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ARCA RE/MAX Series Monday Driver Talladega Test Quotes

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  ARCA RE/MAX 250

ARCA RE/MAX Series Monday Driver Talladega Test Quotes

Chris Knight
September 24, 2007

Event No. 22, Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega , Alabama
Private Practice Notes & Quotes
Monday, September 24, 2007

Several ARCA RE/MAX Series (ARS) teams participated in a closed testing session at Talladega Superspeedway today in preparation for the open ARS test at the 2.666-mile facility tomorrow. The testing is gearing up the teams for the final speedway race of the season, the ARCA RE/MAX 250 set for Friday, October 5, 2007.


CASOLA: (ON TESTING AT TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY) “I tested here last year and I had a blast. I’m back several months later and I feel the same way. To have the opportunity to test at Talladega Superspeedway is something you never forget. It’s such a huge a place, I’ve built a lot of good memories in a short amount of time.”

CASOLA: (ON THE TRACK SURFACE) “You know it hasn’t changed a whole bunch. The pavement is not as black as it was last year, but the track is still comfortably smooth. That’s good for everyone. It will be a good thing for the drivers and a great thing for the fans. The track is in awesome shape.”

CASOLA: (ON THE IMPORTANCE OF TALLADEGA ) “This place can either make or break your season. As a driver you always want to run well here. I’ve done plenty of testing here but I’ll actually compete in a race in less than two weeks. That’s a whole different approach. We’ll be fast, but we have to be lucky too.”

CASOLA: (ON HAVING CREW CHIEF JEFF MCCLURE ON HAND AT TALLADEGA ) “Words cannot express how happy and I’m excited to have a veteran guy like Jeff McClure here with Andy Belmont Racing at Talladega . He is a winner. He has proven that. His hard work on our test car is really paying off. I couldn’t ask for a better person to be on our team other than Jeff McClure.”

CASOLA: (ON TESTING TWO DAYS) “I honestly think we’re at an advantage. Any time you can test at a track it’s helpful. I’m proud of all the hard work that the guys on the Andy Belmont Racing team have put in. We’ve been a threat a lot lately and I would expect that trend to continue during race week thanks to testing here two days. I want to thank my car owner Andy Belmont for making it possible”


FRANCIS: (ON TESTING AT TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY) “What an opportunity of a lifetime this is for me. I cannot thank Andy Belmont Racing enough for the opportunity to test here. I’m learning stuff I only dreamed of. It really is a dream come true.”

FRANCIS: (ON THE TRACK SURFACE) “I’ve never tested here before but I did watch the races very closely last year. The track is so smooth, it’s unbelievable. I could not believe there were no bumps. Hats off to the staff at Talladega Superspeedway for revamping an awesome facility.”

FRANCIS: (ON TEAMMATE DOMINICK CASOLA) “I met Dominick when I competed in the ARCA RE/MAX Series race at The Milwaukee Mile but I didn’t have a whole lot of time to get to know him. We’ve talked several times today. He is a great driver and just a good guy to be around. I’ve learned a couple things from him, that’s always helpful. We’ll be testing together today and tomorrow, so I’m sure we’ll get to know each other a little bit more.”

FRANCIS: (ON ANDY BELMONT RACING) “I was introduced to Andy through my personal public relations representative Chris Knight and I want to thank him for that. After Milwaukee we had been trying to put everything together to make this test happen and we finally did. Andy is a heck of a guy. He knows his stuff. His race cars are very good and he is an awesome coach. I just want to thank Andy again for the opportunity.”

FRANCIS: (ON TESTING TWO DAYS) “Its all about acquiring seat time right now. I won’t be able to compete in the race because of my age (17), but the testing will definitely help me in the future. It is our intent to run this race in 2008, so I’m off to a good start by learning the characteristics that Talladega Superspeedway offers.”


GRAHAM: (ON TESTING AT TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY) “I’ve always wanted to compete at Talladega Superspeedway and thanks to Andy Belmont Racing and Kick Butt Amped Energy Ballz we’re making it happen. This is a huge opportunity not only for me but for my sponsor and trust me we plan to make the best out of it.”

GRAHAM: (ON THE TRACK SURFACE) “This may sound weird, but it’s very easy to drive. The track is incredibly smooth. It’s also very different from anything I’ve ever raced on in my life. It should be a fun race on October 5.”

GRAHAM: (ON THE OPPORTUNITY TO RACE AT TALLADEGA ) “Oh it’s huge. I’m extremely grateful for everyone who has made this happen. It’s going to be a big race for me but for my sponsor as well.”

GRAHAM: (ON ANDY BELMONT RACING) “Andy Belmont is a guy I could go on and on about. He has been extremely influential in my career not only in the ARCA RE/MAX Series but for my NASCAR Busch Series program at Brewco Motorsports. He has helped make a lot of this possible and I want to thank him for that. I’m looking forward to having him on my side for the race. He is doing a great job with Dominick Casola and I know he would be tickled to death with two cars running in the top-10 in the race.”

GRAHAM: (ON TESTING TWO DAYS) “Any time you can test it’s beneficial. We’re very fortunate to utilize two days at Talladega Superspeedway to prepare for one of ARCA’s biggest races of the year. We’re in the ball park of where we need to be, but the old saying goes “there’s always room for improvement” and that’s why we are testing for two days.”


SILAS: (ON TESTING AT TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY) “I’m really excited to be back here at Talladega Superspeedway. What an awesome place this is. It’s important for us to run well this race to keep ourselves securely in the top-10 in the championship standings. We are off on the right foot to protecting our position by finding out what kind of car we are going to have for race week.”

SILAS: (ON THE TRACK SURFACE) “Hasn’t changed at all. The color has lifted a bit but other than that there is zero difference. This place is just awesome. Ever since I started my racing career, I wanted to compete here and we’re making it happen for the second straight year.”

SILAS: (ON THE CAR) “Our primary Chevrolet is the same piece that Frank Kimmel (eight time ARCA RE/MAX Series champion) attempted to make the 2007 Daytona 500 with. It’s a good car. He ran very well in the Twin 125s and was in contention to enter the 500 before being shuffled back in the end of his event. We are going to be in great shape, I can’t wait for race week.”

SILAS: (ON PULLING DOUBLE DUTY) “Yeah, we’re going to be running both the ARCA RE/MAX Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Talladega . It’s going to be a lot of fun, but I would be lying if I said there wasn’t any pressure. Both fields are going to be very tough to make on time. We’ve got a good ARCA car and the truck should also be very good. It’s going to be a long weekend, but I’m very excited about it.”

The ARCA RE/MAX 250 (94 laps/250 miles) is the 22nd of 23 races on the 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule. The 45th ARCA race held at Talladega Superspeedway is a two-day show. Practice begins Thursday, October 4 with a two and a half hour practice session planned from 9:00-11:30am. ARCA SIM Factory pole qualifying is set for later in the day at 3:30pm Local Time. A “Happy Hour” final practice has been etched into the schedule for Friday, October 5 for forty-five minutes from 10:05am-10:50am Local Time. The event will take the green flag on October 5 shortly after 4:00pm Local Time. The race will be televised live on SPEED with additional race coverage online at arcaracing.com.

NAME: Chris Knight
PHONE: 239.834.9797
EMAIL: knight849@aol.com

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