Stamford, New York's Michael Jacobs is continuing his transition from sports car racing to stock car racing. He attempted two NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series races at the end of the 2003 season, and will take the next step in ...
Stamford, New York's Michael Jacobs is continuing his transition from sports car racing to stock car racing. He attempted two NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series races at the end of the 2003 season, and will take the next step in February when he will run in the Advanced Discount Auto Parts 200, the season opening race for the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) RE/MAX Series.
The 200-mile race, held at the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway, will go green at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, February 7, and will be televised live on SpeedTV.
Jacobs, who has participated in the Rolex 24-hour race for sports and prototype cars fourteen times, got his first laps on the oval in a stock car when he practiced his No. 14 Gaeta Development Chevrolet in a mid-December test session. In that test, he recorded a fast lap of 51.309 seconds (175.414 MPH).
The test asked a lot of Jacobs' team, as an engine failure on Friday meant lengthy repairs made on Saturday, and he did not get onto the track until Sunday. But out of that trouble came offers of help and equipment from two established teams, and along with that, he got some useful advice that will pay off when he returns to Daytona to begin practice on February 4th.
"Bobby Gerhart's team loaned us an engine, and the Hendrick Motorsports crew helped by providing motor mounts as well as giving us a lot of advice," Jacobs said.
"They said we needed a different exhaust for a restrictor plate motor, the exhaust we had was too big piping, and you need smaller piping because restrictor plate motors need back pressure to run well. We also got some advice on transmissions as well as some aerodynamic tips. Each of these changes should be good for two or three tenths of a second, so when we come back we should be able to run better.
"The two crews were exceptionally helpful, and I extend my appreciation for taking the time to help," Jacobs continued. He also thanked Tommy Houston and the Sutton Stock Car School, which will provide him with a lightened transmission for the race.
The 55-year old driver noted that driving the oval in a stock car is significantly different than driving on Daytona's road course in a sports prototype.
"It's a big adjustment, the speed is pretty constant as opposed to having to slow down and speed up, while turning both left and right," he said. "On the oval, you have to have a good line, and you have to be more precise in running the right line."
Jacobs' ARCA debut at Daytona is just the start of what will be a busy 2004 racing season, as he anticipates running a full NASCAR Busch North schedule in addition to the ARCA RE/MAX Series.