Venturini Rookies Top Daytona Test

bostoncarshotdaytona2012Teams from the Automobile Racing Club of America, ARCA, decended on Daytona International Speedway’s high banks December 14-16 for their annual pre-season test sessions prior to the start of the 2013 ARCA Racing Series season.

While many say that speeds and times are not an indication of who will win in Daytona, one thing is certain coming out of this Daytona test. Venturini Motorsports is stout and ready to roll in February. In fact, Venturini cars led every session and claimed the fastest lap with rookie Caleb Armstrong.

“As a driver there is no doubt Daytona is the place to be,” Armstrong said.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity and excited to see my progress as I’ve had to make a transition from open wheel to stock cars. The team has been totally supportive and given me really good equipment.”

USAC Sprint Car standout Taylor Ferns turned heads by topping the speed charts in two of the six sessions in her Venturini ride. Ferns is the youngest, and most winning female to win in the USAC ranks.

“Had the best time at Daytona this past weekend testing an ARCA car,” Ferns said on Sunday. “I can’t even put into words how much fun I had. I can’t thank everyone at Venturini Motorsports enough for the awesome opportunity and for all their hard work. They worked their butts off all weekend! Hopefully we can put together some races for this upcoming 2013 season!”

Champions from various ARCA feeder series also had their chance to experience the speed of Daytona, a perk for winning a championship with the ARCA ranks. The experience is a partnership between ARCA and former series competitor turned promotor Andy Hillenburg with engine support from Roush Yates Racing.

“This new relationship with ARCA and the Midwest tour is going to be special,” added Eilen. “I can’t thank all of the parties involved enough for what they have done in such little time. I can’t wait to see all of the good things about to come in the future, this will give us something to talk about during the off season.”

“We commend ARCA for taking the initiative to develop their upcoming drivers,” said Doug Yates, CEO of Roush Yates. “Roush Yates is proud to power these standout racers as they compete to run on ARCA’s most prominent track.”

ARCA Midwest Touring Champion Jonathan Eilen moved one step closer to fulfilling his life-long dream.

“From the minute we drove through the tunnel I thought, how can this be happening?” Look at this place, I mean, how many people actually get to experience this opportunity in their racing career,” Eilen said.

“All the years that our family has been coming down here and now it’s reality. The experience of this whole thing is amazing and I never envisioned being able to go this fast; it’s a new step in my career.”

ARCA CRA Super Series Champion Johnny Van Doorn was all smiles after his time in the Daytona test.

Had a blast In Daytona,” said Van Doorn “Really neat to go 175 miles an hour! Thanks to the Good Lord for keeping me safe in a car that was not meant for a 6′ 3″ person!”

The ARCA Racing Series returns to Daytona to start their 2013 racing season on February 16, 2013 for the Daytona ARCA 200. That event can be seen live on SPEED Channel.

ARCA Racing Series

Daytona Testing, Overall Results from December 14-16, 2012 

1 55 Caleb Armstrong Toyota 48.862 184.192
2 25a Justin Boston Toyota 48.871 184.158
3 15 John Wes Townley Toyota 48.876 184.139
4 55a Taylor Ferns Toyota 48.876 184.139
5 54 Matt Kurzejewski Dodge 48.881 184.121
6 08 Clay Campbell Ford 49.092 183.329
7 42 Bo Lemastus Dodge 49.113 183.251
8 2 Thomas Praytor Ford 49.305 182.537
9 77 Michel Disdier Dodge 49.323 182.471
10 22 Tom Hessert Dodge 49.382 182.253
11 92 Brennan Newberry Chevy 49.394 182.208
12 04a Galen Hassler Dodge 49.447 182.013
13 68 Will Kimmel Ford 49.465 181.947
14 3 Drew Charleson Chevy 49.527 181.719
15 16 Ricky Ehrgott Chevy 49.527 181.719
16 5b Brandon Hanks Chevy 49.618 181.386
17 99 John Ferrier Ford 49.643 181.294
18 6 Julien Jousse Chevy 49.658 181.240
19 32 Mason Mingus Toyota 49.661 181.229
20 99a Chris Buescher Ford 49.665 181.214
21 30 Terry Jones Dodge 49.772 180.825
22 11e Trevor Edwards Ford 49.782 180.788
23 5 Bobby Gerhart Chevy 49.820 180.650
24 23 Spencer Gallagher Chevy 49.835 180.596
25 75 Benny Chastain Chevy 49.845 180.560
26 94 Milka Duno Toyota 49.941 180.213
27 58 Chad Hackenbracht Chevy 49.958 180.151
28 04b Jeremy Morales Dodge 49.985 180.054
29 04 Dominick Casola Dodge 50.018 179.935
30 40e Michelle Theriault Dodge 50.025 179.910
31 54a Garrett Smithley Dodge 50.032 179.885
32 17 Chris Buescher Ford 50.060 179.784
33 69 Steve Kemp Ford 50.071 179.745
34 58a Mason Mitchell Chevy 50.075 179.730
35 75a Scott Green Toyota 50.103 179.630
36 40b Jimmy Wills Dodge 50.148 179.469
37 09 Grant Enfinger Ford 50.160 179.426
38 40 Joel Willman Dodge 50.310 178.891
39 19a Nur Ali Chevy 50.322 178.848
40 09a Charles Evans, Jr. Ford 50.397 178.582
41 11b Jonathan Eilen Ford 50.409 178.540
42 19c Donnie Neuenberger Chevy 50.504 178.204
43 38 Andrew Gresel Ford 50.512 178.175
44 40a Richard Altman Dodge 50.531 178.108
45 10a Rick Clifton Chevy 50.608 177.837
46 5a Brian Smith Chevy 50.644 177.711
47 02 Josh Williams Ford 50.782 177.228
48 40c Garrett Farmer Dodge 50.874 176.908
49 11f Casey Hillenburg Ford 51.010 176.436
50 40d Michael Bockler Dodge 51.166 175.898
51 11c Johnny VanDoorn Ford 51.195 175.798
52 11d Tyler Speer Ford 51.195 175.798
53 10 Richard Doheny Chevy 51.244 175.630
54 7a George Cushman Dodge 51.319 175.374
55 19 Cody Ware Chevy 51.342 175.295
56 11 Dakota Carlson Ford 51.381 175.162
57 19e James Swanson Chevy 51.558 174.561
58 11a Travis Braden Ford 51.575 174.503
59 19b Noel Dowler Chevy 51.657 174.226
60 19d Dexter Stacey Chevy 51.731 173.977
61 7 Brent Cross Chevy 51.769 173.849

