Robb Brent Conquers Iowa With 11th Place Finish NEWTON, Iowa (July 13, 2009) - - Robb Brent returned to ARCA RE/MAX Series competition Saturday night with a nice rebound from Mansfield Motorsports Park where the Shelby Township, Michigan native...
Robb Brent Conquers Iowa With 11th Place Finish
NEWTON, Iowa (July 13, 2009) - - Robb Brent returned to ARCA RE/MAX Series competition Saturday night with a nice rebound from Mansfield Motorsports Park where the Shelby Township, Michigan native guided his No. 36 Justin Allgaier Motorsports Dodge Charger to an 11th place finish in the Prairie Meadows 200 at Iowa Speedway.
Brent and his JAM team arrived in Iowa looking to improve on the team's performance during the open ARCA RE/MAX Series test session the week before which show Brent post the 14th and 17th fastest laps respectively during the eight hour session.
Crew Chief Bob Blount, a familiar face in the ARCA RE/MAX Series garage went quickly to work following the test making adjustments to the team's automobiles hoping to give Brent a more conservative feeling for practice on Friday.
During practice, Brent focused on stability for his No. 36 Orchard Chrysler Dodge Jeep Dodge Charger knowing that handling would be a key to having a good run on Saturday night. Brent's machine negotiated the .875-mile track with a lap of 24.545 seconds at 128.336 miles per hour good enough for the 19th position.
"Our time is a little off from the test, but looking at the practice sheet, it looks like everyone from the test slowed down a little bit," offered Brent. "I think we have a good car for the race. It's just hard to get a good reading for our Orchard Chrysler Dodge Jeep Dodge because were mainly setup for the race."
Knowing that starting near the front is key for short track racing, Brent was prepared to hold nothing back for his two lap qualifying run. During his time trials effort, Brent laid down a lap of 24.216 seconds transferring to a speed of 130.079 miles per hour placing the team a respectable 16th on the starting grid.
"We picked up three tenths, so we're pretty happy with that," said Brent, who successfully qualified for his Iowa Speedway debut. "I'm proud of the JAM team for their endless efforts to make our car better for the race. Hopefully we can stay out of trouble and have a good race."
From the drop of the green flag the leaders started out dialed in and moving fast. Brent found himself one lap down by the first caution. The team had a great pit stop and headed back out set to regain their lap and charge back to the front.
While maintaining a position in the top-20, Brent's determination and familiarity with the track would allow the college student to run laps as fast as the leaders in hopes of earning the lucky dog.
The event's pit stops would be consumed with four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments to manhandle the ever changing track conditions which in turn had positive effects on Brent's grip in the racecar.
As the next caution came out, Brent would find himself one car short of earning the lucky dog. The restart would put him 18th, one lap down but side by side with the race leaders. With the car now dialed in, Brent was able to run with the top five cars.
The next caution came and as Brent's luck would have it, the race leader - the No. 77 - just passed the No. 1, meaning the lucky dog would elude Brent one more time.
With 10 to go and a final caution, Brent finally earned a lap back and lined up behind the leaders. The team's goal was to try to fight their way into the top-10. Despite a hard charge, Brent would come up short and settle for an 11th place finish under the Iowa lights.
"Not a bad night at all," said Brent. "My team was awesome and we never gave up, just kept digging. We tried for a top-10 finish but it was a real competitive field and we came up just a little short. I'm getting better at these short tracks. The Orchard Chrysler Dodge Jeep Dodge Charger just kept getting better as the night went on."
Brent added, "It was a good point's night for us too. Mansfield was a tough race for us so this was a nice recovery. We'll go to Kentucky next weekend and hope to put ourselves back in the top-10."
Washington Township, Michigan based Orchard Chrysler Dodge Jeep will continue it's long-time association with Brent and serve as the primary sponsor on Brent's No. 36 Dodge Charger this weekend. Orchard Chrysler Dodge Jeep has backed Brent since his entrance into racing at the age of 16.