Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Top ARCA Teams Test at Lucas Oil Raceway Prior to Speedfest
by Scott Smith
BROWNSBURG -- Testing for the Messina Wildlife Animal Stopper 200 on July 27th has reached a fevered pace with many ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards teams logging numerous laps on the tricky .686-mile oval. Recently drivers from Venturini Motorsports took to the track for an afternoon of testing in preparation for the 2012 installment of SpeedFest.
Despite approaching the track in different ways both Brennan Poole and Erik Jones could agree that the track was different than any other they race at during the course of the season.
Jones is a veteran of the track after racing here in the CRA Super Series in 2011. While he knew what to expect from the track he is has to adapt do driving a heavier ARCA car. “This is really the only track that’s progressively banked like it is and provides as many racing grooves as it does, stated Jones. “Testing is important at any track, especially here though because of the nature of the track and how much different it is than anywhere else. You just have to be able to get your car to work on this flatter surface. You have two different types of banking; it’s either flat or banked, so you’ve got to make it work on both.”
Poole, on the other hand, is a newcomer to the oval. While having not raced at the track he has many miles around the facility in the virtual world. “I do play a lot of video games. They have this track on the old Playstation2 NASCAR game. I have like over 100,000 laps on it,” said Poole. “This is like one of my favorite tracks on the game. I don’t know how much it’s going to play into it. But of course, I’ve seen a lot of virtual laps. I try to watch a video from past years and past races. I watch a lot of Dartfish. It’s this cool tool where it overlays laps with other drivers with your laps so you can see where you lost and gain time. I ask the teammates who have been here before and get as much advice as I can to prepare for the weekend ahead.”
Despite the different approaches to the track they both agree that their team and teammates would be the most helpful tool to success at the upcoming race. Jones believes his biggest help off the track is also his toughest competition on the track; his Venturini teammates. Poole attributes his success to all the guys at Venturini Motorsports.
“I’m just taking it one race at a time, one lap at a time. Iowa is in a week and we’ll see how that goes first,” stated Poole.
Both realize that some weeks go well and other times you have bad luck, but that it is a matter of finding out what works. The testing and the information gathered in testing will hopefully bring success during the course of SpeedFest.
All eyes will be on these drivers and the remaining competitors in the Messina Wildlife Animal Stopper 200 when the green flag falls on Friday at 9 a.m. Tickets are still available and can be purchased for $35 for reserved; $20 for reserved general, children 12 and under; $25 for general admission with general admission junior 6-12 $10; children five and under free.
One of five drag racing facilities owned and operated by the National Hot Rod Association, Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis was built in 1960 and has presented organized racing events since 1961. From March through October, the facility hosts more than 120 dates of racing on three tracks, a quarter-mile drag strip, a .686-mile paved oval and a 2.5-mile road course. Home to drag racing’s biggest event, the NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals over Labor Day weekend, the drag strip runs more than 50 days of point-to-point action, from national events to street legal community programs. The oval track draws racing’s biggest events including USAC, ARCA and CRA races. The road course provides a home for several racing sanctions, while providing an ideal resource for driving schools, corporate outings and open-road tests for professional drivers.