Empire Racing Delivers Top-Five Outing At Daytona; But Vows For More Improvement
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (January 17, 2011) - - Without question, anytime you can post a top-five speed at the "World Center of Racing" otherwise known as Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, you should be tickled. However for Sean Corr and his Empire Racing team, the lap time was no reason to celebrate. Instead it put a simple period to a big question.
While the No. 82 Empire Racing Ford Fusion showed how strong it was in the drafting session on Wednesday afternoon, the team was baffled with the performance of their Ford Fusion during single-car runs which left the team literally scratching their heads.
Rest assured though when the Empire Racing team returns to the Sunshine State in less than a month, crew chief Richard Johns and team manager John Bellesfield will have a new game plan in effect and will execute their method in order to give their driver Sean Corr a chance to taste victory in the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona.
"We can't say we're completely satisfied with the Daytona test," said who intends to run the full 2011 ARCA Racing Series schedule. "It just seems like Corr, no matter what we did, we could not get the car to respond in single-car runs. The frustration was obvious in the garage area, but that is just because these guys want to win. We know we have a team capable of doing so, we just need to go back and regroup."
Bellesfield, who turned the crew chief wrenches to Johns in January, is extremely optimistic about the first of 19 races on the 2011 ARCA Racing Series calendar.
"The good thing is that we have a list a mile-long that we think that will help us a ton for the race," he explained. "Sean did a good job communicating with the team and we appreciate his patience and support as we worked through what could only be described as a couple of discouraging days. We're not going to let this test get us down though. We're tough as nails and we will come back and be stronger than ever in a couple of weeks. Even though we had some bumps along the way, the track time was precious and we still learned a lot."
Grant Enfinger, whose posted the second-fastest time overall during the three-day open ARCA Racing Series test at the 2.5-mile superspeedway opted to hop in the No. 82 automobile during the week to give his own opinion on the overall performance of the team's blue oval. After a few laps, Enfinger noted the exact feelings that Corr was experiencing.
"I appreciate Grant (Enfinger) stepping away from his roles here at Daytona to help us out," added Corr, who intends to make his second career start at the "World Center of Racing" next month. "His feedback was nearly identical to mine, so that made me feel good. It's a test session and we were there to learn, so we'll just go back to the shop and continue to work hard and I'm sure we'll be fine."
When asked about the new pavement surface at the Daytona Beach, Florida-historic race track, Corr wasn't shy to explain his feelings. "You can literally eat a sandwich on the backstretch if you wanted too. It's that smooth. In my eyes, it's going to be a very intense race, but I am looking forward to every second of it."
The team still enters the 58th year of ARCA competition without the foundation of a primary marketing partner. However, the team feels they are close to making some announcements in-time for the first of 19 ARCA races this season.
-source: empire racing