By: Mitchell Breuer
The ARCA Menards Series Championship will come down to a battle between two drivers in the final two races of the season.
Currently Bret Holmes sits atop the standings, holding a slim two-point advantage of Venturini Motorsports’ Michael Self. The lead has been exchanged between the two over the last several weeks, with neither getting an advantage.
The good news for both is the final two trackthey will visit this season will be venues they have had success at.
First being the dirt race at the Springfield Mile, where Self won a season ago and will look to do so again on Sunday, saying Wednesday if he was able to it would be “massive” for his championship hopes.
“I remember when I won Springfield last year there was four or five races left to go, when Christian (Eckes) had started to turn things up a little bit,” Self said. “I think he had won Pocono, which was the race before, that I went out and won Springfield and kind of erased everything that he had done at Pocono. It was a huge weight off the shoulders at the time.”
However, the driver of the No. 25 knows a win would not necessarily guarantee him his first title in the series, as a trip to Kansas Speedway waits after this weekend. Self struggled earlier this season finishing sixth.
“We have to kind of reset our thinking there (Kansas),” Self said. “So, even if you win Springfield, you cannot settle. You cannot be settled in and content, you cannot think that just because we have momentum, it is going to translate to Kansas because it is not going to. We have to sit down and rethink our strategy at Kansas and what went wrong last time and separate these two races as Springfield and Kansas and try to win each one.”
On the flip side, Holmes knows a solid weekend at Springfield could be huge for his team with Kansas, a track where he dominated earlier in the season, winning and leading 82 of 100 laps.
The driver of the No. 23 is pleasedwith how the season has gone in terms ofhis team’s overall improvement, even with unknowns ahead.
“The dirt race is a little bit of a wild card,” Holmes said. “Obviously, it is not the same setup or build of your car that you would bring to the other races. It is always a little questionable but, we finished third there last year and obviously we have done better all-around this year than last year. We are capable of winning that race as well.”
With Kansas looming in the distance, Holmes did admit his previous success at the track does add pressure to the situation, knowing he can win there and in his words “there is no reason we should have anything less than that.”
The green flag for the semi-final race will wave at 3:10 p.m. (ET) with the television coverage on MAVTV.
Categories: ARCA Menards Series