Humble Texas ARCA Rookie Stephan McCurley Right at Home at Mansfield MANSFIELD OH (6-15-09) - When the ARCA RE/MAX Series heads to Mansfield Motorsports Park for the next event on tour - the inaugural Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA RE/MAX 200...
Humble Texas ARCA Rookie Stephan McCurley Right at Home at Mansfield
MANSFIELD OH (6-15-09) - When the ARCA RE/MAX Series heads to Mansfield Motorsports Park for the next event on tour - the inaugural Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA RE/MAX 200 Saturday June 20 - Humble Texas rookie Stephan McCurley will be a long way from home. Although, it may feel more like home compared to the rest of the schedule.
"Looks like I'm going to be able to test at Mansfield if everything goes good," said the 18-year-old driver, who's planning to test at the Mansfield, Ohio short-track Monday, June 15th.
While testing for some is common place on the ARCA RE/MAX Series tour, it's certainly not for McCurley who has so far tested, not at all. "You think being a rookie is tough, try it with no testing. "All my testing's been in practice, which here lately has been getting rained out a lot. In reality, my test is the race, and that's a heck of a time to try and figure things out."
At Pocono, McCurley got neither the opportunity to practice or test. Unfortunately, he lost a motor in practice, then another early in the race.
Even without practice at Salem - again from a blown engine - McCurley started in the back row and drove up into the top-five before a lapped car drove him up into the wall ending his great run prematurely.
"I mean, I never stepped into an ARCA car before Salem........shook the car down for five or 10 laps, made some small adjustments, then the motor let go. We changed motors, started at the backend and worked from there. One thing about starting in the back, you can only go forward from there."
While the team hasn't had the resources to run the top-five on the superspeedways, on the short-tracks it's been a completely different story where McCurley has been very impressive - like at Toledo where he finished a career-best 11th on very little practice.
"Toledo is an awesome track. Honestly, it only took me about five laps to get the hang of things there. I'll be ready when we go back."
And that's been the story so far for McCurley - show up at a track he's never seen before, climb into a car he's never tested before, and race against ARCA's finest, some of which are well-funded to boot.
"Yah, we've had to pretty-much suck it up wherever we go. One of the reasons you see us making so many pitstops early in these races is because we're still trying to get the handle right. But by doing that, you get way behind. Most I've had in practice anywhere has been 20 laps. A lot of my practice has been on the phone asking questions. It's kind of crazy really.
"All these tracks are new to me, although some I feel right at home - like Salem, but not so much the speedways. I'm used to tracks like Salem; I grew up on short-tracks like Salem, so I feel more at home on those tracks. Mansfield will be the first race in the ARCA Series where I will get the opportunity to test.
"As well as we ran at Salem and Toledo without testing, or practice, let's just say I'm pretty excited for Mansfield. For the first time, I feel like I'll have a fighting chance.
"As for the speedways, I'm still getting used to these mile-and-a-half tracks. It's all new to me. Biggest thing on the speedways for me was learning when to get in the gas pedal and when to search for the brakes. The speedways definitely have their own feel. But I am really looking forward to going back to Kentucky, because I've been there before." And the same will be true for Mansfield where McCurley will have already tested. Considering how well he performed at Salem and Toledo with no testing and very little practice, he just may have that fighting change at Mansfield.
The ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series will join the ARCA RE/MAX Series for the same-day double-header at Mansfield.
Raceday features an action-packed day of activity with ARCA Truck practice from 1:30 to 2:30 followed by RE/MAX Series practice from 2:30 to 4:00. Qualifying for the Trucks is at 4:15 followed by RE/MAX Series qualifying (Menard Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell) at 5:00. The fan-friendly affair also features an on-track autograph session from 6:00 to 6:45. Racing gets underway at 7:00 with the 50-lap ARCA Lincoln Welders 50 Truck Series event followed by the grand finale - the Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA RE/MAX 200 mile race, set for 8:30 PM.
ARCA Racing Network to Broadcast All Day at Mansfield The ARCA Racing Network will be covering all the on-track activity for both the ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series and the ARCA RE/MAX Series from Mansfield. Listen and watch live streaming audio and video of practice, qualifying and both races at ARCAracing.com inside the ARCA Nation.