Saturday, August 13, 2011

The ARCA Racing Series 125 at Pocono Raceway

The ARCA Racing Series powered by Menards(formerly Midwest Association for Race Cars ,ARCA Series, ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Series ,ARCA Re/MAX Series and ARCA Racing Series powered by ReMax and Menards) is considered a minor, but professional, league of stock car racing. Even though some events occur the same weekend as the NASCAR events, the ARCA Series is in no way affiliated with NASCAR. ARCA's competitors contain a mix of both professional racers as well as hobby racers. There is also younger competitors trying to make a name for themselves.
The afternoon of August 6th ,the ARCA Racing series was getting ready to race at “ the tricky triangle” of Pocono Raceway and start race 13 of 19 on there season schedule. Unfortunately two hours before the Pennsylvania ARCA 125 was set to take the green flag on Saturday, Mother Nature made her way into eastern Pennsylvania where she completely drenched the 2.5-mile oval leaving the race in jeopardy for the day. Shortly after 5:00 p.m, officials from ARCA and Pocono (Pa.) Raceway elected to postpone the race until after the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, which was also delayed until Sunday morning.
One of the biggest stories going into the race was that nine-time ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards champion Frank Kimmel has not scored a win since 2008.The Pennsylvania ARCA 125 at Pocono Raceway might have been the race for that to happen. Kimmel won the Menards Pole Award presented by Ansell at Pocono last July and led 20 laps before finishing seventh, and his eighth-place run this June was his fourth consecutive top-10 in Long Pond. Kimmel has three victories at the track, in 1999, 2005, and 2006. Seven Pennsylvania drivers were on the entry list for the Pennsylvania ARCA-125: Kory Rabenold/Slatington PA, Steve Fox/Hazleton PA, Brian Kaltreider/Reading PA, Bobby Gerhart/Lebanon PA, Nick Igdalsky/Long Pond PA, Don Thompson/ Carlisle PA, and Kyle Martel/Lebanon PA. There were also two woman on the entry list for the race: Maryeve Default/Sorel Quebec(She has been an ARCA series regular this year), and Milka Duno/ Caracas Venezuela ( Milka has only ran a couple races this year).Another big story was that while Max Gresham had his mind on winning the Pennsylvania 125 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards event at Pocono Raceway Sunday morning, the driver of the No. 25 Venturini Motorsports Toyota also had his eyes firmly focused on the future. Running well at Pocono would go a long way in getting him certified to run NASCAR at the beginning of next year. That will set up his whole season and give him the opportunity to do a full schedule, maybe run for Rookie of the Year in the Nationwide or Truck divisions. Keep your eye on Max, we may see him move up into NASCAR’s top three series someday soon. Chris Buescher and Grant Enfinger have been learning from one of the best of all time-Frank Kimmel. kimmel has to be impressed with the numbers rookie TY Dillon has posted this season (Going into Pocono TY had a 370 point lead over second place Frank Kimmel). TY Dillon has been the most dominate driver in the ARCA racing series this year, but did he dominate on the “Tricky triangle“?
Before the race, the ARCA cars were out on the track Practicing and qualifying. 18 year old Georgia driver, Max Gresham won the Menards Pole Award Presented by Ansell at Pocono with a lap time of 53.535 seconds (168.114 mph). In Practice, Max was 5th fastest with a lap time of 54.937 seconds (163.824mph). The young talented rookie, TY Dillon qualified in the second position with a lap time of 53.546 seconds (168.080 mph). In Practice Dillon was 4th fastest with a lap time of 54.848 seconds (164.090 mph). Casey Roderick qualified in the 3rd position with a lap time of 53.967 seconds (166.769 mph). Casey was the fastest in practice with a lap time of 54.512 seconds (165.101mph).Roush Fenway Racing development driver Chris Buescher qualified in the 4th position with a lap time of 54.242 seconds (165.923 mph). In practice, Buescher was 8th fastest with a lap time of 55.238 seconds ( 162.931 mph). Ryan Wilson qualified in the 5th position with a lap time of 54.290 seconds (165.776mph). In practice Ryan was 7th fastest with a lap time of 55.166 seconds (163.144mph). Three cars did not qualify for the race: Levi Youster, Rick Clifton and Roger Carter.
Coming out of turn 3- the pace car turned on to pit road and the start of the ARCA Racing series 125 was green! Pole Sitter Max Gresham quickly jumped over in front of second place TY Dillon and charged away from the field. First caution on lap 2: The cars of Kyle Martel and Tom Berte made contact, Graham tried to escape the chaos but was clipped by Brandon Kidd which sent the No. 59 Batter’s Dream Dodge Charger skidding toward a retaining guardrail on the infield. Just before he made contact with the wall, Graham's car struck a paved path and launched over the three-tier rail. The car then spun and came to a rest inside the guardrail after sliding through the grass, with the car's rear end resting on the top of the barrier. Shortly after coming to a stop, Graham dropped the window net and climbed from his automobile when cheers abruptly were heard from the race fans in the stands. Waiving to them, he climbed into an ambulance for the mandatory ride to the infield care center. In all, five cars were entangled in the mess, Including Berte, Graham and Martel, MGR teammate Brent Brevak also was involved along with the No. 7 of Brandon Kidd .John Blankenship loses a left rear tire while there still under caution. He makes a u turn, goes on pit road and his crew gets another left rear tire on his car.
The green flag waved in the air for the restart and Max Gresham charged away from the field again. The young gun TY Dillon charged past Max Gresham and took the lead at lap 17. With 24 laps to go the 2nd caution came out for James Harvey Hilton. It appeared that his car lost power and he was not able to get onto pit road, so he stopped his car in the grass off the long pond straightway in the back stretch. With 23 laps to go the cars rolled on to pit road to make there first and final stop, and Ty Dillon rolled out 1st .
The green flag waved in the air for the restart and Dillon gets a spectacular restart and pulled away from the field fast! Coming into turn number one Casey Roderick gets turned by Max Gresham, and Roderick slams the rear of his car into the wall. Gresham got a tire rub and some damage on his right front fender. Gresham racing not very smart, ruins Roderick’s and his day.
The pace car made a hard left turn onto pit road putting the field into the hands of the leader TY Dillon. The green flag flew in the air and TY gets another great restart. Coming out of turn number three, the final caution comes out with just a couple laps to go. Green flag flies in the air and TY Dillon rockets away from the field with 10 laps to go. Coming out of turn three. Dillon races onto the front stretch and crosses the finish line the winner of the ARCA racing series 125 at Pocono raceway! Dillon’s teammate Tim George Jr finished in the second position. Chris Buescher finished 3rd, Tom Hessert finished 4th and Grant Efinger finished 5th.
After the ARCA race ended, some race fans talked about their reactions of the race via email.
It was a really wild race, Especially when Buster Graham went over the Guardrail! Congrats to TY Dillon on his 9th career win at Pocono! - Cody H

