With the skies clearing after a solid week of heavy rain, thunderstorms and mudslides, the sun shined above The Milwaukee Mile Saturday afternoon as the ARCA RE/MAX Series held their first and only practice session today in preparation for ARCA...
With the skies clearing after a solid week of heavy rain, thunderstorms and mudslides, the sun shined above The Milwaukee Mile Saturday afternoon as the ARCA RE/MAX Series held their first and only practice session today in preparation for ARCA SIM Factory Pole qualifying set for later this afternoon. Following qualifying, the anticipated 41-car field will be impounded in preparation for tomorrow's race. Teams welcomed cooler than normal temperatures for August at The Milwaukee Mile during the hour and 15 minute practice session. Today's activities are setting up for tomorrow's Governor's Cup 200, the 17th installment on the 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule.
Here is what some of the drivers are saying from the practice session.
DEXTER BEAN, NO. 6 FIVE STAR TELECOM CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO SS
Dexter Bean, a sophomore driver on the ARCA RE/MAX Series tour posted the 16th fastest lap with a time of 31.518 seconds at 114.220 MPH.
The Westby, Wisconsin native enters The Milwaukee Mile after netting a fifth place finish last Sunday at Illinois State Fairgrounds (Springfield). The result was a personal best for Bean in three previous dirt track starts.
With his superb finish last weekend, Bean tallied his third top-five finish of the season and accumulated his eighth top-10 in 16 races so far this season.
Bean is on a stretch of three consecutive top-10 efforts (Nashville Superspeedway, Pocono Raceway and Illinois State Fairgrounds).
Entering the 17th race of the season, Bean trails second place Michael McDowell by 110 markers and 205 points from the top spot currently held by reining ARCA champion Frank Kimmel.
The BlackJack Racing team has brought the same Chevrolet Monte Carlo the team competed with at Springfield last weekend. This same automobile is responsible for Bean's second place finish at Salem Speedway earlier this year. The team's backup machine is the same racecar that Bean nailed his second and seventh place efforts at Pocono Raceway this season.
Bean drew the ninth position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
**BlackJack Racing will change motors prior to ARCA SIM Factory pole qualifying this afternoon. The team lost their primary motor during the first practice session earlier today.**
"We were good right off the truck. The motor started shooting water out of the exhaust, so we had to change the motor. Thankfully, this place isn't a big motor place, but this put us a little behind for qualifying. I have the best guys in the garage, so we'll get the new motor in and go get them in qualifying. This is a hometown race for us, so I hope it's a blessing to get all of our troubles out of the way in practice. We need to stay focused for the race tomorrow and deliver a good finish."
JAMES BUESCHER, NO. 32 MERCEDES HOMES-RED LINE OIL DODGE INTREPID
Fresh off a solid showing at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) in the USAR Hooter's Pro Cup Series on Wednesday night, James Buescher steers towards the ARCA RE/MAX Series for the second consecutive weekend.
Last Sunday at Illinois State Fairgrounds, the 17-year phenomenon made his inaugural dirt track debut behind the famed No. 32 Country Joe Racing Dodge finishing seventh ahead of NASCAR icon Ken Schrader.
This weekend, Buescher will accelerate from just testing at the famed Milwaukee Mile to competing in Sunday's Governor's Cup 200.
Country Joe Racing is fielding the same car that Buescher scored the ARCA RE/MAX Series win at USA International Speedway (Lakeland) in March with an additional top-five finish (third) at Berlin Raceway last month.
James Buescher will make his fifth career ARCA start Sunday. In his previous four efforts, Buescher scored the win in the inaugural ARCA RE/MAX Series event at USA International Speedway (Lakeland) while posting a clean sixth place run at Salem Speedway in April before returning to the top-five at Berlin Raceway with a stout third place effort in July. Last weekend Buescher made his dirt track debut showing further talent by reeling in a seventh place finish.
Country Joe Racing sits eighth in the 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series car owner standings entering Springfield. The organization, who has fielded a car for a number of drivers this season, is 15 markers from seventh place controlled by car owner Grace Sheltra (No. 60). 95 points separate CJR from sixth in the car owner standings currently held by Clarence Brewer. The team maintained their spot from last week, but gained valuable points on their competition ahead following James Buescher's outstanding run last Sunday.
