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Matt Merrell Focuses On Biggest Race Of His ARCA Career

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Matt Merrell, Pocono ARCA 200

Matt Merrell Focuses On Biggest Race Of His ARCA Career

Chris Knight
Win-Tron Racing
June 3, 2009

LONG POND, Pennsylvania (June 3, 2009) - - Three races into his 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series (ARS) season, Portland, Texas native Matt Merrell has finished no worse than 11th and that finish came in his season debut at Salem Speedway in April.

Since then, Merrell has finished third and fifth respectively at Rockingham Speedway and Toledo Speedway which has earned Merrell a shot at competing at Pocono Raceway for Saturday’s Pocono ARCA 200.

The sixth race of the season will no doubt be the biggest challenge of Merrell’s young ARCA career but challenges have been Merrell’s gain and he will look for his third straight top-five finish while keeping in the back of his mind that he has a shot at winning his first ever ARCA race in just his seventh start.

While the former USARacing star hasn’t acquired any experience at the tough Pocono triangle, he is leaning on past races, feedback and support from his surrounding peers to guide him towards putting together a memorable performance in his Long Pond debut.

“This is a great opportunity for me and Colin’s Hope this weekend,” said Merrell who sits 19th in the championship standings despite competing in three of six races this year. “I’ve heard a lot about Pocono but I’m really looking forward to experimenting it for myself on Friday.”

When asked what to expect this weekend Merrell replied, “Gosh, I’m sure it’s going to be a very competitive race. This Win-Tron Racing team though will be on top of its game and we hope to be right in the thickness of the battle. I’ll use practice to my advantage and try and utilize it as a mini-race and find that perfect line. Starting near the front will be critical too and of course logging all 80 laps is what we’re all after. I think we have as good of a chance as any to celebrate in victory lane.”

For the fourth time this season, the Win-Tron Racing / Matt Merrell combo is utilizing the seventh race of the season to bring awareness to an even bigger picture off the race track.

The team will continue to recognize and help bring further attentiveness to Colin’s Hope.

Colin’s Hope is a nonprofit organization that creates and supports programs that aid in preventing children from drowning. Despite numerous sources for water safety, the number of children who drown per year is staggering. Colin's Hope of saving children from drowning is being achieved through improved water safety awareness and standards throughout communities.

“Colin’s Hope has received a lot of exposure, press and even better awareness lately,” admitted Merrell. It has been a real pleasure and honor for me to continue to promote something I strongly believe in. With the reaction the organization has been receiving off the track, it just makes me that more determined to keep it up this weekend.”

Nate Thiesse, co-owner and general manager of Win-Tron Racing offered his thoughts on Pocono Raceway this weekend. “Matt has done a splendid job this year. He had matured immensely and his feedback continues to strengthen each and every race. He knows that Pocono is a big race for him but I don’t look for any pressure he may feel to break him, instead I look for him to excel.”

Entering Pocono, Win-Tron Racing holds the second position in the ARCA RE/MAX Series owner’s standings after six races. Car owner Kevin Cywinski is just five points from the top-spot from fellow car owner Jessica Sharp (No. 6). The team slipped one position from their last outing at Toledo Speedway after Matt Merrell recorded his second consecutive top-five finish.

Merrell Lease Service will join Colin’s Hope as the primary sponsors of Merrell’s No. 32 Dodge Charger in his second Toledo Speedway start this weekend.

Further information on Win-Tron Racing is available by visiting win-tronracing.com or contacting Nate Thiesse at 952.469.1839.

For more on Matt Merrell please visit, MattMerrellRacing.com.

The Pocono ARCA 200 (80 laps / 200 miles) is the seventh of 21 events on the 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule. The 48th ARCA race at Pocono Raceway is a two-day show. Practice begins Friday, June 5 with an hour and forty minute practice session planned from 10:15 a.m. - 11:55 a.m. Menards Pole by Ansell qualifying is set for later in the day slated to begin at 1:45 p.m. The event will take the green flag on Saturday, June 6 shortly after 1:00 p.m. The event will tape-delayed on SPEED and will air at 4:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon. The race however will be broadcasted live through the ARCA Racing Network (ARN) online at arcaracing.com. All times are local.

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