January 15, 2017
Maine Racers at ARCA Test at Daytona
In case you have been on a remote desert island, Austin Theriault announced this week that he will be contesting the championship in the ARCA Series aligning with the Ken Schrader #52 team based out of Concord, North Carolina.
After being fitted in his racing seat, the Fort Kent native drove to Daytona to take part in the 2 day ARCA test session. Day one consisted mainly of getting the feel of the car and it’s handling characteristics.
When Day 2 , Saturday, rolled around the team pulled out the stops. At the end of the rain delayed session, they found themselves with the second fastest speed (188.363 mph) only .245 mph slower than Shane Lee in the Cunningham Motorsports Chevrolet. The speed was good enough for fourth fastest of the weekend.
Venturini Motorsports rookie drivers Noah Gragson in the #55 Toyota set the fastest speed on Friday ((189.143 mph) in a ten car draft. His team-mate, Spencer Davis, in the #25 Toyota was clocked at 189.092 mph in that same draft. Theriault has a win at Michigan in 2014 with the Venturini Motorsports team.
Shane Lee’s Cunningham Motorsports team-mate Dalton Sergeant had the fifth fastest speed (188.111 mph).
Theriault and the #52 team will return to Daytona for the ARCA Race February 18 at 4:15. The team led by veteran Crew Chief Donnie Richeson will prepare the car utilizing what they have learned at the two-day session.
Austin remarked that, “I’m proud of the effort the guys put in. They changed the motor over before the second part of day 1. We have a good foundation to work from when we come back in February.”
“Learning how these cars draft compared to the truck was my goal for the weekend. I feel confident that I have a really good grasp on that now. As experienced as everyone is on this deal I’m excited to start racing and hitting our stride.”
When asked about Wyatt Alexander’s first drive on the 2.5 mile high banked speedway, he replied’ “I’m sure this was big for Wyatt. Experiences like these will expand his perspective and make him an even better driver. ”
I was totally surprised when I was notified that WAR driver Wyatt Alexander was at Daytona also running an ARCA car. The Alexanders arranged to try the legendary speedway in the Mullins Motorsports #34 Ford based out in Fredericksburg, Virginia. The Mullins team also races in the SCCA Road racing Series and the Mid-Atlantic Road racing series.
With no plans to actually race in the ARCA Series at this time, Alexander enjoyed his time behind the wheel. In his Daytona debut the Ellsworth native ran 180.448 mph good enough for 35th of 52 who ran on Saturday.
Northeast Motorsports Expo and ASPIRE Higher Was Present
Some Like It Hot…Chili Bowl That Is
The 31st Annual Chili Bowl at Tulsa, Oklahoma was the place to be during the of season. A record number of entries (365) flooded the Tulsa Expo Center. Racing was speed out over five days to accommodate the large field of midget race cars.
The sentimental favorite had to be the #39BC driven by Justin Grant. The Clauson-Marshall race car was entered in memory of Bryan Clauson who won the event in 2016. Grant won the Friday night qualifier feature placing him on the pole for Saturday’s main event.
Grant did not win the Chili Bowl, however, he did lead the first 25 laps before being passed by race winner Christopher Bell. Bell became only the second Oklahoma driver to win the race. Bell was driving the #71w Toyota powered midget owned by Keith Kunz Motorsports. This was owner Kunz’s sixth win as an owner since his first in 1994 when the race was won by Andy Hillenburg.
Maine racing fans may remember Christopher Bell when he appeared at the 2015 Oxford 250.
Second place went to Daryn Pittman whose engine lasted 54 and 3/4 laps and coasted across the line.
Miscellaneous Finds and Snowmobile Drag Racing in Caribou
Let’s Go Racing,
Soli Deo Gloria