During the practice session today, Buescher mounted the fourth quickest lap racking in a time of 30.881 seconds at 116.577 MPH.
Buescher drew the 36th position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"I am so excited about tomorrow's race. We have a great car, it's nearly perfect. The Country Joe Racing team is a great operation and it's showing again here today. I'm really honored to drive this No. 32 Mercedes Homes Dodge. With the car being as strong as it is, we should be a threat for qualifying and the race. Our chances for tomorrow are looking good."
DOMINICK CASOLA, NO. 1 A. CASOLA FARMS FORD FUSION
For ARCA RE/MAX Series Dominick Casola, Sunday's opportunity at The Milwaukee Mile serves as another opportunity to shine.
The former USAR Hooter's Pro Cup driver enters tomorrow's race looking to keep a string of consistent finishes in check and collect his second top-10 finish of the 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series season.
Last weekend, Casola showed strength in his ARCA dirt track debut after rallying through the field from his 15th place starting position to stay in contention with the lead pack to score a respectable 13th place finish last Sunday. J J With car owner and sidekick Jennifer Belmont MIA (Missing in Action) this weekend at The Milwaukee Mile, crew chief Andy Belmont will take the responsibility of pulling double duty as both crew chief and spotter for the Governor's Cup 200.
Crew Chief Andy Belmont has elected to bring Casola "Nemesis" to The Milwaukee Mile this weekend. This is a new Ford Fusion to rookie driver Dominick Casola. The car has a long-standing record in the Andy Belmont Racing stables, but this will be the first race that the Holmdel, New Jersey native will pilot this chassis this season. The team's backup machine is nicknamed "Big Bird".
The team is carrying sponsorship from A. Casola Farms, a family-owned business based out of New Jersey.
In practice today, Casola turned a time of 32.287 seconds at 111.500 MPH putting him 24th on the practice rundown overall.
Casola drew the 15th position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"We had some problems with the master cylinders in the brakes early on. Luckily, we fixed the problem. The car is decent. We're making some adjustments. Andy Belmont (crew chief) knows how to get around this place, so I'm not worried. We've been known to find a lot of time in qualifying, I'm sure we'll impress everyone in qualifying later today and focus on a top-10 finish for tomorrow's race."
DUSTIN DELANEY, NO. 48 FREEFEDS.ORG DODGE CHARGER
A new development driver for Statesville North Carolina's Carter-2-Motorsports, Dustin Delaney enters The Milwaukee Mile looking to improve on his stout 14th place finish last weekend at the Illinois State Fairgrounds (Springfield).
With assistance and guidance from the legendary James Hylton, the rookie knows he's in good hands for tomorrow's Governor's Cup 200.
Hailing with a late-model background in New York, Delaney, 17 is banking on that experience to aid in his first pavement race of the season.
The Free Feds Foundation (FreeFeds.org) will sponsor Delaney as he attempts to make his second career ARCA start Sunday.
FreeFeds.org's sole purpose is to gain public support for adding parole for non-violent, non repeat offenders to the federal prison system. They are of the belief that the federal justice system is in need of a total reform. The organization, however, is mainly interested in working toward adding a system of parole for non-violent offenders as part of that overall reform.
In addition to FreeFeds.org, Explore America, The Idaho Observer, RVrentToGo.com, 100fold.net, and Accelerating Developments International (ADI) will join the team's effort in the 10th RE/MAX Series event held at The Milwaukee Mile.
In practice today, Delaney turned a time of 32.707 seconds at 110.068 MPH putting him 27th on the practice rundown overall.
Delaney drew the 30th position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"I'm learning the place. We are going to make some adjustments in the FreeFeds.org Dodge Charger heading into qualifying and we should be just fine. The car is tight, but I think a lot of the other teams are fighting the same condition. I'm not worried, we're in the race and that's the main objective today."
JAKE FRANCIS, NO. 61 FRANCIS ENGINEERING, HABCO TOOL & DEVELOPMENT DODGE INTREPID
Another young hot shoe on the prowl this weekend at the Milwaukee Mile is Ohio's Jake Francis.
Leaping from crew member to driver, Francis is hoping that his inaugural run at the Milwaukee Mile will be a memorable one.
Francis is running under the Rebecca Kasten Racing banner running a Dodge Intrepid purchased from ST2 Motorsports with Chevy White at the wheel.
