Ponoco II: Rob Brent race report

Pocono Yields Another Solid Effort For Robb Brent LONG POND, Pennsylvania (August 3, 2009) - - Robb Brent in the No. 36 Orchard Chrysler Dodge Jeep Dodge Charger maneuvered a seventh place finish in this past Saturday's Pennsylvania ARCA 200....

Pocono Yields Another Solid Effort For Robb Brent

LONG POND, Pennsylvania (August 3, 2009) - - Robb Brent in the No. 36 Orchard Chrysler Dodge Jeep Dodge Charger maneuvered a seventh place finish in this past Saturday's Pennsylvania ARCA 200. The effort was the fourth consecutive top-10 finish for the Shelby Township, Michigan native in four starts.

"Pocono is a special place for me," said Brent heading into race weekend. "It's a track that really has been good to me and while it's unique it fits my driving style. It's a track I wish we could race at more often."

Before Brent could shift his focus towards the 13th race of the season, practice would be the primary agenda. During the session, Brent posted the 15th fastest lap overall turning in a lap of 55.912 seconds or 160.967 miles per hour.

[IMAGE]"We're okay but not where we need to be right now," said Brent. "Bob has suggested some changes and I really think it will help us. I don't know if we will get to qualify because the weather is looking iffy, but we'll prepare like we are going to."

Brent's hypotheses proved to be right as Mother Nature rolled into the 2.5-mile oval shortly before 1:00 p.m. local time which drenched the Long Pond oval forcing ARCA officials to cancel Menards Pole by Ansell qualifying. The cancellation would line the team up 14th on the starting grid.

"We've been in this position before and we finished in the top-10, so we'll try it again," Brent explained Friday afternoon.

Improved weather conditions greeted the teams on Saturday morning with the Justin Allgaier Motorsports (JAM) focusing on a hopeful trip to victory circle.

The 13th event of the season kicked off shortly after 1:00 p.m. with Brent quickly making his march towards the lead pack. Picking off three position on the initial start, Brent's march would be halted when the yellow flag waived on lap one.

Back to racing, Brent continued to climb the leader board and had moved into the top-10 by the completion of lap 10.

During the event's first quarter, Brent had marched his way into the sixth position before a long span of green flag racing would force the teams to make pit stop under green flag conditions.

A good pit stop would keep good track position for Brent. The bad news was a yellow flag waived which trapped much of the top-10 cars before one lap off the pace. Vowing never to give up, the JAM found themselves in contention for the Aaron's Lucky Dog. The team took advantage of the free pass on the very next caution which put them back on the lead lap.

A trip back down pit road before the drop of the green flag would offer an opportunity for fuel.

Over the course of the race's second-half, Brent would march his way back into the top-10 and even fend off some hungry competitors during a green-white-checkered finish to cross the line seventh, posting his fifth top-10 effort of 2009.

While the finish was impressive all things considered, the loss of third gear late in the race forced the former road racing ace to play catch-up on the restarts which made his charge back towards the front that more exciting.

"I'm happy, all things considered," said Brent after the race. "We had a pretty good piece. We worked hard on getting the car to turn. We got trapped a lap down in the pits but luckily was at the right place when the caution flew to be the Lucky Dog. I'm proud of the JAM team and happy to put the Orchard Chrysler Dodge Jeep Dodge Charger back in the top-10."

He added, "The loss of third gear really hurt us on the restart. I had to let the traffic go by so we didn't cause a big wreck. Luckily, we had a good car capable of running them back down, but I just wonder what if we had all the gears there at the end, a top-five finish might have been probable. We'll look to accomplish that feat in a couple weeks."

The finish also pushed Brent into the top-10 in the ARCA RE/MAX Series point standings overtaking Eddie Sharp Racing rookie Tim George Jr.

"We're really psyched about moving into the top-10," Brent explained. "This was our biggest goal and we knew we had a challenge especially after Daytona. The goal for the rest of the year is to keep ourselves here and maybe move up the ladder even more."

Washington Township, Michigan based Orchard Chrysler Dodge Jeep will continue it's long-time association with Brent and serve as the primary sponsor on Brent's No. 36 Dodge Charger this weekend. Orchard Chrysler Dodge Jeep has backed Brent since his entrance into racing at the age of 16.

Prior to joining Justin Allgaier Motorsports, Brent participated in the ARCA RE/MAX Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driving for NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski and Brad Keselowski Racing. In his 28 ARCA starts, Brent has acquired two top-five finishes and 10 top-10 efforts. Brent notched his career best qualifying effort of second at Kentucky Speedway last year. He has led the ARCA RE/MAX Series pack twice for 21 laps in 2008. His best finish in the NCWTS occurred at Nashville Superspeedway in his inaugural truck debut where he finished 21st after qualifying 26th.

This season, Brent has five top-10 finishes in 12 starts with a best finish of seventh at Pocono Raceway in June and August. A 15th place qualifying effort at Michigan International Speedway in June is the team's season best thus far.

Next up for the ARCA RE/MAX Series is the first of two stops to the one-mile dirt ovals with the first coming at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois for the running of the Allen Crowe 100 on Sunday, August 23rd.

-credit: rbr

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Brad Keselowski , Justin Allgaier , Robb Brent , Tim George Jr.