Michigan: Jim Hollenbeck race notes

Michigan Frustrating For Hollenbeck Brooklyn, Michigan - - Jim Hollenbeck turned promising lap times in the Michigan International Speedway open ARCA RE/MAX Series test session last month, leaving his rookie team heading to the two-mile track...

Michigan Frustrating For Hollenbeck

Brooklyn, Michigan - - Jim Hollenbeck turned promising lap times in the Michigan International Speedway open ARCA RE/MAX Series test session last month, leaving his rookie team heading to the two-mile track this weekend looking to go faster, and show impression. Little did the team know, there weekend would be full of obstacles.

For the first time in his young ARCA RE/MAX Series career, Jim scored backing for the 100 lap/200 mile event from Experimental & Applied Sciences, Inc. (EAS).

EAS 0x0964ucates and inspires its customers to live a healthier, more fulfilling lifestyle through exercise and science-based nutrition products. EAS is a leading marketer of products that provide complete nutrition to help every type of consumer, from elite athletes to health-conscious adults, improve their health and fitness.

In two races (Michigan & Chicagoland) with EAS as the primary sponsor, the Myoplex logos will be plastered on Hollenbeck's Ford Taurus. EAS Myoplex, designed for fitness enthusiasts who are serious about improving their bodies, is sold in health food and category specialty stores. This product provides high-quality protein and nutrients designed to support an active lifestyle.

The team's struggle started in the first practice session for the Flagstar 200, where the team was battling a clutch problem, which caused Hollenbeck, a Kalamazoo Michigan native to turn the 35th fastest time with a time of 44.520 seconds or 161.725 MPH. "This is not the way we wanted to start out weekend," said Hollenbeck, who was attempting to make his Speedway debut. "I think we'll have the problem fixed for the morning practice session."

In deed, the clutch problem was fixed, but another problem arose with the carburetor. The EAS Racing team was battling a fuel pressure problem, which was not giving Hollenbeck the proper amount of RPMS to turn fast laps around the dreaded fast MIS track. In the last practice session before qualifying, Hollenbeck improved on Thursday's session turning a lap of 42.249 seconds transferring to a speed of 170.,418 MPH. "We're improving, but we should be a lot faster, we have to pick it up for qualifying, that's the bottom line."

The Hollenbeck Motorsports team continued to work on the carburetor problem strongly believing they corrected the problem prior to time trials, leaving the rest up to Hollenbeck.

In time trials, Jim steered the No. 2 EAS Myoplex Ford Taurus to a time of 41.583 seconds equaling 173.148 MPH, nearly one-second faster than morning practice. His lap was 35th fastest. 34 machines made the field on time, leaving Hollenbeck frustrated, knowing he had more on the table. "I messed up on the last lap, I really should have ran it deeper, but we did the best we could."

The team waited anxiously to see if they were eligible for a provisional, thanks to teaming up for Hixson Motorsports for the event. Unfortunately, the team missed the provisional and were forced to pack up their EAS machine, missing the field for Saturday's event.

"This really is unfortunate," said a disappointed Hollenbeck. "We had a lot of problems and minimal practice time, that really hurt us, If we did not have so many problems we would have easily been in the starting grid. I really hate for our sponsor EAS, they don't deserve this, but we'll look to make this up to them later this year."

The team will return to their racing roots at Berlin Raceway on Independence weekend behind the wheel of the No. 38 Spectra Contracting Ford Taurus. The team is vigorously working on finding sponsorship for that race, and others.

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Series ARCA