There is one event on the ARCA Midwest Tour presented by Scag Power Equipment schedule that is always hot and humid with no hope of relief until the sun goes down. This week’s forecast looks to be right on target as the stars of the ARCA Midwest Tour return to Grundy County Speedway in Morris, IL on Friday, June 20th, for the Calypso Lemonade 100.
Last year’s winner of the Calypso Lemonade 100, Jonathan Eilen, is excited to go back to the track and try to back up last year’s victory, but there’s one thing he is not looking forward to.
“I think the guys are gonna be really excited to go back there. When the guys are excited, you’re excited for everyone. But I am not looking forward to the heat,” joked Eilen.
Eilen, a native of Minnesota, grew up racing on tracks similar to Grundy and has found that the layout of the track seems to suit his style. “I’ve always taken a liking to those kinds of tracks. The track is kind of like Elko. It’s pretty close to the same configuration and I’ve always had good luck at Elko,” said Eilen.
Last year, amid the heat and humidity, Eilen and his team went to work and really weren’t expecting a victory. They had been trying some new things earlier in the year, but when they headed to Grundy, they went back to their 2012 Championship set-up and it paid off.
“I knew the car wasn’t gonna break a record and we new it was gonna be good in the long run. The car felt really good and I was hoping for a top ten or top five. As the race progressed, a top three would have been really nice,” added Eilen.
What the team wasn’t expecting was coming home in victory lane. But all the cards played out and Jonathan made his way to the front from his 17th starting spot and brought home his first victory of the 2013 season.
Grundy is the type of track where anything can and usually does happen. The competition is tough, not only between the ARCAMT drivers, but the locals as well. It is nose-to-tail, bumper-to-bumper racing and sometimes it takes just the right amount of finesse to make it to the front. And sometimes it takes a little luck.
“I’ve had years where nothing goes right. We’ve been starting to turn things around and running good. Anything can happen in racing. We could have the best car in the world and something could break. All you have to do is be there at the end of the race and have a good car. The outcome will play out all on its own,” said Eilen.
When Jonathan and his team return to Grundy this Friday, they plan to start right where they left off last year, trying a few things here or there. The team knows that they can’t remain status quo in the ARCAMT.
“You have to have yourself together. It gets harder and harder every year to compete with these guys,” added Eilen.
If history is any indication, this Friday is sure to be a hot night of great racing. Be sure to make plans to head out to the track and watch the ARCA Midwest Tour take on some of the most competitive local competition on the schedule.
What: Calypso Lemonade 100
Where: Grundy County Speedway, Morris, IL
When: Friday, June 20th
Times: 2:00pm-ARCAMT Practice Begins, 5:00pm-ARCAMT Qualifying, 7:00pm-Racing Begins
Be sure to follow the ARCA Midwest Tour on Facebook (midwest tour) and Twitter (@midwesttour)
To learn more about the Automobile Racing Club of America Midwest Tour, log on toarcamidwesttour.com. For questions call the ARCA Midwest Tour office at (262) 729-4111 or Tim Olson at (612) 327-5831 or Steve Einhaus (630) 212-6022 at or e-mail Tim Olson at [email protected] Steve Einhaus at [email protected]
The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards has crowned 30 ARCA national champions in 60 seasons since 1953, and has toured over 200 race tracks in 26 states since its inception. The series has tested the abilities of drivers and race teams over the most diverse schedule of stock car racing events in the world, visiting tracks ranging from 0.375 mile to 2.66 miles in length, on both paved and dirt surfaces as well as a left- and right-turn road course in its most recent season.
Founded by John and Mildred Marcum in 1953 in Toledo, Ohio, the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is recognized among the leading sanctioning bodies in the country. Closing in on completing its sixth decade after hundreds of thousands of miles of racing, ARCA administers over 100 race events each season in four professional touring series and local weekly events.
– ARCA Midwest Tour Press Release. Photo credit: Doug Hornickel/FastLapPhoto.com