Several ARCA RE/MAX Series (ARS) teams participated in an open testing session at Talladega Superspeedway today in preparation for the final speedway event of the 2007 season, the ARCA RE/MAX 250 set for Friday, October 5, 2007. Under mostly sunny...
Several ARCA RE/MAX Series (ARS) teams participated in an open testing session at Talladega Superspeedway today in preparation for the final speedway event of the 2007 season, the ARCA RE/MAX 250 set for Friday, October 5, 2007. Under mostly sunny skies, over 40 ARCA teams tackled the breathtaking track.
Here is what some of the drivers are saying.
DOMINICK CASOLA, NO. 1 A. CASOLA FARMS FORD FUSION:
(ON THE OPEN TEST) "It's very important to take advantage of these ARCA RE/MAX Series open tests. We haven't participated in a whole lot of them this year, but we tested yesterday and here we are again today and I'm very thankful that we opted to test both days."
(ON HIS UPCOMING FIRST RESTRICTOR PLATE RACE) "I cannot tell you how excited I am about. Since I joined the ARCA RE/MAX Series tour (Casola made his debut in the second race of the season at USA International Speedway in Lakeland, Florida) I've been waiting for this race. We've put a lot of effort into this race. My car owner Andy Belmont has worked his butt off in giving me a great car, so I'm even more looking forward to the race."
(ON THE ARCA RE/MAX 250) "It's an important race no doubt about it. There's a lot at stake. These races are very crucial in the point standings. If you finish great it can be a big boost. If you get caught up in the "big one," it can really destroy your season. We are taking the precautions of making sure we have all in our ducks in a row so we can stay in the lead pack and stay out of any mess that may come about."
(ON INTERNATIONAL FLAVOR IN THE ARCA RE/MAX SERIES) "I think it's very important to have international flavor in the ARCA RE/MAX Series. ARCA is well known for having a very diverse group of competitors. Old, young, rookies and veterans it doesn't matter, it's all great. I think it's also another challenge for us driver to go out there and not only help drivers like Jacques Villeneuve, Scott Speed and Dario Franchitti but race them too."
(ON HIS TEAM) "I'm with one of the best teams in the ARCA RE/MAX Series. Andy Belmont has done a lot for my career. He has really helped me mature in a good racecar driver. He brought veteran and winning crew chief Jeff McClure to Talladega this week and I tell you what, it's really paid off. Over the stretch of the last month, we've run extremely well and there's no doubt in my mind we'll continue that in the Talladega ARCA race."
JACOB FRANCIS, NO. 62 ANDY BELMONT RACING FORD FUSION:
(ON THE OPEN TEST) "Testing at Talladega Superspeedway is huge for my career. I've done a lot, but nothing like this. I tested yesterday and I got my first taste of Talladega and I loved it. I'm running even better today. This is a week I won't soon forget."
(ON RETURNING TO THE ARCA RE/MAX SERIES) "I'm excited about returning to the ARCA RE/MAX Series. I'm testing here and then I'm going to run the final race of the season at Toledo to get a jump start on 2008. I've been preparing for my move to ARCA for about a year now. So far, with our solid top-15 performance at The Milwaukee Mile and the results we've posted here at the test, I think I've done a good job."
(ON IMPORTANCE OF TESTING) "Testing is what makes winners. Winners is what makes champions. Testing is so crucial in any type of Motorsports, but especially here. We plan to compete in a superspeedway (restrictor plate) race next year, so there's no doubt that yesterday and today's experience will pay off. I love this place, it's absolutely amazing."
(ON INTERNATIONAL FLAVOR IN THE ARCA RE/MAX SERIES) "They deserve to race here too. I think it's great to have drivers from other countries and other series to compete in the ARCA RE/MAX Series. We can learn from them and they can learn from us. They are in the limelight when they are out of the car, but once they put on that suit and helmet, they are another racecar driver. I guarantee they won't give us any slack and when I have the opportunity to race with them, I'll race them like they race me."
(ON HIS TEAM, ANDY BELMONT RACING) "Andy Belmont and his team have been great. We've been working since Milwaukee to put this testing opportunity together. Andy coached me yesterday and he's done the same today. He's been awesome. Words cannot express how grateful and appreciative I am for this opportunity. I'm looking forward to doing more with him in the immediate future."
BRIAN SCOTT, NO. 32 COUNTRY JOE RACING DODGE CHARGER
(ON THE OPEN TEST) "Oh it's great to be here in Talladega. I've been waiting a long time for this opportunity and it's finally here. The test is going great so far. We're taking some notes and trying different setups to prepare us for the race here in a couple weeks. It's not only an important race for me, but its important for my team."
(ON RETURNING TO THE ARCA RE/MAX SERIES) "I'm excited to be back. I really enjoyed my ARCA debut at Kentucky this July. I had a lot of fun. Obviously the races are a complete 360, but I'm not worried about that. I'm just glad to be reunited with Country Joe Racing and competing in this great series."
