British Columbia's Ryan Fischer Enters Up For Cayuga ARCA RE/MAX 250 Sunday NELLES CORNERS ON (6-23-08) -- He's not exactly a hometown guy, but if you're yearning to cheer for a true blue Canadian, then Surrey British Columbia's Ryan Fischer ...
British Columbia's Ryan Fischer Enters Up For Cayuga ARCA RE/MAX 250 Sunday
NELLES CORNERS ON (6-23-08) -- He's not exactly a hometown guy, but if you're yearning to cheer for a true blue Canadian, then Surrey British Columbia's Ryan Fischer should do the trick.
Fischer, a 19-year-old rookie on the ARCA RE/MAX Series tour, has filed an entry in the no. 25 Venturini Motorsports Chevrolet for this Sunday's, June 29th inaugural Cayuga ARCA RE/MAX 250 at Cayuga Motor Speedway in Nelles Corners, Ontario.
Ironically, it's the race that's bringing Fischer back to his home country.
"I'm really looking forward to going back to Canada," said Fischer, who like many hopeful stock car racers, currently sets up shop in the Mooresville, North Carolina area, a Mecca for NASCAR.
"And even though I'm not from this part of Canada, I really feel like I'm going to have a connection with the Canadian fans -- at least I certainly hope I do.
"I really haven't raced much in Canada in my career. Most of the racing, other than here in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, has been in Washington state, Montana and Oregon. I think I've run late models twice in Canada; other than that, I've been traveling down to the states to race."
Fischer is signed as a development driver with CJM Racing, which fields cars for Jason Keller in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. CJM Racing is utilizing the ARCA RE/MAX Series team of Venturini Motorsports to get the young Canadian stock car seat time. Venturini Motorsports fielded the car that Joey Logano dominated with earlier this year at Rockingham Speedway before he moved on to the Nationwide Series, where the 18-year-old Logano made history at Kentucky Speedway as the youngest winner in Nationwide Series history.
Venturini Motorsports has been fielding ARCA RE/MAX Series cars for a variety of drivers since 1982 -- mostly for the father/son duo of Bill and Billy Venturini. Between the two, the Venturinis made 357 ARCA RE/MAX Series starts over the years with Bill, Sr. earning two ARCA RE/MAX Series national driving titles in 1987 and 1991. Bill, Sr. also won 12 series races during his career, including one at Delaware Speedway in Delaware, Ontario in 1987.
"I remember having a very good fan base at Delaware," said Bill, Sr. "Toledo, Flat Rock (MI) and Canada -- I had a really good fan base at those tracks. I'm not sure why it worked that way. Maybe they could relate to a guy from Chicago -- not sure.
"We look at Cayuga the same way we look at any other track. We put our best foot forward; it doesn't matter what country the track's in. But we're looking forward to going to Cayuga. It's a track we haven't been to yet. Wish it was a little closer. We haven't raced in Canada since, I think, '92, so it'll be interesting to see if anyone up there remembers us."
A true family affair, the Venturini clan is all very much involved in the team. Bill's wife Cathy is the car owner and has been known to go over the wall during pit stops if necessary, while Bill, Sr. does everything from set-up to steering rigs down the road. Billy, Jr. is the crew chief.
"If I'm not on the road, I'm in the shop," added Bill, Sr. "I don't take days off. The earliest I go home from the shop, typically, is 9:30 PM. It's an everyday, all day thing -- if you want to be a successful race team."
At present, the Venturinis need all the shop time they can get. Between fielding, at any given time, three teams for ARCA RE/MAX Series competition, their plate is overflowing. Outside of Fischer, the Venturinis are currently fielding cars for New Berlin, Wisconsin's Tom Berte, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series racer Brian Scott and Logano.
At any rate, the Venturinis, renowned for fielding first-class equipment, are taking a Canadian driver home to race; and neither party, regardless of which country they belong to, has done much racing north of the border.
"I've never seen the place (Cayuga)," added Fischer. "Based on what I know about it, it's probably a lot like a track I raced at in Monroe, Washington -- a five-eighths, relatively flat, bumpy track -- hard on brakes. I'm sure you carry quite a bit a speed before you have to check up for the flat corners. But like any other track, flat or banked, it's all about rotating through the corner and getting off the corner so you can carry your momentum down the straightaways."
All in Venturini-prepared Chevrolets, Fischer has made seven ARCA RE/MAX Series starts since his debut at Gateway Int'l Raceway in 2007. It was, more than likely, a debut he would rather forget. Most assuredly, the Venturinis feel the same way.
Fischer was running with the leaders at Gateway in sixth position when he got pinched up into the wall off turn two. The pinch resulted in four wicked barrel rolls down the backstretch. Fischer fortunately climbed out unscathed. The same could not be said for the car, which, after the tumble, no longer resembled a car; it was a complete loss.
The 2008 season did not start much better for Fischer, who got caught up in an early-race, multi-car wreck at Daytona that left him with a 43rd place finish. Fortunately, things improved at Kansas Speedway where Fischer steered the Venturini Motorsports Chevrolet to a 10th place finish. With his confidence on the mend, Fischer battled back from an early-race spin at Kentucky Speedway to finish a career-best third behind Roush Fenway Racing powerhouse Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Red Bull Formula 1 driver Scott Speed.
"I got my eyes wide open now in this series," said Fischer. "I won a lot in the other types of cars I've raced, but I can see how tough that's going to be at this level. It's all about the equipment, and I know I'm in nothing but the best equipment here. If the talent's there, and I certainly believe it is, then it will begin to show, especially here at Venturini Motorsports.
"But moving to this part of the world, really allows a driver to see what this racing environment's all about. I really like it. My goal is to make it to the Nationwide Series, and take it from there. And this ARCA Series is the right way to get there. I'm really enjoying racing here, and I'm especially looking forward to going with this series to Canada. Can't wait. I just want to thank CJM Racing and Venturini Motorsports for the opportunity."
In addition to this Sunday afternoon's Cayuga ARCA RE/MAX 250, the ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series will join the ARCA RE/MAX Series for an ARCA double-header weekend at Cayuga kicking off with the ARCA Lincoln Welders 50 Saturday afternoon, June 28th.
Practice for the ARCA RE/MAX Series is scheduled for Saturday, June 28th from 12:30-2:00 PM followed by SIM Factory Pole Qualifying at 3:30. The ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series race follows ARCA RE/MAX Series qualifying Saturday afternoon. The Cayuga ARCA RE/MAX 250 is set for 1:30 PM Sunday afternoon, June 29th.
For ticket and general information, visit www.cayugamotorspeedway.com.