Jay Middleton to Make ARCA Debut at Michigan 22-Year-Old and His Team Are Well Prepped for Their First Series Event LAKE CITY, FL (August 15, 2006) - Jay Middleton is taking a step up to the ARCA RE/MAX Series. The Florida youngster will ...
Jay Middleton to Make ARCA Debut at Michigan
22-Year-Old and His Team Are Well Prepped for Their First Series Event
LAKE CITY, FL (August 15, 2006) - Jay Middleton is taking a step up to the ARCA RE/MAX Series. The Florida youngster will compete in Friday's Hantz Group 200 at Michigan International Speedway and this is one racer who is taking all of the right steps to do the move up right.
Middleton and his team have been hard at work putting together quality equipment for their debut and have hired the right man to guide them. Teddy Brown, who has experience in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series and Busch Series with drivers like Michael Waltrip, Ken Schrader, Kevin Harvick and Mike Garvey, will lead the effort as the team's crew chief.
"We're well prepared," said Middleton, a Super Late Model ace from Lake City, Florida. "We've got a good motor, a good body, a good shock package and basically a brand new car. We've been so busy putting the car together, that we haven't had time to test yet, but I think that we'll be in good shape. I'm excited to go to Michigan and I'm ready."
Middleton is so focused on being well prepared for his ARCA debut that he has taken a break from a schedule of ASA Late Model racing, where he was ranked second in the Southern Division with a shot at the title, to properly prepare for Michigan.
Middleton isn't going to the track with low expectations either.
"I believe that I can win this race. I'm not going just to get comfortable. I'm going there with the expectations of running in the top five and the hopes of winning."
That might sound like a lofty statement for a rookie, but Middleton is no stranger to speedway racing either. He competed in a handful of ASA National Tour events before that tour's demise in 2004, and he ran well in each of those starts.
"In my first speedway race, I set fast time at Kentucky. We had a problem in the pits and I was scored a lap down. I ended up finishing in the top 10, but they scored me 18th. In the second race at Kentucky, I was second quickest in practice but qualifying got rained out. We started in the back and had mechanical problems, but we still came back to finish in the top five. At Atlanta, I was leading the race and got into an incident with Reed Sorenson.
"I like going fast and I think that my driving style is well suited to a speedway. I think that I'm right at home on those tracks, but I haven't had the right opportunity to go back to one in a few years."
Having Brown leading the way this time around is another big plus for Middleton.
"When I heard that he was available, we decided to sit down and see if he would fit in with our team," added Middleton. "Right away, we liked each other. He is a really sharp guy and he has already shown us some new stuff. I'm really looking forward to working with him at the track."
The Hantz Group 200 at Michigan International Speedway airs LIVE on SPEED at 5 pm ET.