Brooklyn, MI – The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards returns to the Irish Hills for a rare Friday night race at Michigan International Speedway. The 33rd running of the Corrigan Oil 200 marks the eighth event of the ARCA season and the third consecutive active weekend for the tour.
Since 1990, Venturini Motorsports (VMS) has collected 36 starts at the Brooklyn, Michigan facility. Between 21 different drivers, VMS has led a total of 181 laps and has two victories at Michigan Int’l Speedway with Mikey Kile in 2010 and Brennan Poole in 2013.
|Making his series debut with VMS is Fort Kent, Maine native Austin Theriault driving the No.66 Toyota Camry with Billy Venturini serving as crew chief. Theriault, who is under contact with JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS), is looking to gain experience on the larger Michigan track prior to future starts behind the wheel of the JR Motorsports No.5 car at Loudon and Kentucky. In his first NNS event, Theriault earned a top-15 finish at Iowa. Prior to this weekend the 20-year old driver has never competed on a track larger than 1-mile.
“Of course as a racer you want to win every time out, but this weekend is about gaining experience first and foremost. This weekend should give me a solid foundation to build on and capitalize on racing with good equipment with a very solid team,” stated Theriault.
In 2013, Theriault raced with Brad Keselowski’s driver development team running selected high profile super late model races throughout the country. During that time he won two PASS events and finished third in the highly coveted Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida.
Coming off impressive top-5 finishes in the ARCA and the NASCAR Truck Series last weekend, John Wes Townley is ready to break out and find victory lane once again. Townley, who currently occupies the fourth spot in ARCA’s national point standings, looks to crew chief Brad Parrott for a strong Zaxby’s Toyota Camry this weekend at Michigan.
Townley posted the quickest speed during Thursday’s sole practice session at Michigan Int’l Speedway with a fast lap of 187.393 mph.
“We had a great practice today after a slow start. This track doesn’t seem to take to stickers too well but after few laps and few adjustments we we’re ready to show our stuff. I’m very happy with the adjustments and balance of our Camry. Everyone on this Zaxby’s 15 crew did a great job today. I’m ready for qualifying and strong race tomorrow,” stated Townley.
Justin Boston (No.25 ZLOOP Computer and Electronic Recycling Toyota Camry), back in the saddle after a disappointing outcome last weekend in Pocono, is refocused and hoping to better his previous top-five effort from last year’s Michigan International Speedway effort.
“I’m really excited about our chances this weekend at Michigan. Kevin (Reed, Crew Chief) and all the No. 25 guys have been working so hard on this short week to get our ZLOOP-JACO Environmental Toyota Camry ready to roll. We ran really strong last time around and I’m hoping to continue that. As a group we have to start putting consistent finishes to paper, and I think we will have a shot to run strong if not win this weekend,” said Boston.
Boston had a stellar Michigan debut last season, qualifying fourth and running in the top-ten up until taking the lead on lap 70. He led 15 laps before a spin on lap 89 slowed his momentum. However, Boston quickly recovered and scored a fourth place finish in his first career start at Michigan.
“Michigan is one of the fastest tracks we get to go to in ARCA. Hitting over 200 into turn 1 is no joke, and you are almost wide open the whole time it’s a lot of fun to drive at,” continued Boston. “There wasn’t really an outside groove that got worked in last year so I think the space everyone will be battling for all day will be at or near the middle of the track.”
Rookie driver Cody Coughlin rounds out the driver lineup for Venturini this weekend in Michigan. Cody has been very impressive in limited starts this season behind the wheel of his No.55 JEGS Toyota.
When you ask Cody Coughlin what it will take to be successful at Michigan International Speedway, he says one word – “momentum.” He hopes that the momentum he has going in his ARCA Racing Series ride continues this Friday as he will compete in his second speedway start.
The Delaware, Ohio native will once again get behind the wheel of the Venturini Motorsports-prepared No. 55 JEGS Toyota in the ARCA Racing Series Corrigan Oil 200 at the famed two-mile D-shaped oval at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan.
“I am looking forward to getting my feet wet at another superspeedway this week at Michigan,” Coughlin said. “We had a strong top-10 finish last weekend at Pocono and hope that we take that momentum from there to Michigan and get a higher finish on Friday.”
Coughlin is in his first season running in the ARCA Racing Series. He is quickly learning how to drive a heavier stock car and so far has produced three top-10 finishes in four starts.
“Every time I get behind the wheel I feel that we are getting better and better. It is showing on the track and very proud of our efforts so far,” Coughlin said. “Now with us running on [track] like Pocono and Michigan, I am learning more about the aerodynamic side of racing.”
Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell will begin at 9:30am ET Friday, hours before the Michigan ARCA 200 at 5:15pm ET.
Live television coverage from the Irish Hills will begin at 5pm ET on Fox Sports 1. ARCARacing.com will carry live timing and scoring coverage for all on-track activity.
VENTURINI MOTORSPORTS MICHIGAN FAST FACTS
Bill Venturini made his NASCAR Sprint Cup debut at Michigan Int’l Speedway in 1989 where he broke his neck after a crash on lap 80. As a driver, Bill went on to make 4 total NASCAR Sprint Cup starts and 7 ARCA starts at Michigan.
Two of the four Venturini Motorsports crew chiefs this weekend at MIS have also driven at the 2-mile track. The No 66 crew chief, Billy Venturini, has 8 ARCA starts including two top-10 finishes. The No. 55 crew chief, Jeff McClure, has 3 ARCA starts including a top-5 finish.
Total Number of Different Drivers for VMS at Michigan Int’l Speedway: 21 (Steve Arpin, Tom Berte, John Blankenship, Chad Boat, Justin Boston, Nelson Canache, Milka Duno, Ryan Fischer, Max Gresham, Mikey Kile, Justin Marks, Hal Martin, Alli Owens, Brennan Poole, Ryan Reed, Josh Richards, Brian Scott, Jesse Smith, Kevin Swindell, Bill Venturini, and Billy Venturini.)
About Venturini Motorsports
Venturini Motorsports (VMS), fielding cars for over 30-years in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, is one of the premier NASCAR driver development programs in the country. Multiple team championships and consistent on-track success, VMS has evolved into one of the most recognizable names in motorsports. Since 2007, VMS has assisted in the career development of notable NASCAR drivers such as Joey Logano, Justin Allgaier, Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Brian Scott, Kevin Swindell, John Wes Townley and Erik Jones. Over the years the Venturini name has become synonymous with modern-day racing in America. In 2012, the Venturini family was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame (www.NIASHF.org) and now find themselves enshrined with such sports icons as Joe DiMaggio, Mario Andretti, Vince Lombardi, Tommy Lasorda and Rocky Marciano.
Official: www.VenturiniMotorsports.com | Twitter: @VenturiniMotor | Facebook: Venturini Motorsports
About ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards
The Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is among the leading auto racing sanctioning bodies in the country. Founded in 1953 by John and Mildred Marcum, the organization administers more than 100 events each year in multiple racing series, including the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, the ARCA/CRA Super Series, the ARCA Truck Series and the ARCA Midwest Tour, plus weekly racing at Toledo and Flat Rock Speedways.