Sunday, May 27, 2012
Danny Jackson Rules Flat Rock Speedway
FLAT ROCK, Mich. -- Danny Jackson made it two for two to start off the 2012 ARCA Truck Series season by winning the ARCA Truck 100 presented by the Friends of Michigan Animal Rescue on this Memorial Day weekend. It was his second win at the legendary Flat Rock Speedway, only a few miles from the Detroit "Motor City"!
"I've been dreading this race all week! I told my guys this has been the question mark for me! I didn't know about this place," stated the Batavia, Ohio resident. "I've won here before but it seemed to be when I started up front or on the front row and didn't seem to have to pass anybody! We knew the lapped traffic would play a key, and then they said the #25 truck (Cody Quarrick) was coming, but it seems guys behind me had trouble. But this one, I'm just happy, I don't know what to say! My dad, my family, they all just work so hard!"
James Paul "J-P" Weisser started on the inside front row and when the green flag fell, Chris Bailey Jr. Gave chase, eventually grabbing the lead on lap five. However, on lap eight the caution was out when Weisser got out of shape in turn one and sustained front end damage. Chad Poorman in his #3 Gearhart Timber Management Chevy also spun to avoid him but drove on. Weisser was through for the day, credited with 13th place.
The green was back out again and Bailey led Jackson, Cody Quarrick, Levi Mansfield and Poorman. On lap 15, Jackson powered past Bailey and Quarrick went into second the next time by. Jackson slowly began to open the margin as the fight for second ensued. Mansfield passed for third on lap 30, then went into second at lap 32 but couldn't gain ground on Jackson. The yellow was out again on lap 53 as the track was checked for debris in turn two. Brandon Huff, Paul Vanderhoff, Steve Christman’s Double B Garage Chevy and Poorman pitted. Huff raised his hood, Vanderhoff's crew checked for a fluid leak and Poorman changed a damaged left rear tire. When the green flag was unfurled, Vanderhoff may have been the issue as he dropped out a few laps later with an oil leak.
Jackson again slowly began to pull away while the "usual suspects" fought for the rest of the top five. On lap 73, Quarrick went into second and he and Jackson began playing "cat and mouse" in traffic. On the 88th circuit though, Quarrick truck shut off momentarily when he lost power but he re-fired it right away after adjustment from the seat but had now lost two spots. Mansfield was the new chaser and Quarrick caught back up and passed Bailey on the last lap but the checkers fell on the Widow Wax Chevy for Jackson's 11th victory of his career, which moves him into a tie for third place on the all-time wins list with 2005 champion Brett Rowe!
Mansfield, Oakwood, OH (Ken Kirsch Sr.'s #54 Kirsch's Automotive Chevy), second place (career best finish): "We've been quick both weeks, but had some problems last week (at Toledo), but had top time in both practices tonight and had a top truck and thought maybe I had a shot at Danny, but we finished second. I hope Ken's happy, because I really feel blessed to have this opportunity and they don't come around too often. I hope he's happy, I'm happy, and we'll just see where it goes from here!"
Quarrick, Uniontown, PA (#25 Quarrick Racing S347JR V-8 Ford), third place: "We were sick all week, but we have great equipment and thanks to Dave Miller for a great truck and a great setup! Got a podium finish with a top three! We were coming but the battery died and we shut the fan off and were able to run the last ten laps without it getting too hot, but when that happened we lost ground to Jackson, but we were catching and you never know what may happen so we kept coming and nipped Bailey for third! So good run today! We're gaining on 'them!"
Bailey, South Park, PA (in his dad Chris Bailey Sr.'s #17 C.A. Bailey Excavating Chevy), fourth place: "We just picked our truck up this morning! It’s still got the Sandusky (location of the season ending 2011 event) set-up on it! But we were fast! Then we had a good race with Cody, he's a nice guy and clean driver and thought we'd have a better finish than that but then the #21 (Brandon Huff) blew up in front of us and sprayed hot oil up underneath my truck into the floor and burned my feet a little. And running one two with my cousin J-P was great! We grew up together and have raced together and it’s always fun racing with him!"
