Michael Simko Aiming To Master Toledo Toledo, Ohio - - As the ARCA RE/MAX Series slowly draws to a close, Michael Simko returns to his racing roots of Toledo Speedway looking to turn a mediocre season into victory lane ...
Michael Simko Aiming To Master Toledo
Toledo, Ohio - - As the ARCA RE/MAX Series slowly draws to a close, Michael Simko returns to his racing roots of Toledo Speedway looking to turn a mediocre season into victory lane celebration Friday night.
Simko this season has competed in four events rolling into the .5 mile oval this weekend. Starting off the season at Toledo Speedway in May, followed by Lowes Motor Speedway, Michigan International Speedway, and Kentucky Speedway the results have been mixed.
After qualifying a career best sixth at Toledo, Simko wasn't able to recover from an incidental spin during the race and finished a disappointing 16th.
A week later, Simko rallied back to collect his first and only top-ten of the season thus far at Lowes Motor Speedway, where he mastered his No. 75 to claim tenth.
In his hometown race at Michigan International Speedway misfortune struck again. While battling with longtime ARCA competitor Jerry Glanville for a position inside the top-ten, the two made contact washing away hopes for another competitive finish. He finished 20th.
In July, his latest venue in the series, Simko started his Chevrolet 16th before rallying to an 11th place finish at the 1.5 mile oval at Kentucky Speedway.
Returning to the series after a two-month hiatus, the second generation driver is ready to return to the short tracks, and ready to do it in a big way.
"We're really looking forward to Toledo, as we always do. In the spring race, we qualified exceptionally well but didn't fare too well in the race. This Friday we hope to qualify as well, perhaps better, and be a front running car all night," stated the driver of the No. 75 Mound Steel & Supplies Chevrolet Monte Carlo.
Michael is just one of several ARCA drivers who have recently tested at ARCA's home track in preparation for one of the toughest brawls of the season. "We did one qualifying run and it was better than our spring race time, so that was great to see. So we feel confident going in again, but this time we feel like we have everything figured out, and we really feel that even though there is some stout competition in the field, we can come out with a solid finish," continued the steelworker by trade.
Calling the shots from the pits is Michael's father, Dave. Dave Simko, a former competitor in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, and the now NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, hopes to maneuver his son through one of the most exciting events of the season and propel this limited schedule team into victory lane for the first time.
"Having my dad as the crew chief is a real beneficiary," said the former late model driver. "My dad knows what he's doing, the communication is there, and I think if we have some luck on our side, we can march our way to the top very soon."
Joining Mound Steel & Supplies as sponsors for Friday's night showdown include Diamond Racing, and Expert Collision. "A huge thanks to all my sponsors," continued Michael.
"They have stuck behind us, and I hope that we're able to give them something to cheer about Friday night, hopefully in victory circle."
Following Toledo, the Auburn Racing team won't be able to enjoy the long-holiday weekend as they have to quickly return to the shop and prepare their Superspeedway car for Chicagoland Speedway, which will take place a week from Saturday. The ARCA RE/MAX Series is in the midst of completing three events in eight days. The teams will compete at Toledo Friday night, head to Duquoin for Monday's Labor Day event, to be concluded in the "Windy City" teaming up with the Indy Racing League.
"We're pumped about Chicagoland," stated the driver. "We've had a good Superspeedway car all year. I know we'll have the same next Saturday."
The Hantz Group 200 is the 18th of 22 events on the 2004 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule. The teams will endure another one-day show this Friday, September 3rd. Practice is on tap Friday afternoon beginning at 1:00pm, with qualifying scheduled that afternoon starting at 4:00pm with the race set to take the green flag that night shortly after 8:00pm EST. The Speed Channel will broadcast the race live with coverage beginning at 8:00pm EST.