BROOKLYN, Michigan - - It’s not a matter of if but when.
After scoring their second runner-up finish of the 2012 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season last Saturday afternoon at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, Chad Hackenbracht and his CGH Motorsports team turn their attention to Friday’s RainEater Wiper Blades 200 looking for career-win number one at Michigan International Speedway (MIS).
Despite limited sponsorship on their No. 58 Chevrolet Impala entries this season, the team led by Kevin Reed has amassed some stellar results which have kept the family-owned team on the radar. Finding themselves in similar circumstances this week as they were in Pocono last weekend, the Mooresville, North Carolina-based team is ready to deliver yet again – but this weekend with a checkered flag.
Reed himself is no stranger to victory lane in the Irish Hills. In 2010, he guided Mikey Kile to his first career ARCA Racing Series triumph and there’s little doubt in his mind that he can do the same with the New Philadelphia, Ohio native on Friday afternoon.
The duo however will have to take on the track’s new surface which has seen a new makeover which has increased the speeds and set a new mindset for the competitors entering the eighth race of the season. Still, the team is ready for the task at hand.
"I feel good about our chances for this weekend," said Hackenbracht. "As a team, we were pretty pleased with the way our car performed at Pocono and we’re taking that same car back, so that’s a good sign for us. Pro Motor Engineering (PME) gives us some awesome power under the hood -- hopefully Friday will be the day that all the ingredients come together. Michigan’s a really wide track and I expect the race to have plenty of grooves which should open the door for plenty of good racing, so I’m looking forward to seeing the green flag drop."
He added, "I can’t begin to thank my parents and the guys on this CGH Motorsports team for their support and their attitude. We’re digging trying to make the season (full) work with the little resources we have, but we continue the hunt for a marketing partner. With our performance, we can give them some great television exposure and then off the track, I know I would make a great spokesperson for them and their product; we just need someone to take that initiative and jump forward. One step at a time though, if we can continue to produce these strong runs, I’m sure something will develop here soon, we just have to stay focused."
If winning and a new track surface wasn’t enough to worry about, Hackenbracht is on the verge on potentially grasping the ARCA Racing Series points lead. With a strong run on Friday, it’s possible that his 75-point gap to first could evaporate.
"It’s important that we keep running well, so we can keep gaining as many points as we can," the 20-year old remarked. "The more we can keep ourselves near the top – the more likely we’ll be at the track each week."
Reed offered his outlook for this weekend’s race.
"The CGH Motorsports team again rose to the occasion and completed Pocono with a solid effort last weekend and we continued to show that we are for real," offered Reed. "We are now prepared and ready to go to Michigan as we are running the same car and Pro Motor has given us more power this week. I’m thinking Michigan is the place where we will finally visit victory lane for the first time."
He added, "Chad has continued to grow as a driver and his confidence in his ability and in his equipment is at an all-time high and we roll to the "Motor City" where we finished fourth one year ago."
In all, Hackenbracht will make his second career start at the two-mile oval of Michigan International Speedway this weekend. Last year, the team gathered a fourth place run after starting eighth. This year after seven races, Hackenbracht has three top-fives and five top-10s and seven top-10 starting positions.
Following his on-track activity on Thursday afternoon, Hackenbracht will attend the annual Brooklyn-Irish Hills Race Fest where he will sign autographs with other ARCA drivers from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. in the Brooklyn village square.
The RainEater Wiper Blades 200 (100 laps / 200 miles) is the eighth of 20 events on the 2012 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. The 31st ARCA race at Michigan International Speedway is a two-day show. Practice begins Thursday, June 14 with an hour and a half practice session planned from 4:05 p.m. - 5:35 p.m. Menards pole qualifying presented by Ansell is set for race day, Friday, June 15 slated to begin at 10:00 a.m. The event will take the green shortly after 5:00 p.m. The race will be televised live on SPEED. Additional coverage including timing and scoring available through the ARCA Racing Network (ARN) online at arcaracing.com. All times are local (Eastern).
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