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Courageous Comeback For CGH Motorsports; Chad Hackenbracht Ends With Disappointment At Salem

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Chad Hackenbracht, Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA Fall Classic

Courageous Comeback For CGH Motorsports; Chad Hackenbracht Ends With Disappointment At Salem

Chris Knight
Knight Motorsports Management/CGH Motorsports
September 19, 2011

SALEM, Indiana (September 19, 2011) - - Some say that Salem (Ind.) Speedway is one of the toughest tracks on the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards circuit. Its grueling high-banks and sometimes unforgiving turns can leave you shadowing in the wind. For Chad Hackenbracht and his CGH Motorsports team, Saturday night’s Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA Fall Classic left them pondering the question, what if.

The Mooresville, North Carolina-based team was dubbed a pre-race favorite based on the team’s spring performance and their recent surge of the rookie team at the front of the limelight. Those two factors had the team anxiously awaiting the 17th race of the season.

After practicing exceptionally well, crew chief Kevin Reed made some routine changes to their No. 58 Tastee Caramel Apple Chevrolet hoping to give the New Philadelphia, Ohio native a shot at his first career pole.

Hackenbracht was the third of 34 machines to hit the pavement in Menards Pole by Ansell qualifying where his lap time surged to the top of the board. He remained there through much of qualifying before being knocked down in the later stages of the session eventually landing fourth quickest overall, matching his career-best time trials placed just two weeks ago at the DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds.

With the leaders clearly visible from his windshield, Hackenbracht and his team were highly optimistic about the final short track race run under the lights. Taking the green flag shortly after 7:15 local, it didn’t take long for the No. 58 Tastee Caramel Apple machine to surge to the front, immediately Hackenbracht overtook the No. 55 of Max Gresham on lap one before setting his sights on the No. 25 of Clint King.

Typical short track racing saw the No. 25 and No. 58 swap paint before Hackenbracht was able to overtake the runner-up position on lap seven. Meanwhile, the yellow flag waived coming to the start-finish line, putting the 19-year old on the rear bumper of leader Chris Buescher.

When racing resumed, the CGH Motorsports pilot tried to overtake his fellow competitor but had to fall-in behind and follow in his footsteps through the race’s first quarter of the event.

Maintaining respectable lap times and riding comfortably in the second position, the team’s night took its first dramatic turn when on lap 65, the No. 58 Tastee Caramel Apple automobile cut a tire which initiated a yellow flag. Despite the caution, the team would lose a lap to the leaders which for the moment shifted the team’s agenda to get back on the lead lap.

Proving to the field that he still had a well-built machine, Hackenbracht would have to wait until just after the halfway point before timing and position proved to be pivotal as the rising star found himself back on the lead lap.

Hovering in the top-half dozen on lap 120, the Tastee Apple Racing team would peek back into the top-five on lap 125. Setting his sights again towards the leaders, a yellow flag just before fifty laps remaining would send the team to pit road where Reed called for four new tires, hoping the new rubber would give his protégé the grip he needed to master the half-mile oval.

Racing restarted on lap 153 with Hackenbracht in sixth. Just five laps later, he had climbed into fifth and began closing on the competition ahead of him before his reversal of early race setbacks would come back to haunt him.

Motoring towards moving into fourth on lap 161 as Hackenbracht entered turn two, the oil cooler suffered damage from contact with the track’s surface which immediately saturated the track with fluid and forced the No. 58 to pit road. After close examination, the team’s deemed the issue terminal forcing them to settle for a disappointing 17th.

I cannot tell you how good our No. 58 Tastee Caramel Apple Chevrolet was tonight,” sounded Hackenbracht. “We might not have had anything for the No. 17 (Chris Buescher) but we definitely had at least a second-place car. We’ve been plagued by bad luck the last two races and it’s been frustrating because we’ve run so well in those events. I really enjoy competing at Salem, but man this place can be your friend one minute and your enemy the next.

I want to thank Kevin (Reed, crew chief) and the whole CGH crew for putting together another extremely fast racecar. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to give them or all of our sponsors a finish that we were worthy of. But, we flexed our muscle and have to try and remain positive and chalk this race up to another finish which doesn’t actually reflect the performance of CGH Motorsports.”

Reed offered his sentiments on the team’s second outing at the legendary short track.

“This season has had as many highs as lows but we keep building on the positives on a weekly basis as the overall performance of the race weekends have proven that,” offered Reed. “We have unloaded good, qualified well and raced extremely well. The best thing about Salem is that we have raced here earlier in the year and was very good and we surpassed that performance this time around. We have two races left and we are extremely prepared for them as we are testing for both events. Chad has continued to show a lot of maturity as the year has progressed and continues to be a good student as he is constantly doing something to better himself which includes watching past races, utilizing the dartfish program, working out and running laps on the simulator.”

With two races remaining on the ARCA Racing Series schedule, Hackenbracht remains eighth in the championship standings with further advancement still possible at Kansas Speedway and Toledo Speedway respectively. To further aid the family-owned team towards that mission and in search of their ninth top-10 finish of the season, the team will participate in an open-test at the 1.5-mile oval of Kansas Speedway on Tuesday, September 20th in preparation for the Kansas Lottery 98.9 which is set to launch on Friday, October 7 live on SPEED.

CGH Motorsports still has marketing partnerships available for the remaining 2011 ARCA Racing Series schedule and all of 2012. Interested parties can contact Jordan Dahl at jordan@cghmotorsports.com or 570.234.5449.

The Hantz Group 200 (200 laps / 100 miles) is the 10th of 19 events on the 2011 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. The 24th ARCA race at Berlin (Mich.) Raceway is a one-day show. Practice begins Saturday, July 9 with a one hour and half practice session planned from 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Menards Pole by Ansell qualifying is slated to begin later in the day at 5:00 p.m. The field will take the green flag later that night shortly after 8:00 p.m. The race will not be televised but event coverage including live timing and scoring throughout the 1,322nd race for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards since it was formed in 1953 will be available through the ARCA Racing Network (ARN) online at arcaracing.com presented by ARCANation.com. All times are local.

For more information on Chad Hackenbracht and CGH Motorsports, please visit ChadHackenbracht.com and CGHMotorsports.com.

To purchase the popular “What’s A Chad Hacken-Something” tee-shirt, please log on to store.cghmotorsports.com or CGHMotorsports.com.

Connect with Chad Hackenbracht and CGH Motorsports through Facebook by clicking here.

Tweet with Chad Hackenbracht through Twitter at @ChadH58 or CGH Motorsports @CGH5858.

About CGH Motorsports:

CGH Motorsports (CGHMotorsports.com), established in 2007 by Ohio entrepreneur Greg Hackenbracht is located in a 10,000 sq. foot facility located in Concord, North Carolina. CGH Motorsports is home of rising sensation Chad Hackenbracht, who competed in nine ARCA Racing Series races in 2010 after an aggressive ARCA testing schedule in 2009. Chad Hackenbracht is the 2008 National Asphalt Legends champion, winning 33 percent of his races and finishing in the top-10, 85 percent of the events he competed in. The team will step up their commitment from a partial schedule and prepare for a hopeful full-season ARCA championship assault beginning in February 2011.


NAME: Chris Knight, Knight Motorsports Management
PHONE: 239.834.9797
EMAIL: chris@chrisknightpr.com

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