Talladega: Andy Belmont Racing race report

Andy Belmont Racing Soars Into Spotlight With Top-Three At Talladega TALLADEGA, Alabama (October 8, 2007) - - Andy Belmont knew that all of his team's hard work would eventually pay off. It did in a huge way in last Friday's ARCA RE/MAX 250 at...

Andy Belmont Racing Soars Into Spotlight With Top-Three At Talladega

TALLADEGA, Alabama (October 8, 2007) - - Andy Belmont knew that all of his team's hard work would eventually pay off. It did in a huge way in last Friday's ARCA RE/MAX 250 at Talladega Superspeedway as rookie Dominick Casola wheeled the familiar No. 1 Ford Fusion to a stout third place finish, after running in the top three for some fifty laps.

The finish was a career best for Casola and a season best for the Andy Belmont Racing (ABR) team. Belmont's previous best finish at Talladega Superspeedway came as both a driver and owner which saw the Pennsylvania native record an eighth place finish in 2000, on the way to one of five straight top ten championship points finishes.

The team spent two days testing at the 2.666-mile speedway the week before the 22nd event of the season and the entire organization credits the intense two day test led by veterans ofARCA and NASCAR crew chief Jeff McClureand Andy Belmont,to the success of the team at 'Dega last Friday. "The entire crew have worked from seven in the morning 'til midnight for the last few months," states Andy Belmont. "I couldn't be more proud of this group of people; we have improved in every area."

"I'm still feeling pretty good," said Belmont, who owns the No. 1 and No. 62 in ARCA competition. "I've been working very hard all season long to put this team into contention week in and week out and I think after Friday's finish we really made a statement. I want to thank Jeff McClure. This has been the third time Jeff has worked with us, we kind of know each other fairly well. He put an endless amount of hours into the cars and I can't thank him enough for his efforts."

Belmont continued, "Dominick did a great job during the race. I have to admit we were a little disappointed with our qualifying effort, we fully expected to qualify in the top ten, but we knew we had a rocket ship for the race. With the help of Jeff and my wife Jennifer spotting on the top and a little coaching from me, we all attracted what we were looking for."

He added, "We worked extremely hard on that racecar. It's one of the best restrictor plate cars we've ever had in our fleet at Andy Belmont Racing. We've proven over the second half of the season that this team is the real deal and I guarantee this car is capable of the same type of performance at Daytona in February."

When asked if the ARCA race would have been extended to a 300-miler ARCA event which Belmont was accustomed to do when he competed at Talladega, he noted, "We had a car that could have won the race. We needed a little help, but I honestly felt an extra 50 miles would have provided our driver and team with a tick more experience to go for the victory, but it was definitely a great ARCA finish for the fans."

With just one race remaining on the 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule at Toledo Speedway next Sunday afternoon, Belmont knows they are going into the half-mile oval full force gunning for the win.

"Toledo has always been favorite track of mine," said Belmont, who holds a career best finish of second at Toledo in 2001. "We've run well there in the past and I know that we're going to give Dominick a good car and we can be in contention to notch our second straight top five finish if not a win. The actual key is to beat my buddy Andy Hillenburg so he owes me another pizza."

Building ahead to 2008, Belmont is confident no matter who is driving that he can put his team in victory lane and in contention for the championship.

"We've been able toshow measurable results this year," continued Belmont. "We've been focusing on building this team up into championship status. We have had great support from Roush Fenway Racing, Ford and Roush-Yates engines. The door is open for us to continue tofield a very competitive ride for the 2008 season. I am looking forward to it."

-credit: abr

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Andy Belmont , Andy Hillenburg , Dominick Casola