ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (Sept. 23, 2009) - Once mother nature stepped aside Wednesday morning, 23 teams of the ARCA RE/MAX took to the Rockingham Speedway with the goal of learning everything they could to help them get around the famed one-mile oval ...
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (Sept. 23, 2009) - Once mother nature stepped aside Wednesday morning, 23 teams of the ARCA RE/MAX took to the Rockingham Speedway with the goal of learning everything they could to help them get around the famed one-mile oval faster in the October 11 running of the American 200 at the track.
And with a tight battle for the 2009 ARCA championship coming down to the last race of the season at Rockingham, speed at the track known for shredding tires is going to be a premium.
"The biggest thing we have been working on today is learning the place; learning tire management and getting me acquainted with what 70% is, what 80% is, and what 90% is," said Steve Arpin, driver of the No. 25 Venturini Motorsports Chevrolet. "We have got a really good car. The Venturini's have a good car every time they come here. We are just going to do it again."
The No. 25 has won both of the ARCA races held at the track since the return of the series last year. At the end of the day, Arpin again at the No. 25 at the top of the speed charts with a fast lap of 24.877 seconds, 144.712 miles per hour.
For most of the drivers on track, the day's objective was tire-management and long green-flag runs.
"The biggest thing at Rockingham is making the tires last," said Parker Kligerman, driver of the No. 77 Cunningham Motorsports Dodge, who is currently second in the ARCA points standings. This is a very abrasive surface. In the spring we did a hundred lap run, so we are working towards that. If we keep a consistent, balanced car then the speed will come. Today, we have changed springs, shocks, a lot of stuff to keep the car balanced and keep the tires underneath it."
Kligerman was third fastest in the test session, turning a best lap of 25.141 seconds, 142.192 miles per hour.
"We are just working on the long runs," said Justin Marks, driver of the No. 15 Venturini Motorsports Chevrolet, who fell just below teammate Arpin, Clay Rogers (25.014 seconds, 143.919 miles per hour) and Kligerman at the top of the speed chart, with a fast lap of 25.312 seconds, 142.225 miles per hour. "The tires fall off so quick that the handling goes away so fast. We are trying to tune the car to run on old tires and try to make it work on long runs."
While the teams were trying to get a handle on making adjustments to the car, the drivers on hand were enjoying turning laps at the track.
"I love this place," said Marks. "It is my favorite track. You can move around and find a place where your car works and where it is fast. It's a big challenge. It's racing where you have to be smart to win, which is the kind of racing that I like."
"This place is awesome," said Arpin. "Of all the places we go this is my favorite. It's racy. It has three or four distinct grooves. It's going to be a lot of fun."
Justin Lofton the current ARCA RE/MAX Series points leader, hopes to pull into Rockingham next month and leave with the championship hardware.
"Coming back to the Rock, a track that has so much history, makes me look forward to an exciting championship weekend," Lofton said.
Lofton turned the sixth fastest lap of the day, posting a quick lap of 25.526 seconds, 141.033 miles per hour.
For complete practice speeds, go to www.arcaracing.com.
For more information about the ARCA/REMAX American 200 or the accompanying USARacing Aaron's 150 October 9-11 or to order tickets, please contact the Rockingham Speedway at (910) 205-8800 or visit our website at www.rockinghamspeedway.com. Tickets begin at $20 for single-day reserved seating with $5 back-to-school special pricing for students. Weekend and pit passes are also available.