Rain or Shine – Venturini Motorsports Finishes at PBIR with Top 5
Topics: Steve Arpin, Mikey Kile, Tire Kingdom 150 presented by ModSpace
JUPITER, FL (02-28-10) - The ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/Max and Menards made their first series debut at Palm Beach International Raceway (PBIR) on February 27th. The road course was in threats of rain showers for the afternoon of the Tire Kingdom 150 presented by ModSpace, but the rain was no threat to Venturini Motorsports. The team had a race strategy for rain or shine.
Not only was the Venturini team prepared for the possibility of rain, but the drivers also spoke in unison of the confidence in their team if it did begin to rain. The drivers were thrilled at the excitement and experience of racing in the rain.
“I think it’s going to be awesome,” commented Alli Owens. “I think me and Steve are the most excited about it because we’re thrill seekers, so anything that’s kind of out of the norm, we’re totally thrilled about it. I’m really hoping it rains, because it will be a really cool experience. I think we’ve seen at Montreal and places like that, when you move up to the Nationwide Series, people do this stuff in the rain. I think it’ll be a great learning experience.”
The preparation of Venturini Motorsports Driver Development Program was displayed in the results from the Tire Kingdom 150 presented by ModSpace.
Mikey Kile, driver of the no. 25 Renton Coil Spring/Venturini Motorsports Toyota, started fifth and finished in the 7th position. Teammate, Steve Arpin, driver of the no. 55 Taylor Chassis Chevy, started behind Kile in the 7th and finished the rain-shortened 70-lap race in the fifth position. Alli Owens, driver of the no. 15 ElectrifyingCareers.com Chevrolet, qualified 19th and finished 17th.
Venturini Motorsports drivers, Steve Arpin and Mikey Kile were at the top of the pile during practice sessions on Friday. Kile rounded out practice 4th quickest. Arpin was 7th fastest despite only running 11 laps before engine trouble. Venturini Motorsports was able to change motors in time for Arpin to make a few last laps during practice.
“We had a real good car out of the box in practice, but lost a motor early in practice. The guys at Venturini worked really hard to change the motor and get me back out on the track for one last run before practice finished up,” said Arpin. “My guys were awesome; they salvaged the weekend for us by being able to get the new motor in so quick.”
Venturini Motorsports dedicated the entire weekend at the 2.034-mile, 11-turn PBIR road course to prepare it’s team and drivers for a good solid run the Tire Kingdom 150 presented by ModSpace.
The green flag waved for the start of the first ARCA road course race of the season and Venturini Motorsports driver, Mikey Kile led the first lap with teammate Steve Arpin behind him in the second position.
“It was awesome to go through the first turn and come out in the lead. My spotter told me the no. 55 was behind us and then I knew we where in good shape,” said Kile. “I just rode and didn’t abuse the car and every lap my spotter was telling me my lead was getting bigger.”
Kile continued to lead the first 9 laps of the race. Mikey Kile regained the led on lap 24, before teammate Steve Arpin took over the lead on lap 26.
With the potential for raindrops during the race, the Venturini Motorsports team had the weather radar on top of the #55 pit box with competition director, Billy Venturini, in order to forecast their race strategy.
On lap 22, Billy Venturini and no. 55 crew chief, Tony Liberati, made a bold and confident decision to pit Steve Arpin under green and switch to Hoosier rain tires and fill up on fuel.
Venturini Motorsports marked history on the record books by being the first team to bolt on Hoosier rain tires in an ARCA race. Steve Arpin became the first driver to ever race the grooved Hoosier rain tires in an ARCA event.
While heavy rain continued on and off during the race, it was not the weather that the competing ARCA teams had to worry about, it was Venturini Motorsports drivers that were a threat to be reckoned with.
Steve Arpin and Mikey Kile raced in the top 10 positions for most of the scheduled 75-lap race while Alli Owens remained in the top 20.
Series officials were forced to throw the checkered flag on the event five laps short of its original distance, completing 70 of the 75 laps due to heavy rain.
“It was awesome racing in the rain, Hoosier brought a perfect tire for us. All the drivers on the track used their heads and I feel we put on a great show for all the fans that toughed it out through the pouring rain,” said Steve Arpin, who was happy with the results of Tire Kingdom 150 presented by ModSpace.
Steve Arpin is now tied for second in ARCA Racing Series points.
The finishing results of the Venturini Motorsports is a testimony to the bold race strategies on top of the pit boxes and the talent behind the wheel of each car.
Venturini Motorsports will be traveling to Texas Motor Speedway on March 9th with drivers Steve Arpin, Mikey Kile and Alli Owens in preparation for the Rattlesnake 150 on April 16th. The next scheduled ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/Max and Menards event is the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA 200 on April 11th at Salem Speedway in Indiana.
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