After winning the previous two ARCA Racing Series events with Brennan Poole, Venturini Motorsports looks to continue their streak through Michigan International Speedway as Kevin Swindell led the practice session. It marked the first practice on the newly-repaved track for the ARCA cars.
Swindell, the three-time defending Chili Bowl Champion, topped the charts with a best lap of 37.278 seconds. If Swindell is able to lay down that lap during Friday’s qualifying session, he will be beat Cale Gale’s track record by 3.5 mph. In total, five drivers beat the track record in the practice session.
Swindell is set to drive the No. 55 Curb Records Toyota in eight events this year, including Talladega, Michigan, Pocono, Chicagoland Speedway, New Jersey Motorsports Park, the Illinois State Fairgrounds, the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds, and Kansas Speedway
Coulter Motorsports teammates Joey Coulter and Matt Lofton were second and third on the charts. Coulter was excited about the racing this weekend, knowing it’d be exciting after the re-pave.
“It’ll definitely be fast, which we saw in the test session last month, but it’ll allow us to run multiple grooves with less tire ware,” Coulter commented. “If we keep our Chevy out of trouble, I know we’ll be in contention at the end to win.”
Kyle Larson was fourth in practice, driving for Eddie Sharp Racing in his ARCA debut. Larson was signed to an Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing Development Driver contract after winning 22 major professional feature races last year, including victories in the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series (WoO), all three United States Auto Club (USAC) National Divisions and the American Sprint Car Series (ASCS).
Cunningham Motorsports’ Alex Bowman rounded out the top five. Roulo Brother’s driver Chris Buescher was sixth, followed by Venturini’s Ryan Reed, ThorSport Racing’s Frank Kimmel, CHR’s Chad Hackenbracht and points leader Brennan Poole.
There were several incidents during the 95-minute practice session, but nothing too serious.
Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell begins on Friday at 10 a.m. with the 100-lap, 200-mile race at 5 p.m. The race will be aired live on SPEED. ARCARacing.com featuring live timing and scoring coverage for both the qualifying session and the race.