ARCA RE/MAX Series Drivers Stancill, Logano, Braun Top Talladega Testers on Wednesday Afternoon TALLADEGA AL (9-17-08)--A late afternoon six car draft propelled Ben Stancill to the top of the speed charts during an ARCA Open Test at Talladega ...
ARCA RE/MAX Series Drivers Stancill, Logano, Braun Top Talladega Testers on Wednesday Afternoon
TALLADEGA AL (9-17-08)--A late afternoon six car draft propelled Ben Stancill to the top of the speed charts during an ARCA Open Test at Talladega Superspeedway on Wednesday afternoon. Stancill, in a No. 48 TRG Motorsports Chevrolet, grouped with Venturini Motorsports teammates Joey Logano and Brian Scott, Roush Fenway Racing teammates Colin Braun and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Larry Hollenbeck to break into the 51-second range.
"I've never been on a track bigger than Chicagoland and even when I went to Chicagoland this year that was the first time I had been on a track of that size," said Stancill, who finished sixth in the Chicagoland ARCA 200 on September 6th. "We were a lot better than everyone else when we were out front. We have some more stuff that we wanted to try out in terms of qualifying setups so we will be back here tomorrow. I'm really excited to be partnered up with TRG. They are a new team and I think that if we stick together we will go far. We work long hours but we seem to get everything done."
In all, 22 teams participated in Wednesday's test session, which consisted of single car runs in the morning and a mixture of single car runs and drafting sessions during the afternoon portion of the full day test. The day included a press conference in the Ken Patterson Media Center with driver's Logano, Ricky Carmichael and Frank Kimmel.
Logano, who has been named as Tony Stewart's replacement in the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2009, won an ARCA RE/MAX Series race in his career first start at Rockingham Speedway earlier this year.
"I came here [Talladega] a long time ago, I think I was 12 or 13," said the 18-year-old Logano. "We drove by and got in a van that took us on a tour of the outside of the track and then we came in and looked around. I think it's kind of cool now to actually get out on the racetrack. I don't think I can lap the field here [like he did at Rockingham in May]. No one is going to be able to dominate this race. You've got to have help here at Talladega. As far as me coming into the Series, I've never raced with a lot of these guys but having Marc [Davis] and Brian [Scott] here that's going to be huge."
Carmichael, in a Kevin Harvick, Inc. Chevrolet, used Wednesday's ARCA Open Test to get acclimated with restrictor plate racing.
"I love watching superspeedway races on TV," said Carmichael. "You've got your guy that is leading and then he's down to 20th and two laps later he's back up to first. I have no drafting experience. Or if I have drafting experience it's whatever drafting you can get at Watkins Glenn or a track like that but that is why we are here today, to get that drafting experience. Obviously I don't want to be the one that triggers the big one, that's for sure. Stay out of harm's way and be sensible with your decisions and do all you can do to be smooth. Just gain respect from people racing that have been doing it for a long time."
Kimmel, the nine-time and defending ARCA RE/MAX Series Champion and 2006 Talladega Superspeedway race winner, also made an appearance in the media center on Wednesday.
"The track is feeling amazing since the re-pavement last year," said Kimmel. "I can't believe how smooth this place is and its staying that smooth. It's just like coming home to race at your typical 2.66-mile superspeedway.
"Getting to win here was big. It's still my only restrictor plate win. I think this year's ARCA RE/MAX 250 is going to be the most competitive race we've had here. I think all year long it's been the most competitive racing we've seen and I think we'll have 20-25 drivers that can win this race."
Stancill was followed on the afternoon test session speed chart by Logano, Braun, Stenhouse, Jr., Scott, Tim George, Jr., Hollenbeck, Carmichael, Davis and Bobby Gerhart. Braun, in a Roush Fenway Racing Ford, was quickest during the Wednesday morning portion of the test session with a 52.001-second lap.
The ARCA Open Test at Talladega continues on Thursday for a second and final day of testing in preparation for the October 3rd ARCA RE/MAX 250 at Talladega Superspeedway.