Superb Run For Michael Faulk In Talladega
"MB3 Motorsports Team Leads; Grabs Career Best Eighth"
TALLADEGA, Ala (Tuesday, October 10, 2006) - - Michael Faulk picked up where he left off last Friday night at Talladega Superspeedway behind the wheel of the No. 14 Cobs Homes-Cal-Bay International Dodge leading laps and settling for a strong eighth in the final superspeedway event of the 2006 ARCA RE/MAX Series season.
Faulk earlier this year scored his first top ten finish of his career by posting a solid ninth in his RE/MAX Series debut at Nashville Superspeedway, the second event of the '06 season.
The team's morale was high heading into the Food World 250. A successful open test session had the team itching for more. They proved they found more during the course of the scheduled 94-marker event.
Before switching gears to race mode, the team participated in the first and only major practice session of the weekend. Faulk and his MB3 Motorsports team claimed 20th on the charts with a fast lap of 51.087 seconds or 187.445 mph. "The car is working good and we're going to be strong for the race, guaranteed," Faulk said.
With a massive amount of entries on-hand, Faulk knew he had to qualify his Evernham Motorsports machine into the top-32 in order to make his restrictor plate debut. In qualifying, Faulk, a native of Florida maneuvered his Dodger Charger around the 2.666-mile oval with a competitive lap of 51.637 seconds at 185.448 mph good enough for 17th on the starting grid.
"We knew we had to make the race on time and we did it with ease," Faulk said about his effort. "We have a pretty good starting spot, we're in mid-pack, some call that the eye of the storm, so we'll look to embrace ourselves from that position and make a strong move into the top ten."
At the start of the Food World 250, Faulk quickly began his charge. Hovering inside the top-15 for the first couple of laps, Faulk impressively maneuvered his Cobs Homes-Cal-Bay International into the top ten approaching lap ten.
Faulk, a former competitor in the USAR Hooter's Pro Cup Series would keep his machine near the front until the first caution came out when he ducked his machine into the pits for a small series of adjustments and welcomed Sunoco Racing fuel.
Despite trailing back in the field on the restart, Faulk didn't stay there. Quickly thundering back to the front again, Faulk would again find himself lurking outside the top ten before the second caution came out again on lap 25 when Bryan Silas and Doug Reid tangled. Making his pit stop a few laps earlier, the MB3 team opted to stay out and position themselves into the top five.
To their advantage, the team inherited the lead as the rest of the field came down pit road. Faulk would lead the strong field back to the green flag on lap 41 and keep control of them for five markers before being overtaken by a strong line of drafting cars to his outside.
Faulk would regain focus and duck in with the lead draft. The final caution of the day waived 34 laps later when a multi-car incident broke out behind Faulk. At the time the team was holding steady in eighth.
Unfortunately for the team, ARCA officials decided to call the race 13 laps early due to darkness approaching. With the large amount of cleanup still needed to be done, officials believed it would have been an unsafe measure to send the competitors back into competition upon the completion of the work.
In the end, Frank Kimmel scored his first ever restrictor plate victory allowing him to inch another step closer to a record eighth series championship, while Michael Faulk and his team earned a career best eighth in only his second RE/MAX Series attempt.
"We're happy with the finish, but we really would have liked to seen the race get restarted," said Faulk. "The Cobs Homes-Cal-Bay International Dodge was awesome. The team did a great job in the pits and we were strong. I'm not at all disappointed by the finish; I just know we had a little more."
Faulk continued, "I'm happy for our sponsors Cobs Homes and Cal-Bay International. I've heard we received a lot of television coverage and we were out front leading. That's what we need to do each and every week. I'm excited about the future; there is still better things to come for this team. I can't wait for Daytona."
Faulk and his team will now regroup in preparation for a busy 2007 racing season. The group plans to run between 12 and 15 ARCA RE/MAX Series events next season in addition to several NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and Busch Series races in between. The team will kick off their racing season by competing in the ARCA race at Daytona International Speedway next February.
Leaving the Alabama based track, Faulk, a third generation driver has two ARCA starts to his resume with a career best finish of eight at Talladega Superspeedway (October 2006) while holding an additional top ten finish of ninth at Nashville Superspeedway (April 2006). He holds a career best superspeedway time trials effort of 17th at Nashville Superspeedway (April 2006) and Talladega Superspeedway (October 2006).
-credit: mb3 motorsports