Sheltra Notes Family Importance; News & Notes from the ARCA Racing Series Season Finale at Rockingham (TOLEDO, Ohio) - To close his post-race press conference at Rockingham Speedway Saturday, ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and ...
Sheltra Notes Family Importance; News & Notes from the ARCA Racing Series Season Finale at Rockingham
(TOLEDO, Ohio) - To close his post-race press conference at Rockingham Speedway Saturday, ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards champion Patrick Sheltra welcomed his parents, Richard and Grace, to the media center stage. The senior Sheltras each took the microphone to express their pride before the assembled media, and all three spoke of the importance of winning the series title as a family.
Just hours earlier, on "Inside ARCA," the series' official pre-race show on ARCARacing.com, Sheltra (No. 60 Sheltra Motorsports Toyota) had discussed what it would mean to match the family championship achieved by driver Justin Allgaier and Allgaier Motorsports just two years ago. He reflected that statement with his parents at his side.
"This goes to show that it can be done, that you don't have to have the corporate-backed support of a big team to come in here and win. I'll tell you right now that it's hard to do, but when you've got parents like mine, it makes it easier," Patrick Sheltra said.
Sheltra had the chance to celebrate with the rest of the Sheltra Motorsports organization Saturday night at a party in Mooresville, N.C., and spent Sunday relaxing with friends and team members before an interview on "Wind Tunnel with Dave DeSpain," a weekly SPEED motorsports discussion show, among other media obligations.
"The celebration started at Rockingham, then we drove back to Mooresville and the party officially started at 10 p.m. at SkyBar in Mooresville," Sheltra said. "The team was there, they brought friends, a lot of people stopped by. It was awesome. I think we stopped celebrating that night at like 3:30 a.m."
Sheltra, the first series driver champion from Florida, mentioned that he is already planning for next season and his future motorsports endeavors.
"We're already back to work. We're working hard to keep a Sheltra Motorsports program in the ARCA Racing Series for 2011 while hoping to advance my career somewhere in NASCAR. We're excited about the future," Sheltra said.
Two in a Row: In winning the American 200 presented by Black's Tire and Auto Service, Ty Dillon (No. 41 Richard Childress Racing Development Chevrolet) became the third consecutive driver to close the ARCA Racing Series season with consecutive victories, following Justin Allgaier in 2008 and Parker Kligerman last season. Allgaier won at New Jersey Motorsports Park, Talladega Superspeedway, and Toledo Speedway to clinch the 2008 championship, and Kligerman preceded Dillon in winning at Kansas Speedway and Rockingham.
Before Allgaier, Tim Steele was the last driver to close the season with consecutive victories, winning at Salem, Ind., Winchester, Ind., and Atlanta in 1995. Marv Smith won at Flat Rock (Mich.) Speedway and Corbin (Ky.) Speedway to close the 1981 season.
Dillon, of Lewisville, N.C., also became the second driver this season to win in his home state, following Dakoda Armstrong at Salem.
Career High for Swindell in Return: Kevin Swindell (No. 6 Eddie Sharp Racing Development Toyota) had not driven in an ARCA Racing Series event since 2006, but he made himself at home right away Saturday. Swindell started from the pole and led the first 52 laps before finishing second.
Swindell's previous best finish in the series was 11th at Toledo peedway Sin September 2006.
"We had a really good car. By the first little bit, we could tell we were good. We just had a bad pit stop the first time, and lost a spot, and went the wrong way. I just got behind from there...and that sealed our fate from there. The last time, we got the car where it needed to be, and I was able to drive right through," Swindell said.
Third Again for Finley: "Man, I'm tired of finishing third!"
That was the lament from Chad Finley after matching his best career finish in Saturday's American 200. Finley (No. 29 Air Lift Company/Auto Value Certified Service Centers Chevrolet) finished third for the first time at Berlin (Mich.) Raceway last season, and matched that at Pocono Raceway in June.
Finley qualified second but was forced to drop to the back of the field for being late to technical inspection. As such, Finley reported in the media center after the race that he passed "about 100 cars."
"We had a really good car," Finley said. "Last year, I came here and sat on the pole, and burned my tires out too quickly. I ended up learning a lot out there today and we just came up short."
McCumbee Consistent: After finishing in the top 10 just twice in his first 12 starts this season, Chad McCumbee finished the season with four eighth-place finishes in the last five races, including one in Saturday's American 200. McCumbee finished eighth at DuQuoin, Ill., Toledo, and Salem in September, and finished ninth at Kansas.
Legends on Hand: NASCAR legends Donnie Allison and Junior Johnson were at the track for Saturday's season finale. Allison won at Rockingham as a driver in the NASCAR Cup Series in 1968 and 1977, and Johnson won 13 races there as an owner between 1969 and 1992, including five straight from 1980-1982. Allison addressed the ARCA Racing Series field at the pre-race driver meeting.
