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Kentucky’s Steve Blackburn Leads First ARCA Practice Session Of 2012

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Steve Blackburn, Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200

Kentucky’s Steve Blackburn Leads First ARCA Practice Session Of 2012

Chris Knight
Knight Motorsports Management
Steve Blackburn Motorsports
February 14, 2012


“Blackburn Turns Heads; Looking Stout For Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200”

Steve Blackburn
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (February 14, 2012) - - Steve Blackburn wasn’t kidding when he arrived in Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway this week and said his Steve Blackburn Motorsports (SBM) team was going to be fast. Well, fast is exactly what the 49-year old was as he bolted to the fastest lap in the first practice session of the 2012 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards in preparation for Saturday afternoon’s Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200.

Blackburn, driver of the No. 94 Harley Davidson Pikeville / Pop’s Chevrolet Buick Cadillac Honda of Prestonsburg Chevrolet took to the 2.5-mile superspeedway 24 times during the four hour practice session on Thursday afternoon hoping to dial in his automobile for his expected third ARCA start at the “World Center of Racing.”

Blackburn’s lap of 47.712 seconds at 188.632 miles per hour was the only machine in the 47-second bracket and was a tick over four-tenths of a second faster than second place runner Mark Thompson.

After sporting a Dodge Charger throughout his ARCA Racing Series career which began in 2005, Blackburn and his Steve Blackburn Motorsports (SBM) team opted to switch to Chevrolet and obtain the potent horsepower from Earnhardt-Childress Racing (ECR).

His new relationship with Richard Childress Racing executive Mike Dillon - father of last season's ARCA champion Ty - and ECR Engines, however, may have turned the tide, giving his No. 94 Chevrolet a necessary boost.

"I called him back at the first of summer and never got in with him," Blackburn said of Dillon. "I begged, pleaded, and told him I'd give him my next born for some horsepower, some Chevrolet power. They've let me in, I've joined the family, and I couldn't ask for anything better."

Two prior attempts at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway have been faulted with bad luck, but the Prestonsburg, Kentucky native believes now with the changes his organization has made; he can be a contender in Saturday’s season-opener.

“I tell you after today, I’m tickled to death and ready for the rest of the weekend,” offered Blackburn. “Before we get excited about the race, we still have to turn our concentration towards qualifying. Once that’s over with, we’ll get jived about race day.”

Mike Abner, a veteran crew chief in NASCAR most notably with Germain Racing aided Gary Hostettler, crew chief of the No. 94 Harley Davidson Pikeville / Pop’s Chevrolet Buick Cadillac Honda of Prestonsburg Chevrolet in a consultant role on Thursday and will continue that presence through the conclusion of the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200.

“Gary and Mike work real well together and today is a great example of that,” sounded Blackburn. “I know I’m in good hands which allows me to focus on the bigger picture.”

Since 2005, Steve Blackburn has competed in eight ARCA Racing Series races. In addition to Daytona and Talladega, Blackburn also has made three starts at Kentucky Speedway and one at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway respectively. In those eight outings, Blackburn has delivered a best starting position of 11th twice at Kentucky Speedway in his inaugural ARCA debut (2005) and Talladega (2008). His best finish thus far occurred in his very first start where he delivered a notable 14th place finish.

The Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona (80 laps / 200 miles) is the first of 20 events on the 2012 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. The 49th ARCA race held at Daytona is a three-day show. Menards pole qualifying presented by Ansell is set for Friday, February 17 slated to begin at 2:00 p.m. A forty-five minute final practice session is etched in on Saturday, February 18th from 10:00 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. The event will take the green flag later that day shortly after 4:30 p.m. The race will be televised live on SPEED with additional race coverage including live timing and scoring and radio broadcast through the ARCA Racing Network (ARN) online at arcaracing.com. All times are local. ARCA, celebrating its 60th season in 2012 is the preamble for the highly anticipated Budweiser Shootout for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) set to ignite under the lights later that night.

For more on Steve Blackburn and SBM, please log onto steveblackburnmotorsports.com.

PHOTO CAPTION: Steve Blackburn, driver of the No. 94 Harley Davidson Pikeville / Pop’s Chevrolet Buick Cadillac Honda of Prestonsburg Chevrolet in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards for Steve Blackburn Motorsports (SBM).

TEAM COMMUNICATIONS CONTACT:

NAME: Chris Knight / Josh Weinrich, Knight Motorsports Management
PHONE: 239.834.9797 / 636.236.9687
EMAIL: chris@chrisknightpr.com / josh@chrisknightpr.com

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