For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Hackenbracht Hopeful for Entry at Salem;
More News & Notes from Mobile International Speedway
(TOLEDO, Ohio) - Chad Hackenbracht correctly predicted after stepping out of his car following the Mobile ARCA 200 that he'd be among the new point leaders in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards. Now, the most recent runner-up in the series hopes he can continue to compete.
|Credit: ARCA Racing|
Hackenbracht, driving for family-owned CGH Motorsports, finished second to Eddie Sharp Racing's Cale Gale on the Alabama half-mile Saturday, and now stands third in series driver points behind Gale and Venturini Motorsports' Brennan Poole.
"It's a career best and we finally got a finish that we really deserved," said Hackenbracht, whose car is the No. 58 Chevrolet. "Nothing bad happened, and I thought I had a run on (Gale). We had a run going into (Turn) 1 on that final lap. He got all squirrelly and I tried to go to the inside and I was down in the grass, so it didn't stick. I tried to maybe move up in the last corner, but he did a great job. I can't thank these guys enough. We may come out of here as the points leader or second in points, as far as who's going to the next race."
However, Hackenbracht is not certain that his team will have the funding to make the season's third event. Salem Speedway is the next stop on Sunday, April 29, meaning he has six weeks to find support.
"We don't know what races we're going to, but anyone at Salem that wants to be there, we've run in the top five there every time we've been there and we want to go there," he said. "If anyone wants to jump on board for this year, we're here."
"Dream" Coming True for Sharp: Eddie Sharp has seen his share of success in the ARCA Racing Series, and this year owns three teams in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Things are coming together nicely at his operation, he says, and Saturday's Mobile win by Cale Gale was another step in the right direction.
Sharp spoke soon after the race about his appreciation for ARCA and excitement in Gale's win.
"I've been around this series a long time and I get more and more satisfaction out of watching these young kids get to do their thing," he said. "I'm just a small part of it, to give them a platform. I love this series, and being that this is Cale's home track and what Rheem has done for my company, this is just the year you dream of having. It's a great way to get us on track."
Top Rookie Bowman Regrets Contact: Alex Bowman's No. 22 Dodge led 43 of the first 65 laps in the Mobile ARCA 200 after starting first, but late contact with Frank Kimmel (No. 44 Ansell/Menards Toyota) damaged his front end and hurt his chances of winning ARCA's first trip to the track. Bowman finished the day third.
"It was tough, definitely," Bowman said. "The St. Jude's/eBay Motors Dodge was pretty good all day. We were really good on new tires. I just can't thank everybody at Cunningham Motorsports enough. We had good pit stops all day and (crew chief) Paul Andrews had good calls from up on the pit box. I think I cost us the race that little bit I got into Kimmel. I'm not quite sure what happened there, but from that point on, it just got real tight. It's a solid run and a whole lot better than Daytona, so we'll take it and move on to Salem."
Kimmel provided his comments in a press release soon after the race, expressing disappointment but ultimately chalking the contact up to natural short track racing.
"This is just a shame," he said. "We had such a great car here today in Mobile. Not only did all the guys work hard to get a new chassis ready, we just had the right horsepower and setup package. I was ready to make a move and felt like we had a win here, and it's a shame to take a spin. It happens; it's a big part of short track racing, but the positive is they saw what we had today. Everyone hopefully understands that we mean business this year,and we'll just keep tackling these tracks one at a time. I'm looking forward to getting to my home track of Salem next (to) see some hometown fans."
Bowman mentioned Kimmel, or several Kimmels, as drivers to beat at the next stop on the ARCA tour.
"Our Salem car is pretty much all the way ready," he said. "We're going to test. The Kimmels are always fast up there, so we've got to go up there and compete with them."
Bowman is currently the leader in the Team Messina Rookie Challenge by 10 points over Buster Graham.
King Earns CGS Hard Charger Award: Clint King was quick to credit his crew chief and spotter in earning the CGS Imaging Hard Charger of the Race Award at Mobile International Speedway.
King started 20th and finished fifth. His 15-position improvement just topped Sean Corr, who improved 13 positions inside the race.
"It was overall a really solid day, and I'm really proud of the 66 team, (crew chief) Teddy Brown, (spotter) Branden Lines, and Venturini Motorsports," King said. "This was a brand new race car last week when we came down here and tested, and we really worked on it."
King said that a long green flag run near the end of the race may have helped him win. In the end, he's not regretful, but instead happy to escape clean for the next race on the schedule.
"Considering we came home with the car in one piece, we can get it ready for the next one we go to, which is Salem. We'll take what we get and we'll move on there."
The 16-year-old - who won a pole on his birthday and first day of ARCA eligibility last season - plans to enter at Salem on April 29 and Toledo on May 20, but hopes to end the season with eight or 10 races under his belt.
"A good run always helps sponsorship, and I hope we can find some sponsorship to run as many of these races as we can," he said.
First Top-10 Since '10 for Kile: Mikey Kile took the 2011 season off from the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards to pursue a small opportunity in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, but has returned to ARCA this year with Andy Belmont Racing.
Saturday, he earned his first top-five since finishing fourth for Venturini Motorsports at Kansas Speedway in September 2010. Kile drove Belmont's No. 1 ModSpace Ford to fourth at Mobile, a result he might not have expected.
"To be honest with you, I didn't know how it was going to go," Kile said. "We didn't qualify very well, but as the car got laps it just came alive and we started clicking cars off. There for a bit, we were a half-second faster than the field. I really would have liked it to go green all the way to the end, but it didn't, but we went from 15th to fourth, which is a good points day. We got another car we've built that's better than this one, so I'm looking forward to bringing it to Salem. I'm really proud of everyone on the ModSpace team and looking forward to going to the next one.
Four Represent Home State: Four drivers represented Alabama in the Mobile ARCA 200.After Mobile's Cale Gale took the checkered flag first, Grant Enfinger of Fairhope finished 13th, Daryl Eustace of Scottsboro finished 26th, and Thomas Praytor of Mobile finished 34th. All four drivers joined track promoter Rick Crawford - also a Mobile native - for a picture on the track before the race.
Salem Up Next: The next race for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards will take place Sunday, April 29 at Salem Speedway. The 200-lap, 111-mile Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 is scheduled to start at 2:15 p.m. Salem will host practice and Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell on Saturday, April 28. The event at Salem will be ARCA's 91st at the track, where nine-time ARCA champion Frank Kimmel has nine wins.
2012 is the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards' 60th Anniversary Season, featuring 20 races at 18 tracks. The complete 2012 event schedule is available at ARCARacing.com.
The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards has crowned an ARCA national champion each year since its inaugural season in 1953, and has toured over 200 race tracks in 28 states since its inception. The series has tested the abilities of drivers and race teams over the most diverse schedule of stock car racing events in the world, visiting tracks ranging from 0.4 mile to 2.66 miles in length, on both paved and dirt surfaces as well as a left- and right-turn road course in its most recent season. This year, the series visited Alabama's Mobile International Speedway for the first time. In June, the first event at Minnesota's Elko Speedway will give ARCA a race in a 29th state.
Founded by John and Mildred Marcum in 1953 in Toledo, Ohio, the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is recognized among the leading sanctioning bodies in the country. Closing in on completing its sixth decade after hundreds of thousands of miles of racing, ARCA administers over 100 race events each season in three professional touring series and local weekly events.