Michael Simko Returns To ARCA RE/MAX Series Competition In Time For Salem Brawl
Topics: Michael Simko, Eddie Gilstrap Motors ARCA Fall Classic
Auburn Racing Enterprises
September 12, 2007
SALEM, Indiana (September 12, 2007) - Welcome back to ARCA.
Veteran racecar driver Michael Simko officially announced today he will return to the ARCA RE/MAX Series this weekend at Salem Speedway for Saturday’s Eddie Gilstrap Motors ARCA Fall Classic by Advance Auto Parts.
Since drawing national coverage for his on-track retaliation with another competitor last year at Toledo Speedway during an ARCA late model event, the sanction announced they had indefinitely suspended the Michigan native from competition.
That suspension from the ARCA RE/MAX Series was lifted in March, but Simko was busy competing in the American Speed Association (ASA) Late Model Series while also hunting for funding to revamp his ARCA career.
The components have come together and Simko will make the first of two planned ARS events beginning with the 21st event on the 2007 schedule Saturday night.
“I am ecstatic to be racing with the ARCA RE/MAX Series,” said Simko. “And to be coming back to one of my absolute favorite tracks, Salem Speedway, just makes it even better. Our Auburn Racing team has been running the ASA Late Model Series Challenge division this year with some success. But all year we’ve been anticipating our return to ARCA.”
He continued, “Most people think that with the events that occurred last September in the Glass City 200 that I have been suspended still by the powers that be in ARCA. After the infamous dropkick, we were “suspended indefinitely from ARCA competition.” We received our definition of indefinitely shortly after the first of the year.
The suspension lasted until March 1 for the ARCA RE/MAX Series and June 1 for late model competition at Toledo and Flat Rock Speedways. So I’ve actually been able to race all year. The reason for our prolonged absence has been lack of funding. As is true with every race team, our Auburn Racing Enterprises team has been hit especially hard on the terrible economy. And with really no sponsor to speak of, we concentrated on our late model all year.”
It’s been a year since the second generation driver has competed in an ARCA event, but Simko swears he hasn’t lost the groove and Salem is a track that can put his name back on the circuit.
“I really can’t wait to get back to Salem ,” explained Simko. “My last start in ARCA was at Salem Speedway last fall and we had an awesome car. A broken gear cost us a shot at victory lane. This year we think we can have an even better car and better shot at my first win. We will be running the No. 75 for Bob Schacht Motorsports, but it will be on our familiar black and white Chevrolet Monte Carlo.”
If there is any place that Simko can make his presence known, it’s the Southern Indiana track of Salem Speedway. Planning to make his 39th career ARCA start on Saturday, Simko has reeled in a career best finish of third at the half-mile facility in 2005 while also posting strong top-10 finishes of sixth (2002) and 10th (2003).
“It’s not really a surprise that Salem Speedway is a track that I really gel with. We’ve always been able to arrive with a good setup and if everything went our way, we walked away with a strong finish. We really only have two shots at ARCA this year and I really want to make the best of them. We don’t plan to hold anything back.”
Mound Steel & Supply and Diamond Pistons will sponsor the 2005 Chevrolet this weekend.
Following Salem Speedway, Simko is expected to join the rest of the ARS competitors in the season finale at Toledo Speedway for the Hantz Group 200 presented by Belle Tire on October 14.
The Eddie Gilstrap Motors ARCA Fall Classic by Advance Auto Parts (200 laps/110 miles) is the 21st of 23 races on the 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule. The 79th ARCA race held at Salem Speedway is a one-day show. Practice begins Saturday, September 15 with an hour and a half practice session planned from 1:30-2:35pm. ARCA SIM Factory pole qualifying is set for later in the day at 4:00pm Local Time. The event will take the green flag shortly after 7:15pm Local Time. The race will not be televised but additional race coverage is available online at arcaracing.com.
NAME: Chris Knight, Auburn Racing Enterprises
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