Picking up Steam, Rolling into Charlotte (Auburn, GA) It's the time of the race season that most drivers look forward to the most, a ten week marathon comprising of 8 races and many hours on the road. The ARCA series has run only five races...
Picking up Steam, Rolling into Charlotte
(Auburn, GA) It's the time of the race season that most drivers look forward to the most, a ten week marathon comprising of 8 races and many hours on the road. The ARCA series has run only five races thus far. But with school being out and summer almost officially here, the series begins a stretch that will probably determine the outcome of the championship.
The key to survival of the next two months is preparation. And preparation has been the focus of the Mark Gibson Racing team since the season began back in February.
"This is going to be a rough stretch," Mark Gibson, owner and driver said. "It is a lot of travel and a lot of races. We've been working on preparing our cars for these eight or nine races so that hopefully, we won't have to thrash so much. Our new car had a great run at Kentucky, so we'll run it this week and probably at Kansas. Katie should be ready for Pocono and Michigan. And our short track car from Toledo doesn't have a scratch. It's sitting there ready for South Boston."
"We have acquired several additional cars in the off season and have them race ready," Gibson said. "It was really hard last year, having to take our speedway car as backup to most of the races. Katie took a hard lick at Nashville and we have her put back together. We should be able to take her as our backup car to Kansas. You never know, we may try to run her there."
Gibson acknowledges that even the best of plans can go awry very quickly due to unforeseen incidents. The team has a goal of solid top ten finishes through out the remainder of the season. And as competitive as they have been thus far, a win can't be out of the question.
"Sure we want to win," Gibson said. "Nobody races for second. As the driver, I have to focus on taking care of the race car. As a team, we are trying to focus more on our points situation and keep in mind that a solid top ten performance will attain the goals we set at the beginning of the season. "
Gibson has compiled three top ten finishes in the last three races including 3rd place at Kentucky and 5th at Toledo. The indisputable veteran of the series currently leads all other active drivers with 263 starts. In his three decades of competition in the ARCA series he has 50 top five and 98 top ten finishes.
"We consider this series our home," Gibson said. "We wouldn't be opposed to running an occasional race in another series. But the ARCA series allows us a better balance of family life. We will have to race really hard the next eight or nine weeks. We'll put in a lot of hours, too. But overall, when our schedule winds down in October, we're able to do more with our families and participate in our kids school activities."