(ON IMPORTANCE OF TESTING) "It's huge. It really is. I will make my restrictor plate debut on October 5. That's very important to me. I'm running the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series full time next year and I know that the Talladega ARCA race will help prepare for Daytona in 2008. I've never drafted, so I know that factor will help me immensely for both restrictor plate races in the trucks next year. Getting back to ARCA though, we want to win. That's why we are here today. If we can find a great baseline setup, I think everyone could be in trouble during race week."
(ON INTERNATIONAL FLAVOR IN THE ARCA RE/MAX SERIES) "I had the opportunity to be apart of that last weekend at Las Vegas with Jacques Villeneuve and I tell you what, that's great for the sport. There will be new names and new faces for the ARCA race and that draws attention. With that attention comes a new outlook, not only on the series, but the other drives competing in it. I'm looking forward to racing against those guys and I think it's great to have them here."
(ON HIS TEAM, COUNTRY JOE RACING) "There are awesome. I really think we are going to be very strong in the ARCA RE/MAX 250. This will only be our second race together, but I think we can improve even more from Kentucky and put this team back in victory lane. I just want to thank all the guys for their hard work and determination. I could not imagine being with another team other than Country Joe Racing."
PATRICK SHELTRA, NO. 60 CP CONCRETE PRODUCTS, US CONSTRUCTION, FLORAGANICS-BRADY RANCH CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO SS
(ON THE OPEN TEST) "We don't get to test very often but I'm really glad we are testing here at Talladega today. This is an extremely important race for our team and sponsors. Every chance we have to get on the track today, we will. We need to have our ducks in a row. I expect the race to be one of the most competitive of the season. If we leave with a good feeling, we won't be sweating when we come back next week."
(ON HIS UPCOMING FIRST RESTRICTOR PLATE RACE) "I'm excited. I attempted to make Daytona at the beginning of the year, but we missed it. Luckily, we've gained enough points that if we have any problems, we'll still be in. The race in itself is crucial. It's a chess-game at 200 miles per hour (MPH). I am going to race smart and be there for the end. We're gunning for the win, but if we can't win, I want to be in contention for a smart and solid top-10 finish."
(ON IMPORTANCE OF TESTING) "At races like these, there's no reason not to test. We're working on improving our program not only for this year, but for next year as well. Testing will give us a good baseline of where we stand. It will help us for Daytona next February as well. We have a good car and a great motor; I think we are proving that today."
(ON INTERNATIONAL FLAVOR IN THE ARCA RE/MAX SERIES) "Anytime you can bring attention to the ARCA RE/MAX Series it's a good thing. These drivers are coming here with a heck of amount of experience and some great credentials. It's a good thing for the series and us drivers. Not only is it a chance to make another friend, but it's an opportunity to beat another competitor. I wish them the best of luck."
(ON HIS TEAM, SHELTRA MOTORSPORTS) "I'm a lucky guy. My team works hard because they want to win. They work hard because they want to see me succeed and I can't ask for much more. We are all excited about Talladega. My goal heading into the ARCA RE/MAX 250 is to give 150 percent and hold nothing back and deliver a satisfying finish to really let my guys know how much I appreciate them."
BRYAN SILAS, NO. 11 NORTRAX-SHELL ROTELLA T-PALM BEACH GRADING (PBG) CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO SS
(ON THE OPEN TEST) "Testing is paying its dividends. I guarantee you that. We're not testing all day here. We did a lot of testing yesterday and doing a little more today. We put a new motor in last night and I tell you what it has some steam. We are going to be fast when we come back here next week. Everyone on the Fast Track Racing team have done their job."
(ON RESTRICTOR PLATE RACING) "You hold your breath (laughing). It's nerve-racking, but it's part of the game. I was involved in a vicious wreck last year here at Talladega and one wrong move can take you out of the hunt. We are planning to stay out of the mess this year. It's a lot of fun and if you handle the draft right. It can make your day, but one wrong move can really ruin your day."
(ON IMPORTANCE OF TESTING) "It's important. What more can you say. You can't win races without doing some testing. We've done a lot of testing this year and it has really paid off. I think it will continue to show its advantages for us again next week. It's been a long year, but I really don't think we would be in the position we are in this season if we hadn't done all the testing."
(ON INTERNATIONAL FLAVOR IN THE ARCA RE/MAX SERIES) "How can you not like it or not welcome it? It's important for the continuing growth of the ARCA RE/MAX Series. I cannot tell you how excited I am to race against drivers of this caliber. This isn't the first time this year we've raced with guys from different countries or different series and I guarantee it won't be the last. It does take a little exposure away from the regular guys but if we can go out there and beat them it puts us right back in the spotlight."
(ON HIS TEAM, FAST TRACK RACING) "We've come a long way this year. I'm really proud of every single member of the Fast Track Racing team. We struggled with different obstacles at the start of the season and we quickly overcame them. The team is gelling and despite some of the finishes, we are running up front every week. We should do the same here next week. I wouldn't trade this bunch for nothing."
-credit: chris knight