Pit Strategy Propels Chad Hackenbracht To First Career ARCA Victory At PoconoPress Release
Already dubbed as a pre-race favorite after finishing second just two months prior at the 2.5-mile triangle, the CGH Motorsports team focused on dialing in their No. 58 CGH Motorsports Chevrolet during the lone practice session on Friday afternoon. After landing sixth overall, the team conferred about changes leading into Menards pole qualifying presented by Ansell.
In typical Hackenbracht fashion, the 20-year old stepped it up in time trials and netted the fifth place starting spot for the 50-lap dash that awaited the team on Saturday afternoon.
The green flag flew shortly after 3:00 p.m. with the sponsorless No. 58 Chevrolet making some bold maneuvers for track position by passing the cars of A.J. Henriksen, Ryan Reed and Chris Buescher to move into the runner-up position by the completion of lap one.
A loose racecar stalled Hackenbracht’s ability to maintain the second spot early on as he fell back to fourth by lap three. By lap four, Hackenbracht was able to move back past Buescher to move into third until lap five when both Buescher and nine time ARCA champion Frank Kimmel were able to pass him.
Settling for fifth at the moment, the first and only caution of the 50-lap dash would waive on lap seven when Michael Levine spun in turn one. Under the yellow, Reed instructed his driver to bring his car to pit lane for their only planned stop in the 14th race of the season.
Taking on four new tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment to help his entry into the corner, Hackenbracht would restart the event in the 24th position on lap 12. Utilizing patience and guidance from spotter Joel Edmonds, Hackenbracht would methodically and quietly begin working his way back towards the top-10. Ten laps following the restart, Hackenbracht moved himself up 10 positions passing the No. 99 of Brandon Davis for 14th.
Knowing that the field would have to make a mandatory pit stop by lap 40, the driver was coached by Reed to save his tires and stay focused – little did the field know that Hackenbracht was sitting in the cat bird’s seat. By lap 29, Hackenbracht found himself back in the top-10 by passing the No. 32 of Matt Merrell and trying to stalk the No. 66 of Nelson Canache Jr. for ninth.
Still under green flag conditions, the leaders would soon have to make their required trip to pit lane. By lap 40, all of the leaders including pole sitter Brennan Poole had made their way to pit road, soaring Hackenbracht to the top of the leaderboard by lap 39.
Hackenbracht completed lap 40 with more than 25 seconds on Poole. Throughout the final 10 laps it was picture perfect for the Mooresville, North Carolina-based team as he cruised to his first career victory while also becoming the 10th different winner and third first time recipient in the ARCA Racing Series this year.
“I’m not sure what to think,” Hackenbracht said. Jokingly he continued, “You know, my parents weren’t able to make it to this race so we don’t know if they’re going to make to any of the other ones now. My dad’s back at home with a bad back, so I’ve got to say thanks to him and everything they’ve done. (Crew chief) Kevin Reed’s strategy played out great. In the past, every time we get in the lead and have the chance to win we have something go wrong. Those last 10 laps, I was just waiting for the caution. Finally, everything played into our hands and we finally got our first win and got the monkey off our back. I hope we’ll have many more to come.”
He added, “I just want to thank the guys on this race team, Kevin (Reed), John (Lanham) and Richie (Mason) and everyone else who helps us get to the race track every week. We don’t have a lot to work with and obviously, we don’t have any sponsorship, maybe this will open some opportunities. This is just amazing.”
Reed offered his sentiments on Saturday’s emotional victory. “This CGH Motorsports team has more heart and desire to do what we do more than anyone in the garage,” he sounded. “Even though we’ve been knocked down on several occasions – we rose up to the occasion again at Pocono and finally achieved our goal,” he sounded. “There are a lot of people that have helped us in numerous ways and we appreciate it sincerely. Hopefully this is the first of many. It’s been pretty overwhelming of all the support and congratulations we have received from friends, relatives and our peers. We are looking forward to the rest of the year as wins are our only concern and we are as prepared as we can be for the last six races.”
Saturday’s contest was the first ARCA Racing Series event his parents had missed in his 42nd career start through three years. In those outings, he has scored one pole, one win, seven top-fives and 19 top-10 finishes. His margin of victory was 13.453 seconds over Poole. Previously, the team had finished second, twice this season at Mobile (Ala.) International Speedway and Pocono (Pa.) Raceway eight weeks earlier.
Next up for the ARCA Racing Series is the Berlin ARCA 200 presented by Hantz at Berlin (Mich.) Raceway on Saturday, August 11. Last July, Hackenbracht finished fifth at the .4-mile paved oval. Unofficially, Hackenbracht will enter the 15th race of the season this upcoming week fifth in the championship standings.
CGH Motorsports still has marketing partnerships available for the 2012 ARCA Racing Series season. Interested parties can contact Jordan Dahl at Jordan@cghmotorsports.com or 570.234.5449.
Tweet with Chad Hackenbracht through Twitter at @ChadH58 or CGH Motorsports @CGH5858.
About CGH Motorsports:
CGH Motorsports (CGHMotorsports.com), established in 2007 by Ohio entrepreneur Greg Hackenbracht is located in a 10,000 sq. foot facility located in Mooresville, North Carolina. CGH Motorsports is home of rising sensation Chad Hackenbracht, who competed in nine ARCA Racing Series races in 2010 after an aggressive ARCA testing schedule in 2009. Chad Hackenbracht is the 2008 National Asphalt Legends champion, winning 33 percent of his races and finishing in the top-10, 85 percent of the events he competed in. The team has stepped up their commitment from a partial schedule in 2010 and ran a full-effort in 2011, and will attempt another full season of competition in 2012.
- CGH Motorsports Press Release
Article Tags: ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, Berlin (Mich.) Raceway, CGH Motorsports, Chad Hackenbracht, Chris Buescher, Frank Kimmel, Greg Hackenbracht, Menards Pole Qualifying Presented by Ansell, Mobile (Ala.) International Speedway, Nelson Canache Jr, No. 58 CGH Motorsports Chevrolet Impala, Pennsylvania ARCA 125, Pocono (Pa.) Raceway