the best effort I can for Team Talent and the No. 32 crew to show that we deserved to be part of this 33-car field.”
Despite the difficulty in pulling out of this year’s race, Traino already has his sights set on a 2020 debut at the Open-Wheels.com 500 Mile Race.
“I’m excited to prep for next year after seeing the attention the amount of participation this event has gotten. Tanner has done an incredible job with the event so far and I’m excited to see what he puts together next year.”
The adjustment affects all drivers from 22nd position and back in the starting lineup (updated at the top of the article) while adding Wood to the 33rd starting position.
Additionally, Sadi Sim Autosport’s Adam Plunkett is now the next alternate on-deck should an additional driver have to withdraw, followed by Last Lap Motorsports’ Chad Simpson and Team Talent’s Niall McBride as the final alternates.
The 2019 Open-Wheels.com 500 Mile Race is presented by Mitchell Transmissions. Mitchell Transmissions is an established business in the Evansville, Indiana area who boasts three decades of mechanical experience to help service the needs of many makes and models. You can visit Mitchell Transmissions in Newburgh, Indiana at 10672 West State Road, or give them a call at 812-853-3286.
Header image by Tanner Watkins/Open-Wheels.com.