Fassnacht’s No. 15 Sword Performance Mazda MX-5 Persevered Through Doubleheader Weekend Featuring Multiple Condition Changes
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (January 30, 2022) – Aidan Fassnacht passed his first test as a professional racing driver this week at Daytona International Speedway in the 2022 Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires, taking a season full of lessons away from a challenging week in the No. 15 Sword Performance Mazda MX-5 Cup.
Both Thursday and Friday’s 45-minute races were run in weather conditions that included a wet track but were dry enough to remain on BFGoodrich Tires slicks for the run. Those difficult conditions and a competitive 30-car field left Fassnacht in 17th and 23rd at the race finishes, respectively.
“We didn’t get the results we really wanted, but I looked at this weekend to get the rust out and get used to the series,” the 18-year-old said. “I think this is probably going to be the craziest weekend, maybe of my career, with these conditions, this track and these cars. I’m hoping that calms down a little bit and we can settle in and show our pace because I didn’t feel like we got to do that this weekend. It’s frustrating, but it’s also good to get my feet wet a little bit.”
Fassnacht qualified and started the first race 11th, and spent the race in a pack of cars five deep and battling for the top 10 before a full course yellow with 13th laps to go eliminated that battle and brought more into the mix.
Fassnacht started Friday’s race even further up the grid in ninth and was already moving forward on the opening lap before contact brought out a full course caution and sent the Sword Performance MX-5 to pit lane for repairs and a front right tire change. That left him one lap down from the field but able to finish the caution-filled race.
“It was one of those things where every time you went out there, you weren’t sure what you were going to get,” Fassnacht said of the weather. “We went out expecting it to be pretty dry in Friday’s race, and then we saw the two leaders go way wide going into Turn 1 because it was wet. It cleared up by the end, but it just added a new variable for the tires and threw a wrench in the whole operation. But I’m glad the way it worked out because it’s such a valuable experience for me. I saw everything you could see in terms of conditions this weekend, and that’s something you might not get in two or three years. I’m glad I got it here, and it familiarized me with the car and I got a feel for it in every situation which was nice. Hopefully that plays to my advantage going into Saint Petersburg in the next race.”
The Daytona weekend was the motorsports debut for Sword Performance and its series of performance hydration beverages, built around a system of proprietary electrolyte replacement products and heat stress subject expertise. Fassnacht not only carried the logo on the side of his McCumbee McAleer Motorsports team car, but used the Sword Performance products to hydrate between sessions.
“It’s really great to be working with Sword Performance this season,” Fassnacht said. “They’re a really great brand and it’s such a fit, with them being in the hydration industry and us in motorsports. I’m drinking 20-plus bottles of water a day, so if I can make that efficient with a clean and clear hydration product like Sword provides, it’s perfect and it’s just great to have their support.”
With a race under his belt, Fassnacht returns to action on the 1.8-mile street course on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, February 25-27. The street circuit doubleheader will mark another first for the series rookie, and is unique as the only temporary street circuit on the 2022 calendar.
“I think we’re going to come out on the back end really strong for learning all of this,” Fassnacht said. I learned a lot, and I couldn’t be more excited to get to St. Pete because I think we’re going to be really strong there.
About Sword Performance:
Sword Performance, Inc. is an American manufacturer of performance hydration beverages, built around a system of proprietary electrolyte replacement products and heat stress subject expertise. Sword Performance Inc. was founded with a purpose: to provide great-tasting, effective hydration to hard-working men and women everywhere. From stadium lights to job sites, Sword Performance hydration products are designed to work with the body to battle dehydration and fatigue. More information can be found at www.SwordPerformance.com.
About Aidan Fassnacht:
A second-generation professional racecar driver, 18-year-old Aidan Fassnacht is conducting the 2022 Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup for McCumbee McAleer Racing (MMR) in the No. 15 Sword Performance Mazda MX-5 Cup. Fassnacht, a freshman at Boston College, raced a Spec Miata in Regional and National Sports Car Club of America events for two seasons before taking on the Spec MX-5 Challenge in 2021, earning a slot in the prestigious Mazda Shootout before signing with MMR for his 2022 rookie campaign.