I thought the race was really awesome! The ARCA drivers need more spotlight, the series is great. Ty Dillon has been terrific this year ,he has the championship won .The drivers put on a show in my opinion . It was a spectacular race!- Tyler M.

The ARCA racing series always brings us fans an exciting race to watch, and I think Sunday morning’s race proved that to us. In my opinion ARCA is one of the best racing series to watch, they bring good racing to the track, and its great to see the young guns making a name for themselves in this series. There is also older people that race in this series and have no plans to move up to NASCAR or any other series. TY is one of the young guns in the series that you definitely have to keep your eye on. There has been talk that he might be in the NASCAR Camping world Truck Series next year. TY is a threat to win every time he gets on the track and at the end of the ARCA season, I am sure we will hear the name TY Dillon as a ARCA Series Champion. Its definitely going to be exciting to watch him go up threw the ranks in the NASCAR series in a few years. Love him or hate him ,you got to admit that TY is one Talented young gun, who is going to have an amazing future ahead of him.
Attention Race fans: Do you want to see some great racing? If so, then check out the Allen Crowe 100 ARCA Racing Series event at the Illinois state fairgrounds, August 21st at 1:00pm, ( not televised on TV). The next televised race will be October 7th, the Kansas Lottery 98.9 race at Kansas speedway 8:30 pm ET Live on Speed!
To TY Dillon :Congratulations on your ninth career ARCA Racing Series victory at Pocono raceway!

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