Toledo: Michael Simko race notes

Simko derailed in Toledo Toledo, OH (May 6th 2003) - - ARCA RE/MAX Series rookie Michael Simko was hoping to return to one of ARCA's most familiar facilities of Toledo Speedway, after a positive run back in 2002, left the team itching ...

Simko derailed in Toledo

Toledo, OH (May 6th 2003) - - ARCA RE/MAX Series rookie Michael Simko was hoping to return to one of ARCA's most familiar facilities of Toledo Speedway, after a positive run back in 2002, left the team itching for more.

Sunday, marked the first one-day show event of the season. The Auburn Racing team rolled into the speedway shortly before 6am to prepare Simko's No. 75 Michigan Steel Erectors Chevrolet Monte Carlo.

The competitors would get their first shot on the track early Sunday morning for an hour and an half practice session. During the course of the session, Simko dialed his Mound & Steel Supplies Chevrolet in a time of 17.454 second equaling a speed of 103.128 MPH, logging 15th on the speed charts. "We dealt with an ill-handling Chevrolet during practice, it would be tight and loose, we are hoping to make the right adjustments for qualifying and hope to start up front."

Michael took to the half mile oval for qualifying shortly after 1:30pm EST, maneuvering his machine to 14th on the starting grid improving his lap time by two tenths of a second a little over a mile an hour faster than practice. "Even though our times were better, we were still battling an handling problem," noted Simko. "ARCA has impounded our machine after qualifying, so we are hoping for the best when we take the green flag."

Before, heading into Toledo, the former late model racer knew that the key was survival. In the beginning of the race, Simko was making excellent progress avoiding several incidents in front of him and the car was handling much better than in qualifying.

With Simko comfortably racing near the top ten near the halfway point of the 200-lap race, Simko day would suddenly evaporate. Michael would find himself in the wall in two separate accidents forcing the team to retire to a failure in the mechanical center of the car. "I was really hoping for a good day today," said Simko. "We had a good weekend at Salem, and were hoping to continue it here in Salem, but I guess it was not meant to me."

The final standings left the Clarkston, Michigan native 27th on the sheet competing a possible 141 out of 200 circuits.

The ARCA RE/MAX will head south from Toledo for Saturday's night race from Kentucky Speedway. It will be the second night race of the season for ARCA and Simko is happy to have the opportunity to be able to compete in the race. "We're going to switch our number for Kentucky, I will hop from the familiar 75 to the No. 10 for Kentucky's event only.

Simko concluded "If we have a better finish on Saturday night, then we did at Toledo, I know that our season is back on track."

-ar-

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Series ARCA