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Auto Racing News / MIS

Friday, 27 May, 2011 2:26 AM

Heavy rain shortens ARCA testing at MIS; New sponsor for Champions Club

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

ARCA Driver Sean Corr completes his testing session at Michigan International Speedway on May 25, 2011.

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

|

BROOKLYN, Mich. -- It was heavy showers that put the red flag on ARCA testing on Wednesday at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich. Eighteen ARCA drivers had the opportunity to go 25-55 laps around the 2-mile oval track. They were in town to practice for the upcoming RainEater Wiper Blades 200 race, which is scheduled for Friday, June 17. Jackson, Mich.-based CP Federal Credit Union was announced as the presenting sponsor of the MIS Champions Club for 2011. The Champions Club is a great way to watch the races in a more luxurious fashion.

"It went really well, we have another fast race car," said current ARCA points leader Ty Dillon. "We had to adjust a little bit. We started out with our Chicago setup. It just didn't hit right with this race track. We kind of adjusted it and got it fast. We're one of the fastest race cars here now. My goals are to win races and go for that points championship. We're leading right now. Hopefully, we'll continue success and do well. I'm just excited to go racing in general with ARCA series."

Max Gresham had the fastest car during ARCA testing on May 25. Officials scheduled two sessions for the day, 9 a.m. to Noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. However, they made the decision to cancel their lunch break in order to allow extra time for testing.

"Obviously, I didn't want the rain, but we got a good amount of laps in," said Chris Buescher, driver of the No. 17 ARCA race car. "We're not quite as fast as we want to be, but overall just trying to learn a new track. Not being here before, it's tough, it's a big place. It's fast so we'll get there. I actually came and helped on the crew for Chase Mattioli last year. That was my previous experience here. It's very, very different from Toledo. The car has to be really equally balanced. You get too free and it's tough to come back. Toledo you have to hustle more."

Drivers were able to get about four and a half hours of testing in. Then, the heavy rain started at around 12:30 p.m. It caused many of the teams to pack up and led officials to cancel the rest of the testing for the day.

"I couldn't get this one figured out at all," said Grant Enfinger, driver of the No. 26 ARCA race car. "We're just way off the pace with this one. We've made some gains, but we've got some gains to make as well. It's just wide open, a high-speed track. You've got to have a good driving car at the end. You can actually pass here. Some of these mile and a halves, it's really tough to pass. The corners are so wide here you can go to the outside if you need to."

Gresham's leading lap came in at 38.724 seconds or 185.931 mph. Cale Gale came in a close second with a time of 38.812 seconds or 185.510. Matt Lofton, Hal Martin and Clay Rogers rounded out the top ten, all with a time of less than 39 seconds.

"Here, you're rolling out and rolling back in because they have so much power," said Joey Coulter, driver of the No. 16 ARCA race car. "An ARCA car is built for just cutting through the air. This is really the first time that I've gone from a big truck track to an ARCA track that's a long track. I'm already starting to figure out a lot of things that I can take back to the truck and bring back to the race when we come here. When we go run the Lucas Oil Raceway over the summer, I'm going to run the ARCA race the night before the truck race."

MIS officials announced that CP Federal Credit Union is the new presenting sponsor of the Champions Club for this racing season. It is positive news for the community since the credit union is based in Jackson, Mich. and the track is in nearby Brooklyn, Mich.

"I'm looking for dreams come true and so forth," said John Crist, President and CEO of CP Federal Credit Union. "I have talked with Roger Curtis for a number of years and so forth about doing something. I see MIS as an economic engine for the area. I want to promote that because that helps all of us. It helps us too with our image. It helps us with more transactions during the race week."

The Champions Club was constructed in 2005. CP Federal Credit Union has had a long history of working with MIS. Many of their employees have worked at the Champions Club for many years over race weekends.

"We're here for the community and working for the community," Crist added. "This is a major gem in the community. I'm excited about it. These people out here are fantastic people. They have the same philosophy we have in servicing their customers and their members. We do the same thing. We compliment each other. It's a great organization."

Credentials for the MIS Champions Club are $490 and include a pre-race pit pass, unlimited food, an outdoor, individual 20-inch stadium seat at the start-finish line. In addition, it allows for access to the air-conditioned lounge and entertainment area as well as private restrooms and a parking pass. Fans who purchase a credential can access the Champions Club all weekend long, Friday through Sunday with no additional charge.

"We have 10 branches," the president and CEO explained. "Seven of which are public--the other three are inside corporations in the Jackson area. We have one in Brooklyn right now. We're always looking at other opportunities. It helps us with our expansion and what we want to do in the future. We actually have credit unions in the schools. The track wants to be part of that program."

The June race weekend at MIS begins with the RainEater Wiper Blades 200 ARCA race on Friday, June 17. It continues with the Alliance Truck Parts 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Saturday, June 18 with a post-race concert by Emerson Drive. The racing action wraps up with the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, June 19.

For more information about Michigan International Speedway or to purchase tickets to an upcoming race, visit www.mispeedway.com.

Related Story: Hundreds show up to submit questions for NASCAR Driver Trevor Bayne in Dearborn

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

CP Federal Credit Union is the new presenting sponsor of the MIS Champions Club.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

A new, taller scoreboard is being constructed in the track's infield.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The new pedestrian tunnel was unveiled to the news media.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

ARCA Driver Grant Enfinger speaks to the media.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

ARCA Driver Joey Coulter addresses journalists during a press conference.

 

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