Daytona: Rockingham Raceway test notes 2008-03-11

ARCA RE/MAX Series Teams Use Extra Track Time to Prepare for the Carolina 500 Brent Sherman to Race the Carolina 500 ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (March. 10, 2008) -- Bryan Silas, Gabi DiCarlo, Tom Hessert and Brent Sherman all brought ARCA RE/MAX Series...

ARCA RE/MAX Series Teams Use Extra Track Time to Prepare for the Carolina 500
Brent Sherman to Race the Carolina 500

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (March. 10, 2008) -- Bryan Silas, Gabi DiCarlo, Tom Hessert and Brent Sherman all brought ARCA RE/MAX Series cars to Rockingham Speedway to test in preparation for the Carolina 500 on May 4th.

All of these drivers along with 50 of their competitors will be back on March 21st and 22nd for the open test for the Carolina 500. Race fans will be allowed into the grandstands free of charge for the special two-day test session.

Brent Sherman was back behind the wheel of an ARCA car for the first time in two seasons. The former championship runner-up was driving for Stringer Motorsports and announced his entry with the team for the Carolina 500. Sherman will also run a few other ARCA RE/MAX Series races that do not conflict with his Indy Pro Series race schedule.

Bryan Silas was testing his Nortrax car at Rockingham once again. Not only has he tested the ARCA car at "The Rock" he has also tested his NASCAR Craftsman Truck here earlier in the year as he prepares for his limited schedule in that series while racing for the ARCA championship.

The Great Clips car pounding out the laps at the one-mile superspeedway was being driven by Gabi DiCarlo. In her second season on the ARCA circuit, Gabi is looking to improve her career best finish of 11th in the point standings from last year by breaking into the top-10 this year. She will continue that quest by looking for a solid run in the Carolina 500 which is less than two months away.

In only his third start in an ARCA RE/MAX Series car, Tom Hessert left Daytona with a 6th place finish and a strong start to the season in his Maaco Auto Painting Ford, owned by Andy Belmont. Hessert had never seen the Rockingham Speedway before the test so he took the opportunity to get acquainted with the unique track and learn as much as he could for the race.

Following are selected quotes from each of the drivers attending the test session:

Brent Sherman -- Stringer Motorsports

"I've known Doug Stringer for a while now and he gave me the opportunity to get in the car for the test and hopefully for a couple more races this year"

"It was fun, it is a fun racetrack -- I am surprised there isn't more racing going on here. I applaud Andy for everything he has done here. I don't know if he was taking a chance by buying this place but to me it doesn't seem like a hard decision because it is such a great facility."

"I think it is going to be a great race, I think we are going to see the cars run with fresh tires down low and I think we are going to hopefully see two, maybe three wide when the tires go away later in the run."

Bryan Silas -- No. 11 Fast Track Racing

"It was actually going very good - since this track is so abrasive on tires it is hard to get a reading where we are at but we are going to come back and we think we have a good idea where we will be starting with the set-up. We did about 50-60 laps today so we are happy with our progress."

"This is definitely one of the tracks that if you win here you are definitely a part of history, it would mean a lot to me to come win here. It would have broke my heart if this track was sold to someone else that had planned on destroying it so I am happy that it ended up going to Andy. It would be an awesome place to win at."

Gabi DiCarlo -- No. 90 Stringer Motorsports

"So far we have been really good, this was the first time I have ever been on the track -- it was the first time I had ever seen the track, I haven't even seen it on T.V. When we got here I did two laps in the van then they sent me out in the racecar and we have been fast all day. The race is going to be who can be fast on old tires and who can save their tires."

"I haven't raced on anything that is like this -- I would say the closest thing that would come to mind would be Salem, but it's a short track that is high banked and eats up tires. This track is very unique, I don't think there is another one like it around."

"So far it is really fun, it is challenging and not very straight forward. You have to learn the characteristics of where the bumps are and where to drive and how to move up when your car gets tight but it's been fun so far. You have to run different lines, you can run the bottom with new tires but as soon as they start to go away you have to move up and find other lines."

Tom Hessert -- No. 1 Andy Belmont Racing

"Today was good, it was my first time here at Rockingham Speedway and it was really cool. There is way more banking than I thought the place had and it definitely has a lot of character to it. We never really made a full qualifying run but our used tire runs and race runs were pretty successful and we learned a lot."

"The only track I think is similar -- maybe surface wise is Myrtle Beach but with how rough it is maybe Salem, so it is a Salem Myrtle Beach hybrid in some ways."

"I think 50 cars are going to be a lot here, I think it is going to be awesome. The more the merrier, I guess. We will be in lapped traffic in about 10-laps or so, so you are really going to have to save your equipment and miss the wrecks and make is all 500 kilometers. It is going to be a heck of a show, there is no doubt about that. For fans that have been here in the past, they know what it is like but for fans that have never been here before they should come check it out because it is going to be a whale of a show."

-credit: rrp

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Andy Belmont , Brent Sherman , Tom Hessert , Bryan Silas , Gabi DiCarlo