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Sarah Cornett-Ching: Aiming For Pure Finish At Michigan International Speedway

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Sarah Cornett-Ching, Corrigan Oil 200

Sarah Cornett-Ching: Aiming For Pure Finish At Michigan International Speedway

Chris Knight
Knight Motorsports Management
June 10, 2015

Sarah Cornett-Ching
BROOKLYN, Michigan (June 10, 2015) - - ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards rookie driver Sarah Cornett-Ching is used to adversity. However, she’ll tell you that the type of adversity that she’s faced in her first year of competition on the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) tour has been stressful at times.

On Friday afternoon, she’ll look to ease some of that tension in the Corrigan Oil 200 at Michigan International Speedway, settled an hour west of Detroit.

And while the driver of the No. 2 RACE 101 Chevrolet will make her debut this week at the 2.0-mile oval nestled in the Irish Hills, the popular driver hopes for a rebound after a tough outing last Saturday at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.

Making impressive strides from an open test last Wednesday to practice on Friday saw her qualify a respectable 13th and maximized her strength by hustling into the top-10 during the race. Unfortunately, a motor failure and oil leak just 23 laps from the finish resulted in her second DNF (did not finish) of the year and a 20th place finish.

“Pocono was hard to swallow,” said Cornett-Ching. “We really made big strides with our No. 2 RACE 101 / Liam’s Lighthouse Foundation Chevrolet. The test was positive because when the race came on Saturday afternoon, the extra track time paid off. However, the motor had a misfire throughout the weekend and even though ARCA's engine supplier tried extremely hard to diagnose the problem, they couldn’t. Eventually, it proved to be our demise.”

Even with the tough break last weekend at “The Tricky Triangle,” the 24-year old driver knows that she can’t let last weekend’s misfortunes consume her.

“If I let last weekend bother me, I’m going to lose focus on what’s ahead and this weekend it’s Michigan,” she added. “It’s another track that I’ve never been too, but I seem to have adjusted well to new places. We have another motor for the race and Tony (Blanchard, driver coach, mentor and owner) and the rest of the team have been working really hard on our car, so I’m eager to get behind the wheel and get ourselves back in the top-10.”

Every track that Cornett-Ching has visited this season has been new to her, and while the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards tour won’t visit Michigan twice this season, the Canadian driver would like to leave her mark in the “Motor City.”

“We have two top-10s this year, one on a restrictor plate track, another on a road course,” she said. “I’d like to get another top-10 this weekend not only to put our RACE 101 team back on track, but also keep my on-track development progressing. Each time I’m on the track I’m learning and that’s what this year is all about for me, but we also have our own goals too.”

With practice set on Thursday afternoon and qualifying and the race held on the same day, Cornett-Ching says she’ll turn to her peers for additional advice at one of the fastest tracks on the circuit.

After all, the Summerland, British Columbia native notes they’ve been instrumental in making her feel welcomed.

“I’d like to think I’ve earned some respect this season so far, both on and off the track,” she said.

“Anytime I get behind the wheel of the race car, it’s my job to go out there and bring home a strong finish for my team and partners. I race hard, but I race clean. Michigan is a very fast track, where respect is needed.”

Approaching the halfway mark on the tour, the aspiring NASCAR driver also knows that performance on the track has never been more crucial.

“We have our eye on finishing in the top-five in points,” sounded Cornett-Ching who sits eighth in the championship standings entering Michigan. “No one said it was going to be easy and it won’t be, but we’re a determined bunch who won’t give up without a fight. We can’t control motor failures, the package we have to run prohibits our team from touching anything on these engines, but there are other things we can control and if we’re able to do that, we should be in good shape come Kansas (Speedway) in October.”

Finishing inside the top-10 in the ninth race of the season provides an opportunity for Cornett-Ching to not only meet her on-track goals, but do so much more.

The Corrigan Oil 200 (100 Laps / 200 Miles) is the ninth of 20 races on the 2015 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins for the two-day show on Thursday, June 11 from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Menards pole group qualifying presented by Ansell is set for race day, Friday, June 12 at 10:00 a.m. The event will take the green flag just after 5:30 p.m. The event will be televised on FOX Sports 2 with additional coverage, including live timing and scoring at ARCARacing.com. All times are local (Eastern).

Follow Sarah Cornett-Ching on Twitter @scornettching.

Like her on Facebook by clicking here.

Visit her website at sccracing.com.

PHOTO CAPTION: SCOTT Rookie of the Year candidate Sarah Cornett-Ching, driver of the No. 2 RACE 101 Chevrolet for owner Tony Blanchard in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards.

Tony Blanchard


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