ARCA Drivers Turn Right At New Jersey Motorsports Park Eddie Sharp Racing Drivers, Others Test In Preparation for the September 11-13 Event Millville, N.J. (August 4, 2009) - Five ARCA RE/MAX Series teams spent Tuesday on New Jersey Motorsports...
ARCA Drivers Turn Right At New Jersey Motorsports Park
Eddie Sharp Racing Drivers, Others Test In Preparation for the September 11-13 Event
Millville, N.J. (August 4, 2009) - Five ARCA RE/MAX Series teams spent Tuesday on New Jersey Motorsports Park's 12-turn, 2.25-mile Thunderbolt Raceway in preparation for the September 11-13 race at the South Jersey facility. The New Jersey Motorsports Park stop, round 18 of 21 on series schedule, is the lone road course on the schedule, typically full of oval races.
Eddie Sharp Racing's Patrick Sheltra, Tim George, Jr., and Craig Goess, Justin Allgaier Motorsport's Robb Brent, and Venturini Motorsports' Mark Thompson each turned laps around New Jersey Motorsports Park throughout the day, chasing last year's pole time of 1:22.266 set by Andy Lally. While very few laps came on brand new tires and no official times were recorded, each team seemed happy with the day - and every driver is looking forward to a return appearance in September.
Turning left and right has presented a challenge that the ARCA RE/MAX Series drivers, despite large disparities in road racing experience, are eager to take on.
"This is only my second road course race, and they've both been here," said Sheltra, who sits 8th in the ARCA RE/MAX standings. "You can come here and spend a whole day learning lines and talking to Michael McDowell (who was on hand as a driver coach) and try to figure everything out. We want to get the car working right, or at least the way I feel it should be right. We've got a decent car, and want to come here and try to finish the race. To be in the top-10 or top-5 would be awesome."
Brent, on the other hand, began his career as a road racer and is eager to get back to it.
"Right out of the box, this feels like home to me," Brent said. "It's been a while, and I love it out there. It's just like a video game, there's constantly stuff to work on. Ovals are great, but with 11 or 12 corners here there's always something else. I think the advantage that I'll have is to stay calmer under pressure, since I've done that before. Hopefully that means I'll be more consistent."
New Jersey Motorsports Park is quickly becoming a favorite of the stock car drivers, who expect good, close racing when the full field of drivers and teams return.
"It's my first time here," Brent continued. "I've been to a lot of great tracks around the country and New Jersey Motorsports Park is right up there. It keeps getting better every time they build something. It's really clean out there, the track is really smooth, and there's a lot of runoff. You can feel confident pushing hard because you know if you step off, you're not going to go right into the wall. It's got some forgiveness, which is nice, and provides for better racing because people will take more chances."
Goess, coming off a career-best third place finish at Pocono, was pleased with his first visit to South Jersey.
"This is a great facility," Goess said. "Everybody here has taken care of us really well, everything is clean. The track is in great shape. It's getting hot now this afternoon so it's lost some grip that it had this morning. We're just trying to get comfortable in the car."
And series veteran Sheltra has noticed the continued improvements to the facility, which just passed its one-year anniversary.
"There's grass here now!" Sheltra joked. "Last year it was all mud. This is a very nice facility, and what they've done to this place is only going to make it better and better. People really need to come out here and see it, it's an awesome place."
The ARCA RE/MAX Series returns for their second race in as many seasons at New Jersey Motorsports Park September 11-13, with support events including the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup powered by a clean diesel engine.
Tickets for the ARCA RE/MAX Series race at New Jersey Motorsports Park are available at www.njmp.com or by calling 856-327-7217. Children 12 and under are admitted free to all events at New Jersey Motorsports Park.