Lucas Wolfe Departs Barshinger Racing

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Lucas Wolfe won Friday night's sprint car feature at Williams Grove Speedway. (Dan Demarco photo)
Lucas Wolfe will not return to Barshinger Racing's No. 24 team next year. (Dan Demarco photo)

Lucas Wolfe and Barshinger Racing have parted ways after a four-year run on the central Pennsylvania racing scene, the team announced Friday evening via a Facebook post.

After compiling 20 wins in Barshinger’s No. 24 since 2017, Wolfe went winless in 410 sprint car competition for the first time since 2009. Wolfe also collected one central Pennsylvania points championship with Barshinger in 2018, but is ready for something new in 2021.

“Ultimately, we didn’t have good results,” Wolfe said in a phone interview Friday evening. “At this point, for a variety of reasons, it seems something that’s good to move on (from). Certainly enjoyed my time there. We got along good. We had some good stretches. It’s always difficult to make changes, but at this point, personally, I need to find better, more consistent performance and results.”

“I personally have to do better from a professional standpoint as well as a money-earning potential and I just wasn’t making it happen,” he added.

As for 2021 and beyond, Wolfe has no immediate plans and nothing that’s close to being finalized. The Barshinger Racing statement indicated that Wolfe left the team to “fulfill his dream of owning and running his own 410 sprint team,” however Wolfe gave no indication he was heading in that direction right away.

The 34-year-old driver said he’s had “two discussions here or there” and is going to take the next phase in his racing journey “as methodical as possible.”

“I have to formulate what the best plan is and what the best course of action is moving forward,” Wolfe said. “Certainly going to try to do as much racing as possible. At this point, I’m not in a position to do a full-time schedule. … I’m open to exploring any option that comes up.”

If there were a suitable option for Wolfe at the moment, it’d be expanding his winged 360 deal with Jim and Laura Allebach in the No. 5W. But the jump from something that’s been nothing more than supplemental to full-time should be considered premature. That alone is steering Wolfe to test the market.

“I’m looking to do anything, really,” Wolfe said.

Wolfe believes he can still race at a high level. He is, after all, not far removed from a Pennsylvania Speedweek championship last summer. The downfall to all this began just eight days after he wrapped up his fourth Pennsylvania Speedweek title on July 8, 2019 at Port Royal Speedway. Wolfe suffered compression fractures of his T-4, T-5, and T-6 vertebrae in a wreck at Lebanon Valley Raceway, forcing him to miss nearly two months.

That was only the first dagger. The second came one race after his Sept. 5, 2019 return, where Wolfe made contact with the turn one wall at Port Royal Speedway the night before the Tuscarora 50. The first accident at Lebanon Valley extinguished synergy and momentum built in the summer months and the second only compounded the problem.

“Unfortunately the wreck is really kind of the line in the sand because up until then we had really good pace,” Wolfe said. “It was kind of a downward spiral from there. … Never really have recovered from that. It was a collective of things that happened at once, I assume. We had some personal changes and lost a car [in the wreck at Port Royal]. Ultimately, we never really regained the pace.”

Until Wolfe’s wreck, he had collected two wins, three podiums, and four top fives over those last six races. Since then, Wolfe has just four top fives altogether.

“From a personal level, I have to run races more competitively,” he said. “I need to structure it more in a way I have my best scenario in which to make that happen. … For the most part, at this point, that’s my mindset at this time. Basically, I’m just going to try and maximize any opportunity that comes around and try to run as efficiently as possible.”