Michigan: Michael Simko preview

Brooklyn, Michigan - - To say that Michael Simko isn't looking forward to Saturday's Flagstar 200 at Michigan International Speedway is a big understatement. He'll head to his hometown track looking to capitalize on his last ARCA event at Lowes...

Brooklyn, Michigan - - To say that Michael Simko isn't looking forward to Saturday's Flagstar 200 at Michigan International Speedway is a big understatement. He'll head to his hometown track looking to capitalize on his last ARCA event at Lowes Motor Speedway where he crossed the line tenth.

The Clarkston, Michigan native will look to make his second career start at the two-mile Superspeedway during time trials on Friday. In last year's event, this "young gun" finished 14th, after qualifying a disappointing 25th. The Auburn Racing team will look to accelerate past those results and have an impressive weekend in front of NASCAR's premier series.

"Last year was my first race at MIS, it wasn't anything to shout about, but we were solid, I learned a lot, however we're looking for better results this weekend," said a positive Michael Simko.

Simko, a steelworker by trade will arrive Thursday morning with the same Chevrolet Monte Carlo he raced at Lowes Motor Speedway last month. After a fumble in time trials, Simko started the event in 24th, patiently worked his way through the tough and competitive field to score their fifth top-ten finish in 11 events.

"We're really looking forward to MIS. We're taking the same car we went to Lowe's with and ran pretty well there with it. Being that it was our first time racing that car ever and also our first time ever at Lowe's, it really gives a big boost of confidence for the whole team," said the nephew of veteran ARCA RE/MAX Series owner/driver Bob Schacht.

Much like Lowes Motor Speedway, the team tested at the famed "Irish Hills" based track with some disappointing results. "The test didn't go as well as we had hoped, but we know we'll be a lot stronger come race week," he explained.

Simko, a second-generation driver will also welcome back Diamond Racing as a sponsor of his No. 75 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Diamond Racing will share co-primary sponsorship with Mound Steel and Supplies, a longtime supporter of Simko's racing career. "We're really happy about getting some help from Diamond Racing for this race. Sponsorships are really hard to come by and any help we get is very greatly appreciated," continued the avid late model competitor.

The goals of the ARCA RE/MAX Series driver are pretty simple, be a contender. "Our goals for the Flagstar 200 are hopefully to be a contender. We feel confident that we can be a top 10 car in practice and qualifying. Then in the race it's always the same, keep the nose clean and be there at the end," Simko explained.

Following Michigan International Speedway, the Auburn Racing team will reevaluate their program and choose their next event for battle. The team is actively seeking sponsorship for the remainder of the 2004 ARCA season, while looking ahead to 2005. Sponsorship inquires are encouraged to contact Auburn Racing at chippr2310@aol.com or 248-431-0111

The Flagstar 200 is the ninth of 22 events on the 2004 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule. First round practice is on tap Thursday afternoon, while second round practice and qualifying are on the agenda this Friday, June 18th with the race set to take the green flag Saturday, June 19th. The Speed Channel will not broadcast the race live, but will have tape-delayed same day coverage starting at 8:00pm EST.

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Series ARCA
Drivers Bob Schacht