Phillip McGilton To Test In Daytona; Preparing For ARCA '07 Opener
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla (Thursday, December 14, 2006) - - In an effort to strengthen their program for the 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series season, Phillip McGilton (pronounced McJilton) and his SI Performance Motorsports team have elected to participate in the final testing session of the 2006 season from Daytona International Speedway this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
McGilton will return to the ARCA RE/MAX Series next season on the heels of a successful limited schedule this year. The team competed in six events posting one top-ten at Kansas Speedway with several solid performances following. The team also prevailed as a strong qualifying team easily earning them a berth to compete in the events.
McGilton will utilize this weekend's testing session in an effort to become more familiar with restrictor plate racing while also learning the characteristics of the 2.5-mile Superspeedway, the first of 23 events on the 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series calendar.
The team attempted to make their restrictor plate debut in the Food World 250 at Talladega Superspeedway this October. After posting very fast and competitive lap times in a brand new Chevrolet, a mechanical failure in qualifying forced the team to end their weekend early and regroup for this weekend's activities.
"It's a shame what happened at Talladega, but we're ready for Daytona," recalled McGilton. "My team has been working very hard to make our Chevrolet Monte Carlo even stronger than it was at Talladega and I believe we'll have something that is capable of winning. I'm really excited."
A huge field of teams and cars is expected for this weekend's venue, but McGilton sees the test as a chance to get familiar with the draft and learn the track, something he feels will benefit him when the series returns to the Florida track in February.
"The draft is so huge in these races," McGilton explained. "I was able to draft a little bit at Talladega but nothing under race conditions. I know that ARCA won't let us draft right away this weekend, but when they do, we'll be in the mix. I've seen Daytona, but never had the opportunity to compete on it. This weekend it will be another track I can add to my resume, it's really an exciting feeling."
He continued, "Daytona is a lot different from Talladega. Daytona is not going to be as smooth as Talladega was so the comfort level will be night and day. The track isn't as long as Talladega, so there's a whole bunch of small things that make it a completely different track. Luckily, both tracks have the same features that allow us to use the same types of cars and engines."
"We're looking to shake down our car and see how our lap times level off in both single car runs and in the draft. We're going to have to make the Daytona race on time, so we'll concentrate on our qualifying setup a lot this weekend. The tests are meant for trial and error. I'm sure we're going to be doing a lot of that this weekend, I think when we leave on Sunday we'll be feeling much better about February."
The Daytona ARCA 200 will serve as the first of a minimum of eight ARCA RE/MAX Series races the SI Performance Motorsports team will run in 2007. The team expects to compete in several different superspeedways while eliminating the short tracks, a change from their 2006 plans.
SI Performance and Gould's Electric will return as the team's sponsors next season.