Robb Brent Negotiates Top-15 Run At Kentucky SPARTA, Kentucky (July 20, 2009) - - ARCA RE/MAX Series (ARS) driver Robb Brent proved that hard work and determination does pay off as the driver of the No. 36 Orchard Chrysler Dodge Jeep Dodge...
Robb Brent Negotiates Top-15 Run At Kentucky
SPARTA, Kentucky (July 20, 2009) - - ARCA RE/MAX Series (ARS) driver Robb Brent proved that hard work and determination does pay off as the driver of the No. 36 Orchard Chrysler Dodge Jeep Dodge Charger negotiated a top-15 finish Saturday night in the Click It Or Ticket Buckle-Up Kentucky 150 at Kentucky Speedway.
The Shelby Township, Michigan native returned to Kentucky Speedway looking to improve on a solid top-10 performance in May. The Sparta, Kentucky track has been one of Brent's strongest tracks during his tenure in ARCA RE/MAX Series competition.
The Justin Allgaier Motorsports (JAM) team led by crew chief Bob Blount participated in the open-test at Kentucky Speedway a few weeks ago and the rookie bunch had hoped to improve on the team's performance from the test.
The ARS teams would be granted two practice sessions on Friday evening hoping to dial in their machines for round 11 of the year. During the two practices, Brent and the team struggled to find grip on the No. 36 Dodge Charger.
In the first practice, Brent produced the 21st fastest lap. In happy hour, he picked up the pace a little bit but slipped back to the 22nd position.
"We were hoping to unload and be a lot better than what we are," said Brent. "We have been adjusting the setup on the car but nothing seems to be doing the trick. We're going to throw a few more adjustments at the car for qualifying and hope it pays off, especially for the race."
In time trials, Brent posted his fastest lap of the weekend to a 31.602 seconds or 170.875 miles per hour which gridded the team 20th for the event.
"We're a little better but not where we want or need to be," explained Brent following qualifying. "Tonight's race is relatively short so it's going to take a lot of work on us all to have a good run."
From the drop of the green flag, Brent remained locked in the top-16 battling a loose No. 36 Dodge Charger. Unable to find the grip or connection with Kentucky Speedway; Brent remained on the lead lap through the series first caution flags but opted for a trip to pit road approaching lap 30 for tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment to revert the looseness of Brent's machine.
On the restart, Brent tried to march towards the mid-pack with eyes set on the top-10, but while the car's conditions improved, the car began to revert back to the previous way which set the team in motion towards heading out of the top-20.
Determined not to give up, Brent kept his car on the lead lap and in the top-20 until the team's final round of pit stops occurred inside the event's final 35 laps.
The stops were a great improvement from the team's first tango with Kentucky Speedway and with Brent back on the track and a shootout ahead; the team was confident that Brent could battle back towards the front on the track. He didn't disappoint.
During the course of the event's 30 laps, Brent's lap times improved greatly with the last series of adjustments which included a wedge adjustment allowed the car to hook up to the 1.5-mile oval and maneuver through the field.
Battling to inside the top-15, Brent needed a caution to catch-up to his competitors. With that opportunity never taking place, Brent had to dig deep ahead of him and was able to click off three positions before the checkered flag waived with the 22-year old crossing the start-finish line in the 12th position.
The effort was Brent's seventh top-12 finish in 10 races.
"We're not real happy with the finish but we'll take it," sounded Brent after the event. "Plain and simple, we struggled with the handling on our Orchard Chrysler Dodge Jeep Dodge Charger. We finally were able to get the car running good at the end of the race but by then it was really too late. I'm proud of the guys for never giving up. The run is what it is. We'll try and learn from it and move ahead to next weekend."
Brent's run also closed the gap from 10th place competitor Tim George Jr in the ARCA RE/MAX Series championship chase. Brent leaves Kentucky still occupying the 11th position in the point standings.
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.
Prior to joining Justin Allgaier Motorsports, Brent participated in the ARCA RE/MAX Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driving for NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski and Brad Keselowski Racing. In his 27 ARCA starts, Brent has acquired two top-five finishes and nine top-10 efforts. Brent notched his career best qualifying effort of second at Kentucky Speedway last year. He has led the ARCA RE/MAX Series pack twice for 21 laps in 2008. His best finish in the NCWTS occurred at Nashville Superspeedway in his inaugural truck debut where he finished 21st after qualifying 26th.
This season, Brent has four top-10 finishes in 10 starts with a best finish of seventh at Pocono Raceway earlier in June. A 15th place qualifying effort at Michigan International Speedway in June is the team's season best thus far.
Next up for the ARCA RE/MAX Series is a trip to Berlin Raceway in Marne, Michigan for the running of the Wolverine Power Systems 200 presented by Generac set for next Saturday, July 25. Brent will make his inaugural debut at Berlin. The team is hoping to improve on their season best ninth place short track performance at Toledo Speedway in May.
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