Arpin Planning to Be "A Cut Above" at Daytona
Topics: Steve Arpin, Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200
Concord, NC (02-03-11) - Steve Arpin will return to the driver’s seat of the No. 25 Mike’s Hard Lemonade Toyota for the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway on Saturday, Feb. 12 for Venturini Motorsports. The 27-year old heads to the hallowed grounds for the first race of the 2011 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season with some familiarity -- and a track that suits his driving style.
Arpin was impressive during his first full season with Venturini Motorsports, winning three times while finishing 12th in the final ARCA Series standings while competing in 18 of the 20 ARCA Racing Series events as he drove in seven races for JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Nationwide Series . The three victories came at the Salem (Ind.) Speedway and the Texas Motor Speedway in April and the DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds in September. Arpin also had seven top-five and 10 top-10 finishes.
While those were impressive stats for Arpin, he had fun while earning the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards Most Popular Driver Award.
This week, Arpin and Venturini Motorsports will embark on another race together, with the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200.
The third-year series veteran recently took his turn on the high banks of the newly re-paved Daytona for his first laps on the new racing surface in the ARCA-sanctioned open test session on January 11-13. Shaking down the new racing surface, he drove the Mike’s Hard Lemonade Toyota to a fast lap of 48.660 seconds (184.957 mph), 10th overall, during the test.
“I think it (the re-pavement) is going to make for some real exciting racing, we are going to see a whole new Daytona,” Arpin said. “I believe the bumps and how rough the track used to be contributed to the lack of grip. Drivers needed a lot more room because the cars moved around so much.
“But this year I think you are going to see a lot tighter packs, a lot more three-wide racing with the amount of grip the track has I think it is going to put a Superman’s patch on everyone’s chest making them feel like they can do whatever they want.”
Veteran crew chief and 2010 Cometic Crew Chief of the Year, Kevin Reed will be sitting atop the pit box with hopes of leading Venturini Motorsports to its first victory at Daytona.
“Venturini’s has always put a great effort into Daytona,” said Arpin, the 2010 Inside Track Reader’s Choice Awards Canadian Racer of the Year. “The problem with restrictor plate racing is that anything can happen and you have to play everyone of your cards right and hope that luck is on your side. But on the same token all we have control over is the effort that we put in. Being at the shop, I see first hand the time and effort the entire team is putting into it, not just me as a driver. I think in all of the years that we have gone to Daytona; they have come a long way with their restrictor plate program each and every year. I think it is going to be a cut above the rest this year more so than any other year. “
This time around, Arpin and Venturini Motorsports have higher expectations for the race ahead.
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