BROOKLYN, Mich. (May 19, 2016) – Chase Briscoe only made nine laps in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards open test Thursday at Michigan Int’l Speedway, but it was enough to put the Mitchell, Indiana rookie atop the leader board.
The current ARCA Racing Series point leader circled the two-mile Michigan oval in 37.971 seconds (189.618 mph) in the No. 77 Cunningham Motorsports composite car.
“This is the first intermediate track I’ve ever been to,” Briscoe said. “I’m learning that you have to be really smooth and finesse the throttle. I only ran less than 10 laps but I feel comfortable out of the box. I’m excited for the race. I haven’t been around any traffic yet with these cars…haven’t been in dirty air. Overall, by myself, I’m comfortable…going fast is not an issue…just need to experience what it’s like around other cars. As always, Cunningham Motorsports brings the very best equipment…really helps with the learning curve.”
Briscoe went back out late in the afternoon session and barely brushed the turn four wall.
“We got through one and two really good and we expected to do the same in three and four,” Briscoe continued. “I’m trying to find out where the limit is and how hard I can go. It felt so good going in (turn three) but then the car started pushing, pushing…got out of the rubber and I couldn’t hold it down.”
The right-side damage to Briscoe’s Ford was minimal.
Rookie Myatt Snider was second fastest overall (189.260 mph) in the No. 22 Original Louisiana Hot Sauce Ford composite car, another machine from the Cunningham Motorsports stable.
“This place is really fast and a lot of fun to drive,” Snider said. “It’s definitely a different experience than short track racing. I talked with Jeff Burton about racing here. He gave me a lot of great advice. He told me to not over think it. Treat it like a big short track and adjust how you drive it accordingly. He also talked to me about a couple of technical things. I drove both the steel car and the composite car. I really like the composite…it’s more stable through the center and off. The Cunningham guys make fantastic cars. Having never done this, I didn’t expect to be this quick. I picked it up faster than I thought…and I’m sure that has a lot to do with being in a Cunningham car. Didn’t expect to be this fast out of the box, but here we are.”
Dalton Sargeant was third fastest (188.684 mph) in the No. 55 Venturini Motorsports Toyota.
“I love it…this place is awesome,” Sargeant said. “The composite cars are driving really nice, smooth and fast. We’re a little tight in the center…we’re still trying to figure out everything the car wants. This is my first time on a mile-and-a-half, but from what I can tell, the car is really stable and smooth. We just need a little more through the center, but we’ve made really good progression all day. We’ll keep gaining on it and when we come back we’ll be even better.”
Will Kimmel was fourth (188.147 mph) in the No. 69 Kimmel Racing Ford, another composite car.
“I’m really happy with how everything went today,” Kimmel said. “Car’s really good in race runs, but we need to work on our qualifying set up more. We learned a lot…now we have something to go home with and work on. Thanks to SO Contracting and E3 Spark Plugs for helping us get here. Love these composite cars.”
Grant Enfinger, assisting with Venturini Motorsports, was fifth fastest at 187.852 mph.
The composite body cars took the top eight positions on the leader board. Chad Finley and Travis Braden, in steel body cars, were ninth and 10th overall.
Thursday’s open test at Michigan was in preparation for the 35th running of the Corrigan Oil 200 coming Friday, June 10. The composite body cars will make their superspeedway debut at Pocono Raceway June 3, followed by the Michigan race June 10.
The next race for the ARCA Racing Series is the Menards 200 Sunday, May 22 at Toledo Speedway. The Menards 200 is live on the American Sports Network. ARCAracing.com will provide live timing and scoring and live chat.
Don Radebaugh firstname.lastname@example.org