Brad Yunker, Maumee, OH (Howard Yunker's #30 Arctic Racing Air/Owens Community College Chevy), sixth place: "Today wasn't bad, but anything is better than last week at Toledo (where he suffered an accident). With all the effort we put in, we're just happy to be here! Probably could of used a little more time with the truck and the setup, but there's not a scratch on it and we brought it home in one piece!"
Race Notes: Race winner Jackson's engine was torn down immediately following the event, and officials declared that everything was "within the specifications listed in the rule book"; and speaking of Jackson, he turned the fastest lap of the race on lap six while running fourth at 69.517 MPH, 12.946 seconds. Jackson also moved into a tie with Jeff Speakman for tenth in the series all-time top fives standings with 10 and in the top ten standings, he's now tied at 20 with Ron Wells, David Clay, Troy Marciniak, Brandon Knupp and Joe Wormcastle; making his first ARCA Truck Series start was Pittsburgh, PA's Weisser, in the W W Motorsports Chevy, became only the fifth driver in series history to start off his ARCA Truck career in the lead by being out front from the first lap until being overtaken by his cousin Bailey on lap four! The all-time mark was set by Will Kimmel at Salem September 19th, 2009 in his first (and only) start by leading laps one through six. The first to do it (other than those in the first ever event) was Chad Blount at Toledo July 5th, 2002 who paced his first and second lap before blowing up. The next was Kurt McClennan, also at Flat Rock on July 14th, 2007 and he also led laps one through four. Steve Arpin also lead laps one through four (in his only start) at Iowa Speedway on July 11th, 2009; driving his step-dad Mick Szoka's #18 Ken's Auto Body Chevy, DJ Safety Rookie of the Year candidate Zac Carter (of Hiram, Ohio) recorded his best series finish of seventh. His truck was the mount Jackson drove to three wins in 2010; Marysville, Ohio’s Shawn Szep has had a terrible start to his sophomore season! Last year’s DJ Safety ROTY lost the transmission last week at Toledo in his THIKtees.com Chevy, and this time it was a broken distributor and the truck didn’t even fire in front of the push truck! As he said, “it’s just one of those freak things”; local favorite, Morenci, Michigan's Paul Vanderhoff's #46 Chevy had such a bad oil leak, it had coated his left front tire and forced him to the sidelines after he had a good run in the offing and he said "that explains why I couldn't drive it!";
Qualifying Notes: Jackson's #5 Widow Wax/Red Bank Transport Chevy won their second Gunr4sr.com Pole Position Award of the year and his at Flat Rock with a time of 12.688 seconds. It also moved him into a tie for third in the all-time standings with 2005 champion Brett Rowe with 10. Quarrick was next at 12.695 with Mansfield third at 12.812. And, for the second weekend in a row, Jackson rolled a "five" and "one" on the dice and started sixth, just as he did at Toledo!
"Truck’s pretty good, I feel pretty good. We made some changes in practice but kind of went back to what we came with. The truck was a little free for qualifying, but as they say loose is fast! Ain’t been herein two years and it feels the same – strange as all get out! I think you have to race here on a weekly basis to be really good here. I’ll need the bottom, and will bide our time but I’m going to my best to ride because I think we’ll need some Hoosier Tires at the end!”
The ARCA Truck Series completed its second full season presented by the Phoenix Management Group of Ohio, LLC, (or PMG) of Millersport, Ohio in 2011, under a licensing agreement with the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA). The ARCA Truck Series ran its first full season under ARCA’s direction in 1999, after evolving from the Pro-4 Series, which was sanctioned by ARCA for the previous nine years. Today, the series has grown into one of the most versatile series in short track racing, having taken popular four cylinder, V-6 & Ford V-8 crate powered trucks to asphalt tracks of many sizes under one mile, road courses, and numerous dirt tracks in its history.
Founded by John 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 two professional touring series and local weekly events.
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