Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Herr's Chase the Taste 200 at Winchester Gives All Top ARCA Contenders Reason for Optimism
TOLEDO, Ohio -- As the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards goes back to a short track in Sunday's Herr's Chase the Taste 200 at Winchester Speedway, each of the top championship contenders through eight races has real potential to drive to Victory Lane.
The eastern Indiana half-mile has been the site of 22 previous events in the ARCA Racing Series, many of which were packed with the thrills associated with high-banked short track action. Led by series points leader Brennan Poole and last week's race winner Chris Buescher, who is second in points, the series should provide another show worth remembering on Sunday afternoon.
An ARCA tripleheader is on the schedule at Winchester, as the ARCA Racing Series headlines a weekend that also features the ARCA CRA Super Series and ARCA Truck Series. The ARCA Racing Series will hold two 45-minute practices on Saturday, at 12:05 and 2:05 p.m. Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell will follow at 4:30, just before the Truck Series race at 5:30 and the Super Series event at 6:30.
The 200-lap, 100-mile Herr's Chase the Taste 200 will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday, with live timing and scoring and live audio coverage presented by the ARCA Racing Network available at ARCARacing.com.
Poole, a short track winner at Elko Speedway in Minnesota and also a speedway winner at Pocono this month, is a certain favorite. Up 20 points on Buescher, he also led 59 laps last week at Michigan and has led 284 laps in just the last three races, more than any driver has led all season.
Buescher finished second at the track last year, trailing Indiana's Dakoda Armstrong to the finish line in the fourth of his six runner-up results.
"(Winchester is) kind of similar to Salem, and a little smoother from what I remember," said Buescher, who won in nearby Salem, Ind. last year and has two wins this year, including one on a short track. "It's a place where we ran really well last year and finished second. We had a really good race last year with the 22 car, Dakoda Armstrong. It's a lot of fun, with a real narrow groove, another real nice place to race."
Currently third in series points, Frank Kimmel is the leading ARCA Racing Series winner at Winchester with five victories (1996, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006). He stands just ahead of Alex Bowman, who like Buescher has a recent Salem win in his pocket. Bowman dominated at the similar track in April, leading 146 of 200 laps, including the last 60.
"Our car, we were so good at Salem, and we led so much of that race and brought home the win there," Bowman said. "(Crew chief) Paul Andrews really knows what he's doing on that type of race track."
Chad Hackenbracht is fifth in points, but finished third at Winchester last season.
"We definitely had the fastest car there the last 20 laps," he said recently. "I just didn't realize it until too late. We finished third last year, so I'm looking forward to going back."
Fellow top-10 competitors Matt Lofton, Tom Hessert, Ryan Reed, Jared Marks, and Spencer Gallagher will all take aim at their first win of 2012.
ARCA first raced at Winchester in 1957, when Don O'Dell won in a Chevrolet. Last season's win by Armstrong was ARCA's first trip to Winchester since 2007.
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.