Sean Corr; Empire Racing Overcome Adversity At Daytona For Solid Finish
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (February 14, 2011) - - There's an old saying that hard work equals reward. While that phrase may be a little bit of an understatement for Empire Racing and driver Sean Corr this past Saturday at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (DIS), the team was still able to produce a solid finish in the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200.
Frustrated with the performance of their No. 82 Ford Fusion following the three-day open ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards test in January, the Mooresville, North Carolina-based team put a countless number of hours into the 2011 ARCA Racing Series season-opener.
When the first practice concluded last Thursday afternoon, Corr climbed from his machine satisfied with the vast improvement of his race car from just a month prior. Despite being nestled mid-pack overall during the four-hour practice session on Thursday, the team was quick to point out that they chose not to draft, while others did.
"The car is better, a lot better," said Corr, a native of Goshen, New York. "John (Bellesfield, team manager), Richard (Johns, crew chief) and the team put a lot of sweat into the car over the past couple of weeks and it showed after the first lap of practice."
In qualifying on Friday, Corr maneuvered the 27th fastest time placing his Empire Racing into the starting grid for the second consecutive year at the "World Center of Racing." The team was relieved on the run as the field was one of the tightest in ARCA history at the 2.5-mile superspeedway.
"I'm okay with where we're starting," added Corr. "Of course, we would have liked to have been closer to the front, but we made the show and that's important! Now in Happy Hour, we'll focus on drafting, so I know how the car will perform during the race."
On Saturday morning, Corr thundered his John Corr-owned automobile into the seventh fastest lap overall with a time of 48.398 seconds or 185.958 miles per hour. Corr was one of five Ford Fusions to place into the top-10 during the forty-five minute practice session at DIS.
When the green flag dropped on Saturday afternoon for the race, Corr wasted no time moving the field and when the caution waived on lap four, Corr moved into the 21st position.
On the restart, Corr drafted his way into the 17th position where he hovered until he made a pit stop during the event's second caution on lap 19. The quick pit stop put their driver back into competition solidly in the top-20 and ready to maneuver back to the front.
Unfortunately for the Corr, his Ford Fusion struggled in the single-car draft, unable to gain the speed needed to move through the field.
Resting in the top-25 with 16 laps remaining, Corr brilliantly negotiated through the "Big One" in turn three. Escaping the carnage allowed the No. 82 Nesco / North East Fabricators / Trans Tech / Roush Yates Performance Parts Ford Fusion to move back into the top-20.
During the final green flag run of the race, the dirt late model ace was able to use the side-draft to his advantage allowing him to creep in the rundown and take the checkered flag in the 15th position edging outside pole sitter Kyle Fowler.
[IMAGE]Upon inspection of the team's entry following the event, the team diagnosed a failure in a shock, which ultimately hampered Corr's ability to have a better run.
"It was a quiet race, but we did okay," said Corr. "The guys worked hard and we came away with a race car intact. We can go back to the shop, work on her some more and get ready for Talladega. We'll mean business there, I promise you that."
Corr continued, "We've shown that we can make this car better and we did throughout the whole week and still were able to walk-away from Daytona with a solid finish. Sure, I would have liked more, but I'm thankful for what we did accomplish. I also want to thank everyone who came on-board as marketing partners for the race. I know I'm speaking on behalf of the team that we appreciate it greatly!"
-source: empire racing