Montgomery pleased with first full ARCA season. LEBANON, Tenn. (October 25, 2002) -- 19-year-old ARCA RE/MAX driver Chase Montgomery learned a lot in his first full season in the ARCA series.Â He learned with the good comes the bad and nothing...
Montgomery pleased with first full ARCA season.
LEBANON, Tenn. (October 25, 2002) -- 19-year-old ARCA RE/MAX driver Chase Montgomery learned a lot in his first full season in the ARCA series. He learned with the good comes the bad and nothing comes easy.
The #27 Montgomery Motorsports team came out of the chute with a bang, capturing the Old Milwaukee Pole Award at the historic Daytona International Speedway.
"Getting the pole at Daytona was a great way to start the season," Montgomery said. "It was a good introduction of our team to the series."
After taking the pole, the #27 struggled with the races both at Daytona and Atlanta. However, the team rebounded and turned in a 5th place finish at their home track, the Nashville Superspeedway.
Montgomery ran very consistently throughout the remainder of the season, highlighted by nine Top-10 finishes and four ARCA Highest Finishing Rookie Awards.
One of the most welcomed surprises in the 2002 season was the team's competitiveness on the short tracks.
"We thought our intermediate program would be the strongest. To compete as well as we did on the short tracks was an added bonus."
Montgomery took home top rookie honors at the spring race at Salem, earned a sixth-place finish at Berlin and finished fourth at the second Salem event. At Winchester he started fifth and was battling for the lead with Frank Kimmel when he was taken out of contention by a lapped car.
South Boston Big Daddy's Speedway proved to be his best showing on the short tracks, starting third behind veterans Ken Schrader and Kimmel, finishing fifth and earning the top rookie award.
Montgomery's highest finishing position of the year came at home at Nashville Superspeedway, where he earned highest finishing rookie honors.
The most disappointing turnout of the season was at Talladega Superspeedway. Montgomery led the first practice, qualified third and was third quickest in happy hour. After leading 27 laps of the race (earning him the Loctite Halfway Leader Award), Montgomery was knocked out of contention after being put into the wall on a restart with 20 laps remaining.
"I think we really had a car capable of winning that race. We were strong the whole weekend and the team worked hard to give me a competitive car. It was extremely disappointing."
"We capitalized where we could throughout the season, but some things were out of our control. Overall we are very happy. We've had several ups and downs, but we feel we did really well for being a new team with a rookie driver."
During this season Montgomery was not only busy competing in the RE/MAX series, he unselfishly used his free time to share his racing experiences with various charitable organizations, including Miles for Smiles, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, CASA and the Easter Seals. He also held a fundraiser/barbeque at the Nashville Ronald McDonald House, raising more than $10,000.
2002 marked another important milestone in Montgomery's life, graduating from high school. The Beech High School student missed his graduation ceremony, opting to compete at Lowe's Motor Speedway instead.
With his first full season behind him, a fourth place finish in the final point standings and runner-up in the rookie of the year honors, Montgomery looks back on 2002 with contentment and relief and is looking toward 2003 with optimism and wonder.
"We have some things in the works for next season, but nothing is set as of now. We are really looking forward to getting things in line during the off-season and coming back strong in 2003."