Wilson's Connections Notable: Ryan Wilson finished 14th in his first ARCA Racing Series start after winning Richard Petty's Driver Search II in September. Wilson (No. 15 Richard Petty's Driver Search Dodge) is the nephew of Kirk Bryant, an ARCA winner at Atlanta on March 16, 1985. Bryant's father, Darrell, served as a crew chief for NASCAR Cup Series team owner Cliff Stewart, who employed Rusty Wallace as a driver in 1984 and 1985.
Wilson was the second driver to compete in the ARCA Racing Series after successful completion of the Petty contest; Dillon Moltz finished 20th at Pocono in July.
14 and 14: Kevin Swindell's Menards Pole Award presented by Ansell on Friday made him the 14th different pole winner in 18 qualifying sessions this season, equaling the number of different race winners in the series over 20 races.
Ty Dillon had already become the 14th race winner of the season, one week before at Kansas Speedway. Swindell led 52 laps and appeared a contender to become the 15th new winner, which would have tied a record for most winners in a season. 15 drivers won in 23 races in 2007.
Of the 14 race winners, 12 won races for the first time in their career this season, a new record.
Menards Pole Award winners for 2010 are: Craig Goess 3 (Pocono, Chicagoland, Salem - II); Chris Buescher 2 (Toledo - I, Mansfield); Mikey Kile 2 (Michigan, Kansas); Dakoda Armstrong (Talladega); Steve Arpin (Springfield); James Buescher (Daytona); Brian Campbell (Berlin); Dillon (Iowa); A.J. Fike (DuQuoin); Max Gresham (Salem - I); Frank Kimmel (Pocono - II); Justin Marks (New Jersey); Casey Roderick (Palm Beach); and Swindell (Rockingham).
Race winners for 2010 are: Arpin 3 (Salem - I, Texas, and DuQuoin); Armstrong 2 (Talladega - I, Salem); C. Buescher 2 (Toledo - I, Toledo - II); Dillon 2 (Kansas, Rockingham); Sheltra 2 (Springfield, Chicagoland); Robb Brent (Pocono - II); Joey Coulter (Berlin); Bobby Gerhart (Daytona); Goess (Pocono - I); Gresham (Mansfield); Tom Hessert (Iowa); Kile (Michigan); Marks (Palm Beach); and Roderick (New Jersey).
Schrader Successful, Giving: In addition to fielding the 17th-place car for 18-year-old Kyle Fowler (No. 52 Ken Schrader Racing Chevrolet) in Saturday's American 200,15-time ARCA race winner Ken Schrader enjoyed a rewarding weekend. Schrader set the fast time and won the 25-lap A Main Modified feature at the UMP National Championships event at Eldora (Ohio) Speedway Saturday. The race was described as the "closest and most dramatic win ever in Eldora history." 118 Modified cars entered the two-day event.
Before traveling to Ohio, Schrader met with ARCA president Ron Drager and other series officials at his North Carolina home on Wednesday evening. Schrader presented Drager with the helmet he wore in his first ARCA Racing Series start, at Daytona International Speedway in 1981. Schrader finished eighth in the No. 68 Ford Grenada in the race won by Tim Richmond.
Clean Racing Continues as Season Closes: The 200-lap American 200 slowed just four times for 31 caution laps, and the ARCA Racing Series season ended with 104 total caution periods, or an average of 5.2 per race. The series averaged 8.67 per race in 2008 and 7.67 per race last season.
Sheltra Takes Race Lap Awards: Patrick Sheltra led 74 laps, including Lap 100, to take the $500 Aaron's Lap Leader Award and the $500 Messina Halfway Leader Award in the American 200.
Tom Hessert (No. 77 Cherry Hill Classic Cars Dodge) finished the season as the Aaron's Lap Leader Award winner, leading 387 laps over eight races. Steve Arpin (No. 55 Mike's Hard Pink Lemonade Chevrolet) finished second with 270 laps led, including eight on Saturday.
Craig Goess (No. 81 Greenville Toyota of N.C. Toyota) finished just short of his first series championship, but finished as the leading pole winner to win the year-long Menards Pole Award presented by Ansell. Goess qualified first on three occasions, and secured the award when two-time pole winners Chris Buescher (No. 17 David Ragan Fan Club Ford) and Mikey Kile (No. 25 Tag Heuer Eyewear Toyota) came up short of the first position Friday afternoon.
Banquet Next: The 2010 ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards Championship Awards Banquet will take place Saturday, December 4 at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington, Ky., near Cincinnati.