Charlotte: Michael Simko preview

Michael Simko Looking For Top-Ten In Inaugural Lowes Debut Wednesday, May 26th, 2004 (Charlotte, North Carolina) - - After a disappointing finish for the Auburn Racing team at Toledo Speedway, Michael Simko will head to the legendary Lowes...

Michael Simko Looking For Top-Ten In Inaugural Lowes Debut

Wednesday, May 26th, 2004 (Charlotte, North Carolina) - - After a disappointing finish for the Auburn Racing team at Toledo Speedway, Michael Simko will head to the legendary Lowes Motor Speedway this week looking to regain the confidence he lost heading into the season.

Simko's first race of the season at Toledo started off great, but turned sour, quickly. After notching top ten practice times and a career best qualifying effort of sixth, the No. 75 Chevrolet Monte Carlo looked like they could be a threat at the Hickory Farms 200. However, a spin during the race while running in the lead pack put the Clarkston native behind the eight ball and losing a lap to the leaders.

While working Nextel veteran Ken Schrader on the restart to regain the lap he lost, it didn't happen, and Simko eventually lost another lap under adverse racing conditions and settled for a frustrating 16th place finish.

"Toledo didn't turn out well for us at all," said Simko. "We had a great qualifying run (sixth), but after that we couldn't do anything right. I had hoped for a top five finish but it wasn't to be that day, hopefully Lowe's is a much better race for us," he said.

A few weeks ago, the ARCA RE/MAX Series held an open test session at the 1.5-mile track, with Simko quickly taking action. In the one day test session, the Michigan based organization were solid, but knew they needed to return with some more speed.

"We went down for the test for one main reason, to get me seat time at the track before the race," added Michael. "We were definitely not one of the fastest cars out there, but I feel we gained some really valuable experience for when we head back down. I absolutely feel we'll be better for the race week. Realistically, I feel we will be a top 12 car down there. If the race goes well for us, we could be a top eight or nine car," continued the optimistic driver.

The Quaker Steak & Lube 100 will be one of the most crucial events of the 2004 ARCA RE/MAX Series, and Simko, who races late models regularly when not competing in ARCA looks to make the best of it. "Lowe's is a big race for us young drivers," he said. "There are a lot of Nextel Cup and Busch team owners and crew chiefs that will be watching the race looking at "new" talent, we hope to blast our way to the front and prove that I'm the real deal."

Like Toledo, his No. 39 Chevrolet Monte Carlo will carry sponsorship from Mound Steel & Supplies. While the team is excited to have them back for a second time this season, they want the public to know they are still-hunting for primary and associate sponsors.

"We're thrilled once again to have Mound Steel & Supplies on board this weekend, but we are still hunting around the clock looking for more backers," said Michael Simko who hopes to make his 11th ARCA RE/MAX Series start this weekend.

His goal for Thursday night is simple. Qualify, race smart, and finish the race. "Lowe's is the center of all stock car racing and to be able to go down and have a good run would be a great boost of confidence for our whole team," replied the steelworker by trade.

The Quaker Steak & Lube 100 is the sixth event on the 2004 ARCA RE/MAX Series season. The teams will hit the track on Wednesday morning for practice and qualifying, with the race set to take the green flag shortly after 9:00pm Thursday night. The Speed Channel will carry live coverage from LMS (Lowes Motor Speedway) starting at 9:00 PM EST. ARCARacing.com will also carry live coverage online from the track.

-ar-

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Series ARCA
Drivers Ken Schrader