Talladega: Billy Venturini preview

Billy Venturini Turns Back Time For ARCA Season Finale; Honors Father's 1987 ARCA Record Setting Qualifying Record At Talladega Superspeedway September 29, 2004 (Talladega, Alabama) - - Remember that good ole' saying, "I learned from the...

Billy Venturini Turns Back Time For ARCA Season Finale; Honors Father's 1987 ARCA Record Setting Qualifying Record At Talladega Superspeedway

September 29, 2004 (Talladega, Alabama) - - Remember that good ole' saying, "I learned from the best"? Well, that's exactly what third-generation driver Billy Venturini will think about as the ARCA RE/MAX Series storms into Talladega Superspeedway for the season finale this week.

Venturini, the driver of the No. 25 Venturini Motorsports Pontiac invades one of his favorite tracks on the tour looking to score his first ARCA RE/MAX Series win. The Chicago, Illinois native will honor his father, two time ARCA RE/MAX Series champion Bill Venturini, Sr. by turning back the clock and rolling out his #25 machine with his father's slick paint scheme from 1987.

Instead of drafting around in his blue and white Chevrolet, the younger Venturini will sport a white Pontiac Grand Prix adorned with bright orange stripes. Venturini is a legendary name at the 2.666-mile Superspeedway. In 1987, "Big Bill," as he is referred in the garage area, whipped his automobile around Talladega's monster track setting the all-time ARCA qualifying record topping a speed of 205.432 MPH, a record that may never be broken.

Bill Venturini, Sr., the ARCA RE/MAX Series in 1987 capturing his first championship and earning the Bill France Triple Crown award. In the same year Bill, Sr., in 10 races for a total of 494 laps in just 17 ARCA events.

"I was a bit surprised when Billy approached me earlier in the year with this idea," says Bill Sr. "It makes me very proud to see my son compete and follow the career that I chose and love so much. Seeing Billy's car in the shop with my old paint job brings back some great memories. It's kind of funny though. Billy and I have always had a good father-son rivalry. He jokes all the time about the level of competition these days versus when I raced, I think he believes he could have beaten me on the track," added Bill Sr. with a laugh.

While Billy knows he won't have a chance of squashing his father's record, he would like to grab his second ARCA pole of his career. It will be a great starting field. Billy will give it his all, attempting to out duel the veterans, and driver development proteges during the Food World 300 and capture his first checkered flag.

"This will be a special week for me. Running dad's old paint scheme is going to be somewhat nostalgic. It's a throwback to the '80s when my father set the qualifying record here at Talladega and won his first championship. It's only fitting to have the "RETRO" look to truly commemorate my dad's accomplishments," says Billy with a smile.

In last year's running of the Food World 300 at Talladega, Venturini turned in the fifth quickest qualifying time. During race competition, Billy quickly showed that he was going to be a dominating force. Battling hard against Paul Menard, Kyle Busch, and Frank Kimmel, Billy was awesome all day enroute to a second place finish. While the plans are to return to Talladega eyeing victory circle, Venturini would also like to end his 2004 on a high note.

It's been a wacky season for the Venturini Motorsports team. Several dominating performances at the beginning of the season had the No. 25 easily keeping up with defending ARCA champion Frank Kimmel, but as the season progressed, good runs would be foiled by bad luck.

"I feel like all the pressure is off going into Talladega. No matter how I finish this weekend, you can bet that I'm having fun, says Venturini. We've had a good year, and I look forward to ending the season strong," added Venturini. Our program has improved so much and is getting better every day.

1987 also marks the year that the Venturini Motorsports set another record as the team arrived at the track boasting an all-female pit crew, poised as the "Ultra Blue Crew." The "Ultra Blue Crew" was sponsored by the Permatex Corporation (ARCA Title Sponsor at the time) and was used as a promotional tool for the unveiling of their new Ultra Blue Silicone product line.

While female racecar drivers, crewmembers, and owners are nothing new to Motorsports, Venturini's all female pit crew was the first of its kind in all of professional Motorsports. Since that time many have tried to assemble a similar crew but have yet to do so successfully. The "Ultra Blue Crew" was exclusively used the entire season and played a significant role in Bill's championship run.

"The "Ultra Blue Crew" was a great promotional idea that PERMATEX and I created back in '86. To this day I am very proud of what the girls were able to accomplish. My wife Cathy not only headed the crew but also played a significant role with their ability to rival the other crews during our championship season," says Bill Venturini.

Central Merchant Services will serve as the primary sponsor of the No. 25 this weekend.

Central Merchant Services of Haines City, Florida provides first-class merchant account systems for a wide range of businesses: retail, mail order, Internet, home based, and many other mobile/service type businesses.

Visa, Master Card, American Express, Discover, Debit Cards and Checks can all be accommodated with their credit card machines and software. Central Merchant Services (www.cardsyncusa.net) offers the most competitive rates in the industry with fast approval for credit-worthy merchants and 100% reliable service.

Over the last few years, Central Merchant Services has risen to the top of the industry by providing a topnotch sales support system along with vital technical advances and expertise.

The Venturini team will also have support from their other season-long sponsor, ReadyHosting.com

Should Billy Venturini be unable to lock a victory this weekend, the team will concentrate on the 2005 ARCA RE/MAX Series, where the team will prove to be an even bigger threat to his other competitors.

In just his third full season of competition in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, Billy has accumulated six top-five finishes, and 12 top-ten finishes thus far in the 2004 campaign. Billy Venturini currently holds the fourth-place spot in the national point standings.

The Food World 300 is the season finale for the 2004 ARCA RE/MAX Series. Practice is on tap Thursday, September 30th beginning at 9:30am, with qualifying following that afternoon starting at 2:30pm. The race will take the green flag Saturday, October 2nd, 2004. The Speed Channel will broadcast the race live with coverage beginning at 2:00 pm EST.

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Frank Kimmel , Billy Venturini , Paul Menard , Kyle Busch