Kentucky II: Matt Merrell preview

Win-Tron Racing; Matt Merrell Reunite ARCA Style For Kentucky Speedway "Matt Merrell To Take Control Of No. 32 Dodge Charger" SPARTA, Kentucky (July 16, 2008) - - It has been 25 races since Matt Merrell last competed in an ARCA RE/MAX Series...

Win-Tron Racing; Matt Merrell Reunite ARCA Style For Kentucky Speedway
"Matt Merrell To Take Control Of No. 32 Dodge Charger"

SPARTA, Kentucky (July 16, 2008) - - It has been 25 races since Matt Merrell last competed in an ARCA RE/MAX Series event but that statistic will no longer be ticking as Win-Tron Racing will field an entry for Merrell in the Kentucky ARCA RE/MAX 150 this Friday night at Kentucky Speedway behind the wheel of the No. 32 Red Line Oil Dodge Charger.

Merrell made his inaugural ARCA debut last May at Toledo Speedway where the Win-Tron Racing development driver qualified a solid 13th and raced his way to a competitive and respectable 16th place finish. A little more than a year later, Merrell is itching to return to ARCA and better his 16th place run.

"What an opportunity that has been presented to me," said Merrell, who has spent his 2008 racing season competing in the USAR Hooter's Pro Cup Northern division for Win-Tron Racing.

Merrell will be presented with many challenges in his second career start but the Portland, Texas native is leaning on the experience of his veteran ARCA team and his recent ARCA test at Kentucky Speedway to aide him in the 11th event of the ARCA RE/MAX Series season.

"It will be 100 percent night and day difference between Toledo Speedway and Kentucky Speedway," Merrell admitted. "A lot of different characteristics come into play with speedway racing than short track racing. The way you practice, qualify and race are all different from short track racing. We took advantage to get ahead of that game by participating in the open test at the 1.5-mile speedway late last month."

During the eight hour test, Merrell clicked off the 15th fastest time turning in a lap of 32.270 seconds at 167.338 MPH. "We weren't showing our best stuff, we are saving that for the race" added Merrell. "You can say we were sandbagging. Mike Chaffee, my ARCA crew chief is a master at these types of places, so there is little hesitation in my mind to think that we can't come out of the box Friday and running competitively in the top-10."

Should Merrell be able to pull off a top-10 finish in only his second career and inaugural speedway start, the effort will be the second consecutive top-10 finish for Win-Tron Racing at Kentucky Speedway this season. In May, Dominick Casola piloted the No. 32 Dodge Charger to a solid 10th after starting 17th.

Should everything go as planned, it would be the team's fourth top-10 finish of the season.

"It's important to come out of Kentucky with a strong finish," Merrell sounded. "Win-Tron Racing has really turned the corner in their ARCA program in the last handful of races and it's my duty to try and keep the momentum going. If we can't be in contention for the win, we're going to dig and look for the best finish possible."

Win-Tron Racing will hand the wheel of chassis number 054 to Merrell for Kentucky Speedway this weekend. This is the same racecar that ASA standout Chris Wimmer maneuvered in his ARCA return at Michigan International Speedway last month.

Win-Tron Racing's Nate Thiesse offered his thoughts on Merrell's return to ARCA competition and his outlook on the Kentucky ARCA RE/MAX 150.

"Matt has done an exceptional job for Win-Tron Racing in the USAR Hooter's Pro Cup Series and there's no doubt in our minds that he'll raise the bar even further and give us 150 percent this weekend at Kentucky Speedway. Matt learned a lot at the open test and that should prove to be beneficial under the lights Friday night," Thiesse noted.

Entering Kentucky, Win-Tron Racing sits 13th in the ARCA RE/MAX Series owner's standings after 10 races. 65 credits separate car owner Kevin Cywinski from the 12th position held by Andy Hillenburg (No. 11). The team rose one position from their last outing at Cayuga Motor Speedway with the youngest winner in ARCA RE/MAX Series history James Buescher behind the wheel.

Red Line Oil and Win-Tron Driver Development will sponsor Merrell's Dodge Charger this weekend at Kentucky Speedway.

-credit; win-tronracing.com

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Andy Hillenburg , Chris Wimmer , Dominick Casola , James Buescher , Matt Merrell