Chicagoland: Jesse Smith preview

Last season, Jesse Smith finished fifth in his first start at the Chicagoland Speedway. This weekend Smith is looking to eclipse that feat with his first career win in the ARCA Re/Max Series with Venturini Motorsports. This is Smith's third start...

Last season, Jesse Smith finished fifth in his first start at the Chicagoland Speedway. This weekend Smith is looking to eclipse that feat with his first career win in the ARCA Re/Max Series with Venturini Motorsports. This is Smith's third start of 2009 with the Venturinis.

Last time out, Smith was chasing down a victory at the Michigan International Speedway when a blown motor spoiled his chances late in the going. The entire Venturini Motorsports team is looking to show another strong effort capped by a trip to victory lane.

Not only have Venturini Motorsports cars run up front, but Smith has shown the combination of speed and consistency needed to win in each start. Coming off a fifth place finish last weekend at the Springfield Mile, Venturini Motorsports will return to Chicago as the defending race winners with two entries.

CHICAGOLAND HISTORY: Smith has made one career start at the 1.5 mile tri-oval. He finished fifth driving the #30 for Terry Jones.

TEST IT OUT: Smith took part in the open test session last week at the Chicagoland Speedway. He posted the third quickest lap in the morning session.

CHICAGOLAND CHASSIS: Smith will race the chassis that he tested at the open test session last week at Chicagoland. Most recently, Justin Marks finished eighth at Pocono using the same one.

NEW CREW CHIEF: For the first time, Bryant Frazier will be calling the shots for Smith atop the pit box.

MILE AND A HALF MAGIC: In five starts at 1.5 mile tracks, Smith has three top five finishes and just one finish outside the top 11.

ON THE HOOD: Texas Corral will make its first appearance on the #15 with Smith behind the wheel. Hormel Foods, Lloyd's BBQ, and Child's Tire will be on a Venturini Motorsports entry for the third time in 2009.

JESSE SMITH:

(On his progression with Venturini Motorsports in 2009): "I felt like we've always had a good connection right at the beginning. It's always been great working with them. I definitely feel like I've learned some things...from the past two times out. Unfortunately, we've had some bad luck in both (races). But I feel like we definitely learn from everything and we're going to come back stronger than what we were before and definitely have a good shot to win."

(On the Chicagoland Speedway test session last week): "We felt like we made a lot of progress there. We came out of the gates pretty strong and had a few problems getting the car handling through the corners. We worked on it all day and progressively got better, and finally found what we needed towards the end of the practice. I feel like we got the car in the right direction where it needs to be. We just need to get it set up for the track and weather conditions.

(On his outlook for the Ansell Cut Protection 150): "Hopefully we'll get a little more grip since the race is going to be towards the night setting. So, obviously the track is going to have more grip there. I expect it to get a little more feeling in it, and to get a little faster. Last time, the track maybe got a little touch looser there...at night."

-credit: hsm

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Justin Marks , Terry Jones , Jesse Smith