Jake Francis Produces 12th In ARCA Debut "17-Year Happy With Milwaukee Mile Finish" WEST ALLIS, Wisconsin (August, 28r007) - - Jake Francis knew that Sunday's Governor's Cup 200 was a day to make a name for himself. And in all respect, he thinks...
Jake Francis Produces 12th In ARCA Debut
"17-Year Happy With Milwaukee Mile Finish"
WEST ALLIS, Wisconsin (August, 28r007) - - Jake Francis knew that Sunday's Governor's Cup 200 was a day to make a name for himself. And in all respect, he thinks he did. After qualifying mid-pack, Francis wheeled his No. 61 Dodge Intrepid to a solid top-15 finish.
It was a busy week for Francis and his Francis Racing team leading up to the Milwaukee Mile. The team was bringing a Dodge Intrepid that had been fielded by ST2 Motorsports and driven by Chevy White. With Francis studying the background of the car, he knew he had a solid piece for the Magic Mile.
Knowing that he was virtually locked into the field, Francis wanted to use the only practice session of the weekend to dial in his Dodge and gather a comfortable setup that would award his team during ARCA SIM Factory pole qualifying.
In practice, Francis maneuvered a lap of 32.432 seconds transferring to a speed of 111.001 MPH putting the team 25th on the rundown overall.
"We're tight, but good. We're going to change the gear and springs in our Dodge Intrepid and we should be good to go. I'm really proud of everyone on the team. We were one of the first teams out on the track in practice and we managed just fine. Our goal for qualifying is inside the top-20, and then we'll worry about the race. I'm just glad to be apart of this big weekend at The Milwaukee Mile."
Prior to practice, Francis drew an early number for ARCA SIM Factory pole qualifying. He wasn't sure how that would affect his qualifying run, but Francis vowed to his team not to hold anything back.
During his time trials effort, Francis mounted a lap of 31.334 seconds at 114.891 landing him 23rd on the starting grid. The Ohio native picked up over a second from his practice effort giving the rookie something to smile about.
"The guys did a good job," said Francis. "We made some significant changes from practice and they worked. I have a strong feeling about the race, if I can just stay patient and avoid any trouble, we should be able to reel in a good finish."
At the start of the Governor's Cup 200, Francis hovered comfortably inside the top-25. Playing a conservative role during the first five laps, Francis wanted to make sure he had a car that was capable of roaring to the front.
When the first caution flag waived on lap 10, Francis had moved into the 20th position. Francis radioed to his crew that the car was a little tight but drivable.
Despite not having the perfect racecar, Francis continued to climb in the running order and maintain respectable lap times.
The team opted to make a pit stop shortly after the first quarter of the race slapping on four new Hoosier tires, adding Sunoco Racing fuel before adding an adjustment to try and improve the handling of Francis's automobile.
The changed work as during the first half-of the event, he had stormed into 18th, which is where Francis will hold for the first-half.
During the second half of the event, Francis remained solid, staying comfortably in the top-20 before making a charge towards the top-15 inside 65 laps remaining.
Continuing to play conservative and attrition firing up, Francis will tally up again through the running order to cross the line 12th in his ARCA RE/MAX Series debut.
"This is the type of run I was looking for," said Francis. "We had a good day, very clean day. A top-10 would have been great, but I'll settle for a top-12. I want to thank all of my guys and our sponsors for making this debut possible. I think we turned some heads and hopefully this won't be the last time you see me on the schedule this season."
Plans are in the works for Francis to compete in the final two short track events at Salem Speedway and Toledo Speedway behind the wheel for a very respected car owner.