Venturini Motorsports Proves Drive For Five Domination at Daytona
Topics: Steve Arpin, Mikey Kile, Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, FL (02/08/2010) - Venturini Motorsports Takes 2 of the Top 3 Finishes
Venturini Motorsports made groundbreaking news in the ARCA Series with their Daytona Drive for Five effort. After all of the Venturini drivers qualifying in the top 20, they were ready for their drivers to tighten their belts and the green flag to drop.
Mikey Kile, driver of the no. 25 TAG Heuer Eyewear Toyota, started on the outside pole (49.653 seconds/181.258mph). ”We worked really hard during the off season and this qualifying result is a direct result of that hard work,” said Kile after qualifying. After mishaps during the first pit stop and during the race, Kile finished in the 16th position.
Mark Thompson, driver of the no. 66 Phoenix Air Toyota, started 6th and finished second. John Wes Townley, driver of the no. 35 Zaxby’s Toyota, qualified 9th and finished respectably behind his teammate in the third position. Steve Arpin, driver of the no. 55 Farm Boys BBQ Toyota, qualified 10th and finished 10th. Alli Owens, driver of the no. 15 ElectrifyingCareers.com Chevrolet, qualified 19th and settled for a 23rd place finish.
It takes a lot of patients and discipline to drive at Daytona and having 4 other teammates for each Venturini Motorsports driver to work with always helps.
After the first caution of the day, on lap seven, Venturini Motorsports teammates John West Townley and Steve Arpin were running 7th and 8th respectively, Venturini Motorsports communicates their race strategy to stay in sequence and run together to the front and then race at the end.
It helps to have teammates on the track. While under caution Steve Arpin noticed the car in front of him, his teammate John Wes Townley, had picked up some debris on the no. 35 Zaxby’s Toyota. Steve radioed over to Billy Venturini to ensure that the no. 35 team takes extra precaution.
At Daytona International Speedway, sun can be an issue through turns three and four, but not for the no. 25 TAG Heuer Eyewear Toyota of Mikey Kile. He let the no. 25 crew know that the car felt good and he did not have any complaints.
During the race, no. 25 crew chief, Kevin Reed, commented on Kile’s success at Daytona thus far. “Mikey Kile has done an awesome job through testing and through practice and we came up a little bit short yesterday in qualifying, but for an outside pole we will take it.”
Kile raced in the third position for most of the race. On lap 29, Kile went on the pit row under caution for a four tire and fuel pit stop. He went in third and when he pulled into his pit stall, the pit crew team behind Kile clipped him delaying his pit entry. After the pit stop Kile came out on the track in the 25th position. Venturini Motorsports and Kile now had to depend on finding his four other teammates on the track to pull him to the front.
By lap 32, Venturini Motorsports was 40% of the top 10 with Thompson running second, Owens in third, Townley in 9th, and Arpin in 10th. Venturini Motorsports’ teammates were working together to dominate the top 10.
Daytona Beach native, Alli Owens felt very confident before going into the race. Owens said her car is a “pusher,” knowing that if she could get up front after qualifying 19th, she knew she could stay up there in the draft. Running third, Owens was proving why she deserves to stay up front.
Ten females came to the Daytona test in December, six entered the race, but Alli Owens was the female running up front.
At the halfway mark (40 of 80 laps), three of the top five cars were that of Venturini Motorsports. Thompson ran in second with Owens in third and Townley in fifth.
Mikey Kile was quickly making his way into the 16th position before being involved in an accident on lap 42.
Throughout most of the remainder of the race, Venturini Motorsports continued to occupy four of the top 10 positions.
On lap 70, Steve Arpin, driver of the no. 55 Farm Boys BBQ Toyota, raced his way to the 7th position. His spotter made constant reminders to Steve to stay focus and on his toes; he was about to see a lot of action in the remaining laps.
And a lot of action did occur in the last ten laps, especially for no. 15 Alli Owens as she got shuffled out of the draft and fell back.
Venturini Motorsports teammates, Mark Thompson and John Wes Townley continued to work together in the remaining laps. Both drivers made career best finishes in the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards as they crossed the finish line at Daytona International Speedway. Mark Thompson finished second position and John West Townley in the third.
Steve Arpin in the no. 55 rounded out the top 10 finishers. Mikey Kile worked his way back up to the 16th position and Alli Owens crossed the finish line in the 23rd position after a late race shuffle.
After the race Townley commented on how glad he was to be a part of Venturini Motorsports for the ARCA debut, "I really think this was a valuable experience. A great opportunity to come here and run and I'm really excited to go into next year and drive for RCR, how many people can say they run for that team?"
The finishing results at Daytona International Speedway were an overall accomplishment for Venturini Motorsports even though the no. 25 crew and Mikey Kile’s evening did not go as planned. “I was happy with everything until we had pit stop issues on pit row. We went out last and then ended up getting involved in a two-car spin on the track. The rest of the race we were playing catch up.” The full-season driver was quick to note, “At least this is not a one race championship. We still have a full season ahead of us and we learn from the seat time and we will go on with the rest of the year.”
Venturini Motorsports will race at least 2 cars at the second ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards event at Palm Beach Int’l Raceway in Jupiter, FL on February 27.
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