Halfway in, ARCA’s Championship Contenders Take it to Iowa Speedway; Poole, Buescher, Bowman, Kimmel to Battle Under the LightsPress Release
Brennan Poole (point leader as of 6-30-12), Chris Buescher and Alex Bowman are locked in a three-wide scramble for ARCA’s coveted championship trophy. However, Buescher, who drives the No. 17 Roulo Brothers Racing Ford, may have one-up on Poole and Bowman at Iowa – more seat time that is.
The Prosper, Texas driver, who was last year’s Team Messina Rookie of the Year and finished in the runner-up position in championship points, has two full races under his belt at Iowa, finishing 11th in his Iowa debut in 2010, and third last year after leading seven laps.
“As long as it’s not 130 degrees, it’s a very fun little track,” Buescher said.
Temperatures were well into the 90s with high humidity for last year’s 200-lap grind.
“The progressive banking at Iowa makes for a great race. It’s sort of downsized from the mile-and-a-halves we go to but drives similar. Lots of two- and three-wide racing there, which is fun from the driver’s perspective, and makes for a great show for the fans.”
Poole, who drives the No. 25 Venturini Motorsports entry, actually has one race at Iowa in 2011, finishing 14th. Bowman, on the other hand, has never seen the place.
Buescher, who would seemingly have an advantage over both, doesn’t necessarily see it that way.
“I like to think it’s an advantage, to have more seat time,” said Buescher. “But those guys (Poole and Bowman) are so good at driving racecars, I’m not sure it matters at all. I mean, look what happened last week at Winchester. Neither of those guys had ever seen the place (Winchester) before and they finished first and second. They’re going to come to Iowa in really good cars. We’ll just have to work harder to be better. It’s no simple thing.”
Poole acknowledges that in addition to the competition, Iowa Speedway presents its own challenges.
“It feels like an intermediate track; it definitely drives like one, yet you can’t get around the fact that it’s still a short track. It’s one of those in-between tracks that puts you in the uncomfortable zone.
“Fortunately, I have some experience on the track, and I’ll be in a good car. And I think that anytime you go back to a track for the second time, you’re going to be a little stronger going back.”
Starting the race in daylight hours, and ending it at night, also presents a challenge.
“You’re definitely going to have to keep up with the track as it changes. Crew chiefs are going to have to be on top of their games, keeping up with the adjustments. The drivers will have to give really good feedback too, and continually throughout the race. As the track changes, you’ll see cars moving around on the track, looking for a better line. Fortunately, there are always two grooves to run at Iowa. We’ll start out a little free, and as the sun goes away, it’ll tighten up on its own and gain grip. But you don’t want to end up way too tight, and that’s where the driver and crew chief must be exchanging good, accurate information.
“There’ll be a lot of challenges that go with that race. I’ve got great people around me and couldn’t be more confident in Venturini Motorsports.”
Frank Kimmel, driver of the Ansell-Menards Toyota, is fourth in points, and still very much a title contender. Kimmel is one of two former Iowa winners entered for the race – the other being Tom Hessert, who won there in 2010 for Cunningham Motorsports, the same team that Bowman now drives for.
The seventh annual Prairie Meadows 200 will be live on SPEED. ARCAracing.com will also be providing live timing and scoring for all the on-track activity.
Drivers will prepare for the 200-lap race with two Friday practices, from 10:30- noon and 1-2 p.m., with Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell following at 4:30. The Prairie Meadows 200 starts at 8 p.m. All times are local.
ARCA Celebrating 60th Anniversary Season
2012 is the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards’ 60th Anniversary Season, featuring 20 races at 18 tracks. The complete 2012 event schedule is available at ARCARacing.com.
The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards has crowned an ARCA national champion each year since its inaugural season in 1953, and has toured over 200 race tracks in 26 states since its inception. The series has tested the abilities of drivers and race teams over the most diverse schedule of stock car racing events in the world, visiting tracks ranging from 0.375 mile to 2.66 miles in length, on both paved and dirt surfaces as well as a left- and right-turn road course in its most recent season. This year, the series visited Alabama’s Mobile International Speedway and Minnesota’s Elko Speedway for the first time.
Founded by John and Mildred Marcum in 1953 in Toledo, Ohio, the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is recognized among the leading sanctioning bodies in the country. Closing in on completing its sixth decade after hundreds of thousands of miles of racing, ARCA administers over 100 race events each season in three professional touring series and local weekly events.
- Automobile Racing Club of America Press Release
Article Tags: Alex Bowman, ARCA, ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, Automobile Racing Club of America, Chris Buescher, Cunningham Motorsports, Iowa Speedway, John Marcum, Mildred Marcum, No. 44 Ansell / Menards Toyota Camry, Prairie Meadows 200, Tom Hessert, Venturini Motorsports