(Photo: ARCA Communications)

ARCA Set to Test in Daytona

Venturini Motorsports flagship number 25 on the Daytona high banks. (ARCA Racing File Photo)

The road to Daytona is officially open, and the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards is first up on the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway with three days of open testing, December 14-16.

The open test is in preparation for the 50th annual Daytona ARCA 200, which will air live on SPEED at 4:30 on Saturday, February 16. The series made its superspeedway debut at Daytona in 1964. This afternoon, officials from Daytona International Speedway and the 2013 race sponsor will unveil the name for the race at the International Motorsports Industry Show in Indianapolis, where ARCA will hold its Championship Awards Banquet tomorrow night.

Eight-time Daytona winner Bobby Gerhart and 2011 series champion Chris Buescher highlight the list of well over 30 drivers already signed up.

Gerhart, from Lebanon, Pa., will be going for his fourth consecutive Daytona victory, a feat never before accomplished in ARCA competition at Daytona. Gerhart is already the first ARCA driver to ever win three consecutive at the “World Center of Racing,” achieving that for the first time in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Gerhart is also expected to test a second car with Mooresville, N.C.’s Brian Smith driving.

Buescher, of Prosper, Texas, finished second to Gerhart at Daytona in 2011, one year before winning four races to seal his first championship and the first title for Roulo Brothers Racing.

Venturini Motorsports currently has two drivers entered, with rookie Justin Boston signed up for the team’s No. 25 car. ARCA and NASCAR veteran John Wes Townley is also expected to test for Venturini Motorsports.

The garage will open each day at 7 a.m. and close at 5:30 p.m. The track will be open for practice from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a break for lunch from noon to 1 each day. will feature live timing and scoring for all on-track activity. The current list of expected test entries is below.

2 Thomas Praytor/Mobile AL ARCA Mobile 200-Hixson-Max Force Racing Ford
5 Bobby Gerhart/Lebanon PA Bobby Gerhart Racing Chevrolet
5 Brian Smith/Mooresville NC Bobby Gerhart Racing Chevrolet
6 Julien Jousse/Les Issambres France ESR Chevrolet
7 Brent Cross/Cortland NY Brent Cross Racing Chevrolet
10 Dakota Carlson/Cedar Springs MI Fast Track Racing Ford
10 Travis Braden/Wheeling WV Fast Track Racing Ford
10 Jonathan Eilen/Hampton MN Fast Track Racing Ford
10 Johnny VanDoorn/Coopersville MI Fast Track Racing Ford
13 George Cushman/Waterville NY Cushman Racing Chevrolet
16 TBA Coulter Motorsports Chevrolet
17 Chris Buescher/Prosper TX Roulo Brothers Racing Ford
18 Richard Doheny/Ballston Spa NY Fast Track Racing Ford
22 Tom Hessert/Cherry Hill NJ Cunningham Motorsports
23 Spencer Gallagher/Las Vegas NV Allegiant Air Chevrolet
25 Justin Boston/Mooresville NC Venturini Motorsports Toyota
29 Duke Whisseant/Texarkana AR BK Racing
30 Terry Jones/Amherstburg ON Jones Group Dodge
32 Mason Mingus/Brentwood TN Win Tron Racing Toyota
38 Andrew Gresel/Hepworth ON Wes Gonder Racing Ford
40 TBA Carter2Motorsports
42 Bo Lemastus/Goshen KY Crosley Radio
58 Chad Hackenbracht/New Philadelphia OH CGS Motorsports Chevrolet
68 TBA Kimmel Racing Ford
69 Steve Kemp/Justin TX Kimmel Racing Ford
75 Benny Chastain/Talladhassee FL Bob Schacht Motorsports Chevrolet
77 Michel Disdier/Nice France Cunningham Motorsports
88 Buster Graham/Lafayette LA Team BCR Ford
92 Brennan Newberry/Bakersfield CA NTS Motorsports Chevrolet
94 Milka Duno/Caracas Venezuela David Leiner Racing Toyota
04 TBA Carter2Motorsports
08 Clay Campbell/Martinsville VA Spraker Racing Ford
09 Grant Enfinger/Fairhope AL Team BCR Ford
09 Charles Evans/Pasadena TX Team BCR Ford
Larry Barford Jr./Denton MD Markle Racing
Mason Mitchell/W. Des Moines IA
Matt Kurzejewski/Mansfield PA
Thomas Praytor/Mobile AL Praytor Racing
Keegan Walmer/Portland OR Rick Markle Racing
John Wes Townley/Watkinsville GA Venturini Motorsports
Nur Ali/Karachi Pakistan Rick Ware Racing
John Ferrier/Middletown NY
TBA Turner Motorsports Chevrolet
TBA DGM Racing