Francis Engineering, Habco Tool & Development, Bonner Frams, Campana Excavating, J.R. Collins Trucking and Sander Excavating have all stepped up to the plate to sponsor Francis No. 61 entry this weekend.
While Milwaukee will provide the first chance for Francis to get behind the wheel, he experienced the ARCA RE/MAX Series first hand in February when he worked as a crew member for female ARCA RE/MAX Series sensation Jennifer Jo Cobb.
In practice today, Francis turned a time of 32.432 seconds at 111.001 MPH putting him 25th on the practice rundown overall.
Francis drew the third position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"We're tight, but good. We're going to change the gear and springs in our Dodge Intrepid and we should be good to go. I'm really proud of everyone on the team. We were one of the first teams out on the track in practice and we managed just fine. Our goal for qualifying is inside the top-20, then we'll worry about the race. I'm just glad to be apart of this big weekend at The Milwaukee Mile."
MIKE HARMON, NO. 38 JUST1SHIRT.COM CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO SS
Harmon, a veteran on the ARCA RE/MAX Series tour enters The Milwaukee Mile looking to make his 88th career start at a track where Harmon loves.
Last year at the famed Milwaukee Mile, Harmon produced very strong results. Practicing in the top-25, he stormed on to the charts with a great 10th place qualifying effort before finishing a disappointing 31st.
The Richardson-Netzloff-Harmon Racing team looks to bounce back from a sad weekend at Illinois State Fairgrounds as Harmon produced strong practice results, but an engine failure on the first lap of the event forced another disappointing finish.
Richardson-Netzloff-Harmon Racing is running two cars this weekend at The Milwaukee Mile. In addition to the normal No. 38, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Ricky Gonzalez will drive the team's No. 94 entry.
The team is looking for sponsorship for the remainder of the 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series season.
In practice today, he posted the 19th fastest time with a time of 31.857 seconds at 113.005 MPH.
Harmon drew the 11th position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"I'm satisfied. The car is running really good, but we're fighting a tight condition. We have more left on the table, so I'm not worried. It's good to come back this weekend and back up our performance here from last year. I'm really proud of all the guys on the Richardson-Netzloff-Harmon Racing team, we'll just go into qualifying and see what we can do."
JULIAN PENARULZ, NO. 93 RED OIL JEANS-CATCHIT CAM CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO
Paris France's Julian Penarulz (pronounced Pen-Da-Ruse) is scheduled to make his ARCA RE/MAX Series debut at The Milwaukee Mile tomorrow.
Driving the No. 93 for David Bogg Motorsports, Penarulz will utilize several of the remaining events on the 2007 schedule to prepare himself for a much broader racing schedule next year.
Carrying sponsorship from France's Red Oil Jeans, several executives from the corporation will be on-hand for Penarulz ARS debut Sunday afternoon.
With a background in the Formula-A & Campus Series, this weekend's ARS event sounds as the first opportunity for Penarulz to make a name for himself in the United States.
When not racing, the 30-year old is a frequent stunt man in California.
In practice today, he posted the 39th fastest time with a time of 42.577 seconds at 84.553 MPH.
Penarulz drew the second position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"The time is disappointing, but we found the problem. We were leaking water from the engine. We also had a problem with the brakes. The good news is that both problems are correctable and we should be fine for qualifying this afternoon. We need to give everything we have for time trials. Once we're in the show, we'll turn our attention to the race. I'm proud to be here in the ARCA RE/MAX Series and I'm extremely excited about the race tomorrow."
PATRICK SHELTRA, NO. 60 CP CONCRETE PRODUCTS, US CONSTRUCTION, FLORAGANICS-BRADY RANCH CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO SS
Patrick Sheltra is on the move.
Entering the Milwaukee Mile fresh off a career-best third place finish at Illinois State Fairgrounds last Sunday, Sheltra enters his Milwaukee debut looking for more.
Despite only competing 15 of the possible 16 races this season, the Florida native currently sits sixth in the championship standings inching in on fellow rookie Phillip McGilton.
Patrick Sheltra will make his 18th career ARCA RE/MAX Series start on Saturday. In his previous 17 starts, Sheltra has collected two top-fives at Berlin Raceway (July 2007) and Illinois State Fairgrounds (August 2007) while holding an additional top-10 at Kentucky Speedway in June.
