Marne, MI (05-25-03) ARCA RE/MAX series rookie Jimmy Hollenbeck returned to the series this past weekend, hoping to prove once again that he can compete in the series. Jimmy returns to the series after a one year hiatus. The team rolled into the...
Marne, MI (05-25-03) ARCA RE/MAX series rookie Jimmy Hollenbeck returned to the series this past weekend, hoping to prove once again that he can compete in the series. Jimmy returns to the series after a one year hiatus.
The team rolled into the .5 mile speedway, just outside of Grand Rapids, Michigan with threaten skies hovering around the track, leaving the team optimistic entering the garage.
The light rain would begin falling just after 11:00am EST, leaving several of the ARCA teams looking for cover as they awaited out the shower. The skies would begin to clear up, allowing the teams to once again begin working on their machines.
"It's been a while since I have competed on the tour, but I am excited to be heading out onto the track," noted Hollenbeck.
Prior to the first and only practice session for the Pork, The Other White Meat 200, presented by Gordon Food Services, the Hollenbeck Motorsports Team had to pass ARCA inspection.
The team was found to have a windshield, that did not meet ARCA requirements, and were forced to make the correct adjustments before being allowed to participate in practice. "They are have been several rules changes in ARCA, since I last completed." The Kalamazoo, MI native mentioned "I understand that these new rules are to protect us, the drivers from anything, we'll make the proper adjustments and prepare for action."
The rain began to fall once again, right before the team were to head on to the track for practice. The rain was welcomed by Jimmy and the team as they could concentrate on finishing the windshield and not be pressed for time.
When the first practice session finally got underway, Hollenbeck driving the No. 83 Spectra Contracting Chevrolet Monte Carlo would have a slight overheating problem at the start of the run. Jimmy drove the car to pit road, the team took some tape off and the problem was corrected.
In the one hour practice session, the former late model driver was able to lock a time of 18.993 seconds which amounted to a speed of 83.020 mph, placing him 26th on the speed charts.
"The car was loose, however I was able to get a feel of the Berlin Raceway and I am confident that we will make the necessary adjustments and be better for qualifying.
The Hollenbeck Motorsports team would receive a huge boost before qualifying, as the entire pit crew of James Hylton Motorsports, dropped by team to see if they could be any assistance. The team spent no time getting to work as they were quickly making changes in order to improve the handling of the car for Jimmy.
"I have to give a special thanks to James Hylton and his team, it just proves that ARCA is a family sport, and for another team to drop over and offer some suggestions it's just remarkable."
The JHM team made some chassis adjustments, as well as some spring adjustments hoping that the car would turn better for the second generation driver. In qualifying, Jimmy attracted a lot of attention after gaining almost a second notching a lap in 18.203 second equaling a speed of 86.623 mph.
"The car was great, we improved a lot from practice, now we head into the race looking just to finish the race in one piece", said Hollenbeck who is scheduled to be married this fall.
The series took the green flag shortly after 9:30pm, with Hollenbeck quickly looking for positions. Hollenbeck reported into crew chief and spotter Greg Sarff the car was a little loose. With an early caution on lap ten for a multi-car accident including Vern Slagh and Brian Conz, Jimmy reported that he was trying to get into a rhtymn and was going to try and stay out of the leaders way as much as possible.
Despite several hiccups, including running out of gas Hollenbeck was able to keep his calm and race with as many competitors that he was able to and crossed the line 26th completing 188 laps of the scheduled 200 circuits.
"It was a good day for the Spectra Contracting Chevrolet team", said Hollenbeck. "We had some problems, but it was a learning experience for the team."
The team which is surrounded by close family members and friends hopes to compete in at least two more events this season frm Springfield, and Salem. Hollenbeck who is also a go-kart winner mentioned "We were able to come out of here in one piece, we'll go home , gather our thoughts and I am sure that we'll be back on the ARCA tour before season's end."