Big cheers on the way for local favorite Briscoe at Salem
SALEM Ind. (April 19, 2016) – If all goes to plan, the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA 200 will have another hometown hero in the line-up this weekend at Salem Speedway Fueled by the Hoosier Lottery.
Chase Briscoe, who hails from nearby Mitchell, Indiana, is preparing to take on the historic high-banks alongside his fellow ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards warriors. And if t-shirt sales are an indication of how healthy his cheering section will be, Briscoe’s going to get quite a send-off Sunday afternoon for the 99th ARCA race at Salem.
“We bought t-shirts…sold over 400,” Briscoe said. “Last time I checked we have over 300 tickets in reserved seating. It’s going to be really cool.”
It’s also humbling for the 21-year-old veteran sprint car racer.
“We’ve got a lot of people from the town of Mitchell who have really gotten behind us. It’s really humbling…it’s awesome.
“We grew up racing sprint cars on the dirt…that’s what we did. We never used to go to pavement tracks growing up…except for Salem. Growing up, my grandpa and my dad always took me to Salem to see the ARCA race and USAC. This place has always been really special to me.”
Just think how special it would be for so many if Briscoe can somehow, someway race his way to victory lane. Like several drivers, he and his Cunningham Motorsports team got the chance to test at Salem ahead of Sunday’s show.
“The test went really well…we’ve got speed for sure. It was a very productive day and I learned a lot. It was the most I ever got out of a car there. I learned a ton.”
Briscoe finished an impressive fifth in his first start at Salem last fall in only his second ARCA start overall. And if he can get more out of his car, a victory seems more in reach, despite the difficulty factor that comes with one of the tour’s most challenging short tracks.
“Salem’s a challenge…there’s no getting around that. But for me, with no real experience on pavement, it’s not even the track so much…it’s how you can drive these cars. It’s adjusting to the pace compared to a sprint car. I’m learning you don’t have to drive the ARCA cars in as deep every time. You let the car roll…hardly use any brakes. The motor will slow you down without using the brakes.
“The team got on me at Nashville…felt I was using too much brake. I’m still learning how to drive these cars. “It’s just one big giant learning curve…learning a new pace…30 laps compared to 200…pit stops…the whole deal.”
Briscoe is off to a great start in 2016, finishing fourth at Daytona and ninth at Nashville. He’s currently second in championship standings, 55 points away from leader John Wes Townley. However, Townley, because of his full NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule, will more than likely miss a few ARCA races, which puts Briscoe in the championship driver's seat.
The 99th ARCA race at Salem sets the stage for the much-anticipated 100th race coming September 10.
Past ARCA Racing Series winners at Salem include NASCAR Cup champions Bobby Allison and Benny Parsons, 1952 Indianapolis 500 winner Troy Ruttman, six-time ARCA champion Iggy Katona, Ken Schrader, 10-time ARCA champion Frank Kimmel (9-time Salem winner), and three-time series champions Jack Bowsher and Tim Steele. NASCAR drivers Justin Allgaier, Brian Keselowski, Chris Buescher and Brennan Poole have also visited victory lane in ARCA competition at Salem.
Weekend Schedule The Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 will spread out over two days, Saturday and Sunday, April 23-24. Practice for the race will include two sessions Saturday afternoon from 12:00 noon to 12:45 and final practice from 1:15 to 2:00, with Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell at 3:30. Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 raceday festivities get underway with an on-track driver autograph session from 11:30 to 12:30 followed by the Great American Stock feature event at 1:00. Pre-race ceremonies, ARCA driver introductions and the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 follow.
All on-track activities Saturday and Sunday will be featured in live audio, live timing and scoring, and live chat at arcaracing.com. The race will be aired, (tape-delayed) on the American Sports Network.
For ticket info, visit SalemSpeedway.com
Don Radebaugh firstname.lastname@example.org