Everything but the ‘W’ at Pocono Raceway
Topics: Messina Wildlife Animal Stopper 200, Mikey Kile
Quickest in Practice. Pole Award. Led the Race.
LONG POND, PA (06-06-10) Approaching the 7th stop on the ARCA Racing scheduled, the biggest question that everyone was asking Mikey Kile, driver of the no. 25 Toyota for Venturini Motorsports, was if there is any added pressure to qualify in the top 5 since he is the only ARCA driver this season to do so at every race. And his answer was simply ‘no, it’s all about laying down a fast lap.’
While that may not be added pressure for the sophomore driver, Kile always seems to strap down in his car and focus on achieving his best qualifying effort. And that is just what he did at Pocono Raceway for the Messina Wildlife Animal Stopper 200.
After toping the speed charts in practice, Kile won the Menards Pole Award presented by Ansell for the first time in his ARCA career. With a new title sponsor on board, Kile positioned the no. 25 Sears Auto Center/DieHard Toyota on the pole, nearly three miles per hour faster than the second qualifier (53.970 seconds / 167.069mph).
The ARCA Racing Series noted that if Kile maintained his qualifying speed throughout the race, he would lap the entire field by lap 65. In fact, Kile had lapped all but three cars and had a four-second advantage by lap 38.
Mikey Kile triumphed the tricky triangle most of the race while leading 67-laps only giving up the lead to Craig Goess when the no. 25 team made pit stops under caution. Kile was never passed on the track under green flag racing conditions.
Mikey Kile dominated the entire weekend at Pocono Raceway until the last 7 laps when the second caution flag came out on lap 73. Craig Goess, in second place, was looking for the caution, while Venturini Motorsports and Kile were looking for the checkered flag.
The two cars pitted and Goess exited the pits on top. After the green flag dropped for the restart, for the first time during the race, the no. 25 was unable to get around the no. 81 of Goess. The win seemed to be stolen from the no. 25 team after dominating the tricky triangle. Those laps 7 laps made a second place finish bittersweet for Kile and Venturini Motorsports.
"It definitely is bittersweet. You know, we led the most laps. We were really riding, and the guys came on the radio and said we were still pulling away. Man, the car was great. That last caution just fell at the right time for them and the wrong time for us,” noted Kile post-race. ''It is what it is. We move on, it's a good run. We're keeping our heads up high, and moving on to the next race.''
Although the finish was almost surreal for Kile and Venturini Motorsports, the team left Pocono Raceway with confidence. Mikey Kile will be racing the same car this weekend at Michigan International Raceway and he has proven himself as the car to watch on Friday.
“This weekend was a great debut for our new sponsor Sears Auto Center and DieHard. We'll be taking this car to Michigan next week and hopefully with the same paint scheme,” said Kile with a sly smile hinting towards the possibility bringing Sears Auto Center and DieHard on board for the next race. “We're really looking forward to that, so we'll keep our heads up high with a second place finish and move on to the next race.”
Mikey Kile’s teammate, Steve Arpin, finished in the 11th position after racing his way into the top-5 before running out of fuel early in the race causing the no. 55 Mike’s Hard Lemonade Toyota to go two laps down.
Alli Owens was also in great contention for success at the tricky triangle, as she was 4th quickest in practice. Owens was forced to start last in the no. 15 ElectrifyCareers.com Chevy after wrecking in the 1-lap qualifying effort. With an unfortunate struggle for Owens she managed to finish in the 20th position.
Venturini Motorsports will travel to Michigan International Speedway for the Racing for Wildlife 200 on Friday June 11th. The race will be LIVE on SPEED at 5pm ET and will be on live audio coverage on ARCARacing.com.
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