MECHANICSBURG, Pa. – Coming off his worst season in recent memory, Lucas Wolfe searched for an endeavor that would rejuvenate him and bring a complete, robust schedule to the table.
The Mechaniscburg, Pa., driver will get just that, as he and car owner Mark Coldren are set to team up and run with the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions this season in the No. 07.
Wolfe and Coldren’s partnership unite two individuals eager to regain winning ways. In 2020, Wolfe went winless in 74 starts with Michael Barshinger before the two parted after four seasons.
Coldren, meanwhile, parted with Gerard McIntyre midway through 2020 and then tabbed Bill Balog to finish the year. But then Balog unveiled plans to run with B Squared Motorsports on the All Star tour, forcing Coldren to go back to the drawing board.
For Wolfe, this move makes sense. Coldren can say more of the same, as he acquires a seasoned driver with five years of travel experience with the World of Outlaws.
“I think there’s a lot of benefit in that for me,” Wolfe said. “Mark was open, I was open. We discussed some of our interests. He was very heavy on the All Star [tour]. Ultimately, we arrived at that we would both benefit from heading that direction and the opportunity to run full-time with the series is a good one for me.”
Originally, Wolfe had planned to build off his part-time deal in the Jim and Laura Allebach No. 5W, but nothing full-time materizled.
He will still run a part-time basis with the Allebachs, but his attention now shifts to the Coldren No. 07, which finished eighth in All Star points with McIntyre in 2019.
Rusty Trego, Wolfe’s former crew chief in the Allebach No. 5w and Barshinger No. 24, is also coming aboard and will serve in that familiar role.
Coldren and Wolfe aren’t complete strangers to each other as well, as the two have remained in contact over the years. Wolfe also ran two one-off races for Coldren in 2013, the first being the final night of the World of Outlaws Summer Nationals at Williams Grove and the second a day later at Lebanon Valley.
Wolfe compiled 20 wins with Barshinger Racing since 2017 and claimed two Pennsylvania Speedweek titles in 2017 and 2019 over the four-year run. The past year and a half, however, has been an uphill climb for Wolfe.
Shortly after hoisting his second Pennsylvania Speedweek title in four years, Wolfe suffered compression fractures of his T-4, T-5, and T-6 vertebrae in a July 16, 2019 wreck at Lebanon Valley Racey.
It sidelined him for two months and just one race after his Sept. 5, 2019 return, he got into another nasty wreck, this one at Port Royal Speedway.
Things haven’t been the same for Wolfe since, and the 34-year-old hopes this fresh endeavor will rekindle trusty ways.
“I’ve had plenty of ups and downs throughout my time,” Wolfe said. “The aspect of going to different tracks, racing at different places, being on that type of a schedule, was always interesting to me.”
Wolfe will be thrown into a hodgepodge of drivers, alongside Tyler Courtney, a former USAC National Midget and USAC National Sprint Car champion; Ian Madsen, a former competitor with the World of Outlaws; Balog, a 10-time IRA champion; Cory Eliason, a two-time runner-up in All Star points; and Justin Peck, one of sprint car’s rising stars.
Where does Wolfe fit into that mix of talent? He is unsure. But what’s intriguing is this venture is unlike any other he’s pursued.
“New teams, new faces, which is good,” Wolfe said. “That shows the series is more accessible, more viable, more lucrative to compete with and support. As far as racing goes, it’s all just racing.”
Wolfe will forgo the first six races on the All Star schedule, all non-points events, and will instead prepare in central Pennsylvania for the April 9 points opener at Ohio’s Attica Raceway Park.
“It’s good for me to be a part of a traveling group,” he added. “There’s some tracks I have been to and some I have not. There’s always some enjoyment of seeing some new places. Of course a large percentage of the schedule is based here in Central Pennsylvania. There will be some familiarity there.
“It should be good. Hopefully we can find some good pace and run well.”