Pocono's Sr. VP Nick Igdalsky Ready for ARCA Road Course Right and Left at Palm Beach Int'l Raceway JUPITER FL (2-17-10) - Nick Igdalsky is the Senior Vice President of Pocono Raceway and South Boston Speedway. It just so happens he's also a ...
Pocono's Sr. VP Nick Igdalsky Ready for ARCA Road Course Right and Left at Palm Beach Int'l Raceway
JUPITER FL (2-17-10) - Nick Igdalsky is the Senior Vice President of Pocono Raceway and South Boston Speedway. It just so happens he's also a fulltime driver on the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards tour. It also means that the grandson of Pocono patriarchs' Drs. Joe and Rose Mattioli has a lot on his plate. He's not complaining.
"This is fantastic," said Igdalsky. "ARCA's always been near and dear to my heart. I grew up watching Tim Steele dominate at Pocono ...... Bobby Gerhart lives just up the road ....... Following the career of Frank Kimmel. I would have absolutely no problem racing in ARCA for the rest of my career. To me, it's a wonderful thing."
When asked about being able to keep up with all his responsibilities, the 32-year-old driver said, "I'll let you know in April when we've got three races in a month."
Racing fulltime in the ARCA Racing Series for Andy Belmont Racing with title sponsorship from ModSpace, Igdalsky sees his racing program as valuable experience, offering up important perspective he can utilize toward the track op side of things.
"I'm very fortunate. I'm in a position to have the freedom to go race. Actually, I really think it helps my perspective as a track op to see things from the competitor side, and incorporate this back home. Racing fulltime in the ARCA Racing Series offers a unique perspective from the driver side, whether it be driver comfort, safety or whatever it may be. It's all very valuable to be able to see these things and incorporate them on the other side. It's not just fun, although there's a lot of that."
After a disappointing start at Daytona, Igdalsky is ready to get back to his roots in the next event on tour - the Tire Kingdom 150 presented by ModSpace at the 2.034-mile, 11-turn Palm Beach Int'l Raceway road course.
"I feel good about heading to a road course," added Igdalsky. "They've changed the configuration since I was last there, shortened the overall track and lengthened the backstretch, so it will make for a very interesting race. One small mistake and you will be off the track and in trouble."
Igdalsky has extensive experience in road course competition and is looking forward to the race. In fact he's one of the very few drivers entered who can, not only claim to have experience at Palm Beach, but race wins there as well.
"I raced there quite a bit in the Formula 2000 open wheel cars. Won quite a few races there. When ARCA announced it was going to Palm Beach, it couldn't have added a better race for me."
The recent test session at the track did not go as good as was expected in the morning but with the changes made in the afternoon the team is feeling good about the race. Igdalsky, in his rookie season with ARCA, will be driving the ModSpace-sponsored Andy Belmont Racing No. 1 Ford. ModSpace will also serve as presenting sponsor of the race.
"Having our sponsor also being the presenting sponsor of the race makes us want to do well even more than we usually do," said team owner Andy Belmont. "It would be a great day if Nick and the crew were able to put the ModSpace Ford in victory lane in their race.
"ModSpace will have a large number of guests on hand for the race and we want to be able to impress them."
Beyond the event at Palm Beach, Igdalsky couldn't be more excited about his season ahead.
"I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to running the whole schedule. Can't wait to go to Talladega. We didn't have the finish we wanted at Daytona, but we were contenders. We were able to race up into the top-10 inside of 10 laps to go before we had our incident. Yah, I was disappointed, but at the same time very excited to know we have a car that can run up front."
Igdalsky hopes to do just that at Palm Beach.
"We just need to go to Palm Beach and treat it the same way I've always treated road courses. Don't overdrive the car, be consistent. Don't worry about being the fastest car every lap; just be consistent and keep all four tires on the pavement. If you do that lap after lap the attrition will take care of itself and you'll be in the hunt in the end.
"We all need to be careful at Palm Beach. There are not a lot of run-off areas. If you get off track, there are a lot of concrete walls waiting for you, so there's not a lot of room for error. I'd hate to skid off into the gator pond," joked Igdalsky. "Actually, I think they've got a fence around it now, but when we ran open wheel cars I saw a couple cars get close to going in. One was upside down."
All prize money earned by the team goes to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
The Kingdom Tire 150 presented by ModSpace at Palm Beach Int'l Raceway is scheduled to roll off at 1:00 PM Saturday afternoon, February 27th. On-track activity begins on Friday, February 26th with practice from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM followed by Menards Pole Award Qualifying presented by Ansell at 4:00 PM. The race will also be featured in live streaming audio at ARCAracing.com.