McGilton Heads To Michigan Looking For Rebound BROOKLYN, Mi (August 16, 2006) - - The ARCA RE/MAX Series returns to Michigan International Speedway this week for the second edition of the Hantz Group 200. One of over 40 entries for this Friday's...
McGilton Heads To Michigan Looking For Rebound
BROOKLYN, Mi (August 16, 2006) - - The ARCA RE/MAX Series returns to Michigan International Speedway this week for the second edition of the Hantz Group 200. One of over 40 entries for this Friday's event includes Phillip McGilton and the SI Performance Racing team looking to score their second top-ten finish of the 2006 season in only their fifth race.
McGilton won't arrive at the two-mile oval blindsided as the Illinois native has prior experience in the "Motor City." In June, McGilton made his ARCA RE/MAX Series debut. Turning the 33rd fastest time in practice, McGilton along with crew chief and former ARCA and NASCAR driver Eric Jones knew they needed to pick up the pace for qualifying.
With no provisionals to fall back on, McGilton had to strut his stuff during time trials. Being the first car to roll off that day, a lot of pressure was on the successful businessman by trade. When the final car took the checkered flag, McGilton's lap of 40.989 seconds at 176.657 mph was good enough for 30th on the starting grid.
During the race, McGilton showed patience and concentration. In a race which saw a record amount of green-flag racing, McGilton amassed as a sharp rookie. With McGilton running inside the top-20, his race took a turn for the worse. An unexpected oil line failure underneath the hood of the No. 42 Ford Taurus sent McGilton behind the wall making the correction and sending their rookie driver back into competition.
The remainder of the race was used as a testing session for preparation for this week's race, with McGilton crossing the line 34th. "We battled an ill-handling racecar, I was tight for most of the race and we had a problem with an oil line. That's racing, We made our debut in the ARCA RE/MAX Series and that was a major accomplishment," recalled McGilton.
Since his debut at Michigan, McGilton has competed in three more ARCA RE/MAX Series events at Kansas Speedway, Kentucky Speedway and Nashville Superspeedway. With solid qualifying efforts under his belt at Kansas and Nashville (15th), McGilton rose to fame quickly in ARCA's eyes with a very promising ninth place finish in his second ARCA race at Kansas Speedway.
"Kansas was a great race for the SI Performance team," remarked McGilton. "We were able to unload strong and we were a contender despite being spun out early in the race. This team has the capabilities of running upfront and we proved that, we would like to show our muscle once again Friday night."
Jones and the team will unload the same machine that McGilton soared with at Kansas, but this time around the No. 42 will carry the 2006 Ford Fusion instead of the Ford Taurus. Since Kansas, the team has shipped their automobile off and plastered a new body hoping to aid them in Ford's backyard this week at MIS.
"I'm really excited about running the new Ford Fusion this weekend," continued McGilton. "This will be our first race of the season running the Fusion body and the entire team is really pumped up about it. I really think we'll have an advantage over the other competitors using the Taurus body and that's good for us. We're not guaranteed into the starting field this weekend, so we'll shake our car down early in practice and concentrate on putting our machine into the field."
He continued, "I really think we are going to much faster the second time around. The SI Performance Team has a few races under our belts, I have experience at Michigan International Speedway and the crew is really gelling well. I think a top-20 qualifying effort is feasible and if we can avoid any trouble that may strike, we should produce our second top-ten finish of the season."
SI Performance and Gould's Electric will return as the primary sponsor of the No. 42 Ford Fusion for the second event at Michigan International Speedway this weekend.
Rolling into Michigan, McGilton originally hailing from Ohio has four ARCA RE/MAX Series starts to his resume with a career best finish of ninth at Kansas Speedway (July 2006). He holds a career best superspeedway time trials effort of 15th at Kansas Speedway (July 2006) and Nashville Superspeedway (August 2006).
Following Michigan, the SI Performance Team is scheduled to run in two more ARCA RE/MAX Series events at Chicagoland Speedway (September) and Talladega Superspeedway (October). The team is utilizing the 2006 season to get their feet wet in ARCA competition before pulling together a more intense racing schedule next year.
The Hantz Group 200 (100 laps/200 miles) is the 15th of 23 events on the 2006 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule. Practice begins Thursday, August 17th with a two hour (10:00am-12:00pm EST) session planned. Pork pole qualifying is on tap later that afternoon (3:00pm EST). The race is set to take the green flag Friday evening. SPEED will have live coverage of the event Friday, August 18th beginning at 5:00pm EST. In addition to SPEED, arcaracing.com will have all the latest news and results from the track.