Daytona: Nothing To Lose; Everything To Gain For Michael Faulk "Faulk Looks To Improve On Nice Talladega Performance" DAYTONA BEACH, Fla (Tuesday, February 6, 2007) - - Since his top-10 performance at Talladega Superspeedway (October, 2006) ...
Daytona: Nothing To Lose; Everything To Gain For Michael Faulk
"Faulk Looks To Improve On Nice Talladega Performance"
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla (Tuesday, February 6, 2007) - - Since his top-10 performance at Talladega Superspeedway (October, 2006) Michael Faulk has been patiently waiting for the ARCA RE/MAX Series to return to a restrictor plate track. The time is now and Faulk is ready to make his ARS debut at Daytona International Speedway in Saturday's ARCA 200 at Daytona.
"I'm so excited about getting back to racing," said Faulk, a former competitor in the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division. "We had such a great run at Talladega that I'm thirsty for the same run this Saturday. Our team needs it. We're not going to hold anything back"
Rewinding back To Talladega last year, Faulk started off the weekend with a solid 20th place practice effort. With no provisionals to fall back on, the team knew they had to earn their way into the Food World 250. Mission accomplished. Faulk mastered a lap around the 2666-mile speedway with an effort quick enough for 17th on the starting grid.
Faulk never looked back as he roared his No. 14 Dodge Charger to life zooming to the front. On lap 41, he controlled the ARCA field for five laps, before being overtaken by a strong line of cars drafting to his outside.
The former United Speed Alliance Racing (USAR Hooter's Pro Cup) competitor would regain focus and duck in with the lead draft. The final caution of the day waived 34 laps later when a multi-car incident broke out behind Faulk. At the time the team was holding steady in eighth. Unfortunately for the team, ARCA officials decided to call the race 13 laps early due to darkness approaching. His position stood, giving the team their second top-10 finish in their second race of the season.
"Talladega was a practice race for us to get ready for Daytona," added Faulk, a native of Gainesville, Florida. "I think with the race and Daytona testing we know what our Dodge Charger is capable of and we plan to utilize that this week."
In fact, the Daytona open-test yielded some promising results. A record 77 drivers took laps around DIS (Daytona International Speedway) with Faulk prevailing with the 21st fastest lap. Maneuvering his machine around the track, he posted a lap 49.916 seconds at 180.303 MPH, just a mere half-second from the leader.
"The Daytona test went really good," added Faulk. "Again we were pushing our Dodge Charger to the limits to see what we could get out of it. I think we'll have a stronger car for Daytona. My crew has worked hard since then to make sure of that. The ARCA 200 at Daytona is not going to be an easy race to make; we're going to give everything so the spotlight is on us as much as possible."
Cal-Bay International, VSurance and Orbitaltv.com will sponsor Faulk's No. 14 Dodge Charger this weekend for the 43rd ARS (ARCA RE/MAX Series) race at Daytona International Speedway.
"We have a great group of sponsors for Daytona," continued Faulk. "Both VSurance and Orbitaltv.com are new to our team and we're very excited about having them aboard. We want to show them what the ARCA series is all about. We're hoping that a good run this weekend will mean a long-term relationship with them."
When asked about being a rookie on a restrictor plate track Faulk said, "I thought it would play havoc with my race at Talladega last year. But it really didn't. I worked well with some good cars and we went to the front and stayed there. If treat your competitors with respect; they will work with you. Hopefully it's the same way the second time around."
Faulk and his MB3 Motorsports team have once again entered into an alliance with Evernham Motorsports for the ARCA 200 at Daytona. Faulk will pilot the same Dodge Charger that fellow ARCA driver and Evernham Motorsports Developmental Driver Erin Crocker ran in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway in 2006. After qualifying tenth, Crocker crossed the line 15th.
"This is a good car," added Faulk. "It has a great body on it and we definitely have some steam under the hood. Erin (Crocker) has entered this race, so hopefully we'll be able to work together a little bit and we can put both Evernham Motorsports affiliated cars near the front."
Corrie Stott will once again call the shots for Faulk at Daytona. Stott has over 20 years of experience in Motorsports and has experience as a shop foreman and crew chief for multiple NASCAR Nextel Cup teams over the years. "Corrie has been in victory lane at Daytona and Talladega and was instrumental in our success at Talladega. I'm looking forward to having him on my side and I hope we can have another stout performance."
Rolling into Daytona, Faulk, a third generation driver has two ARCA starts to his resume with a career best finish of eight at Talladega Superspeedway (October 2006) while holding an additional top ten finish of ninth at Nashville Superspeedway (April 2006). He holds a career best superspeedway time trials effort of 17th at Nashville Superspeedway (April 2006) and Talladega Superspeedway (October 2006). He also has controlled the ARCA field for five laps in one race.
The ARCA 200 at Daytona (80 laps/200 miles) is the first of 23 events on the 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule. Practice begins Thursday, February 8 with a five-hour (12:00pm-5:00pm EST) practice session planned. Qualifying is slated for Friday, February 9 at 12:00pm EST. Final practice is limited to 55 minutes (5:15-6:10pm EST) on Friday evening. The ARCA 200 at Daytona will be aired live on the SPEED channel beginning at 4:00pm EST.