Sheltra's crew chief John Hayden is a former ARCA RE/MAX Series driver with 10 starts to his credit. Hayden holds a career best finish of third at Nashville Superspeedway in 2002 as his personal best effort.
In practice, the Florida native maneuvered a time of 31.522 seconds equaling a speed of 114.206 MPH positioning himself 17th on the charts.
Sheltra drew the 24th position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"We're loose. I know a lot of the guys are facing a tight problem, but we're the opposite. I'm not worried. The guys are working hard on the Sheltra Motorsports team to give us a good setup for qualifying later this afternoon. This should be a good race tomorrow, but I think track position will be key, so we need to see if we can put our Chevrolet in the top-10 later today. For the race tomorrow, we're itching to beat our third place run from last weekend, so hopefully with a little luck, we'll accomplish that."
BRYAN SILAS, NO. 11 NORTRAX, SHELL ROTELLA T, HOLLAND PUMP,
PALM BEACH GRADING (PBG) CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO
Fresh off making his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) debut at Bristol Motor Speedway earlier this week; Bryan Silas turns all of his concentration towards his second career start at The Milwaukee Mile Sunday.
Rewinding back to last August, Silas started the event ninth and ran a very clean and competitive race before logging a 20th place finish. This year, with 16 races already under his belt and three top-10 finishes, Silas turns to "The Magic Mile" for a career best finish.
Heading into Milwaukee, Silas has 22 ARCA RE/MAX Series starts to his credit with a career best finish of eighth at Salem Speedway (April 2007) and Kentucky Speedway (July 2007) while holding an additional top-10 performance at USA International Speedway (March 2007). He holds a career best short track time trials effort of seventh at Berlin Raceway (July 2007). A fourth place qualifying effort at Pocono Raceway (June 2007) is Silas's best speedway run to date. He has controlled the ARCA field for 15 laps in one race.
Driving for two-time ARS champion Andy Hillenburg, Silas sits ninth in the championship standings heading into the 17th race of the season.
Silas, a native of Stuart, Florida posted the 14th fastest time with an effort of 31.413 seconds equaling a speed of 114.602 MPH.
Silas drew the 12th position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"We're tight. I need some rotation in the center of the corner. But we are in excellent shape for race runs, so I'm looking forward to the race tomorrow. I think track position is critical at a track like The Milwaukee Mile. I have a good feeling about qualifying later today, if we can start inside the top-12; I think we'll be able to position ourselves in the top-10 early and stay there. Over 100 representatives of Nortrax will be on hand tomorrow, so I would like to have a good showing for them and my team. I think we can do it."
BILLY TANNER, NO. 07 CHEAPCARIBBEAN.COM CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO SS
Showing his true potential last weekend at Illinois State Fairgrounds, Billy Tanner comes to The Milwaukee Mile revived and ready to score his first top-10 finish of the 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series season.
Driving for Stott Classic Racing and car owner Corrie Stott, Tanner will make his 10th career start in the ARCA RE/MAX Series on Sunday afternoon.
Ramo Stott, father of car owner Corrie Stott will serve as the Grand Marshall for Sunday's event.
Sitting seventh on ARCA's all-time race winner's list with 27 checkered flags is Keokuk, Iowa's Ramo Stott. In addition to his many victories, Stott drove to back-to-back ARCA series championships in 1970 and '71 driving a winged Plymouth Superbird, which will be at The Milwaukee Mile on display and rolling at the head of the field on a parade lap prior to the start of the 17th ARCA event of the season.
Tanner's No. 07 entry is sponsored by CheapCaribbean.com. CheapCaribbean.com is owned by COMM Group, Inc (Customer Oriented Marketing and Management Group) which provides wholesale and direct to consumer distribution of vacation packages, resort reservations, and cruises worldwide to Bermuda, the Caribbean, and Mexico, servicing over 250,000 passengers per year.
In practice, the Pennsylvania native maneuvered a time of 32.970 seconds equaling a speed of 109.190 MPH positioning himself 31st on the charts.
Tanner drew the sixth position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"We're tight. I can't get through the corners like I want. We made some adjustments from practice and we'll see where we end up. I have to give a lot of credit to my guys on the Stott Classic Racing team, they never give up! This is a big race for us tomorrow and I think with a little luck we can produce the same type of run we did last weekend at Springfield."
-credit: chris knight