MARNE, Mich. (August 6, 2016) - It didn't take long for ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards championship leader and rookie Chase Briscoe to figure out Berlin Raceway, or did it?
"This is the most I've ever struggled at a track," Briscoe said after turning in the fastest speed in the first practice session Saturday afternoon.
"I just don't have the confidence in this place yes...I don't know; it's weird. It's one big turn. Chad (Bryant/crew chief) wants me to stay on the bottom and I want to be up at the top. I just can't get a feel for it yet...I have no idea how it's going to play out in the race."
Briscoe, in the No. 77 Big Tine Ford, circled the circle in 16.909 seconds, an average speed of 93.252 mph.
"I feel like it's going to be hard to pass...couldn't really judge it in practice. The main thing is that we stay good on the long run. I don't know how much leaving the bottom open is going to affect us in the race."
On the other side of it, veteran Tom Hessert seemed at perfect ease at one of his favorite tracks on tour. The Cherry Hill, New Jersey driver was second quickest in the No. 25 So Good! Entertainment-RelaxWraps.com Toyota.
"I feel like we're in pretty good shape," Hessert said.
"We unloaded well...made a couple small changes that pointed us in a better direction. There's a lot of racing ahead, but right now I feel like I'm in a good spot."
Newcomer/rookie Quinnton Bear, in his first ARCA Racing Series attempt, was third fastest in the No. 98 Karl Chevrolet for Mason Mitchell Motorsports.
Clayton Weatherman and Bret Holmes were fourth and fifth. Twenty-one cars posted time and speed in the first practice session. Final practice is next at 3:45 followed by Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell at 6:00.
The 29th running of the Berlin ARCA 200 is live on the American Sports Network at 9:00 p.m. tonight. Live stream at AmericanSportsNet.com. Live timing and scoring and live chat at arcaracing.com.
Don Radebaugh firstname.lastname@example.org