ARCA Town: Primed for Pocono
There Will Be a Diverse Entry List for Pocono Raceway
Billy Pauch, Jr. (Jim DuPont Photos)
PAUCH AND TEAM TO MAKE ARCA DEBUT
The next generation is clearly arriving; and they're coming from all walks of motorsports, adding incredible flavor to ARCA RE/MAX Series fields across the board. And the 44th Pocono 200 at Pocono Raceway will be no exception.
Third-generation racer Billy Pauch, Jr. an accomplished, Northeastern asphalt Modified, dirt Modified and Midget driver, has filed an entry for the June 9th Pocono 200.
"This is such a great opportunity," said Pauch, who hails from Frenchtown, New Jersey. "I can't thank Dick Greenfield Dodge enough for this opportunity. I just can't wait to get to the track."
The track itself is unlike anything the 19-year-old driver has ever attempted before.
"Hopefully, I'll get adapted fairly quickly. The frontstretch alone is the size of Big Diamond (PA, the track where Pauch runs a dirt Modified and Midget)."
Pauch will attempt to make the starting grid in a Dick Greenfield-owned Dodge Charger, a car acquired from Evernham Motorsports.
"I've known Ray Evernham all my life. He raced against my Dad. In fact, my Dad helped Ray move when he went down south. Ray provided us with the best equipment, and Dick Greenfield's crew is first-class. I wouldn't want to do this any other way."
Pauch is the son of 50-year-old short-track legend Billy ‘The Kid' Pauch, a racer with over 600 wins in sprint cars and modifieds. Pauch, Sr. has a long history with Greenfield, the proprietor of Dick Greenfield Dodge and Isuzu in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. Pauch, Jr. currently drives for Greenfield in the Whelen Modified tour.
"I watched the ARCA race from Iowa Saturday. That was a really exciting race. There are some really good cars in ARCA. I'm really looking forward to getting to Pocono."
Pauch has one victory in Big Block Modified competition at Bridgeport and one Small Block
Modified win at Big Diamond. When not racing cars, Pauch, a graduate of Delaware Valley High School in 2005, is a student at Raritan Valley Community College and works at the Billy Pauch Racing School.
MENARD AND SAUTER BECOME ARCA-WHACKERS
Since 1983, the ARCA RE/MAX Series has traditionally shared both its annual Pocono Raceway race weekends with the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series.
Not only has the ARCA RE/MAX Series been a very effective and successful supporting act, it's also served as a great way for budding NASCAR drivers to hone their skills on the renowned 2.5-mile triangular-shaped Pocono track.
And according to this year's entry list for the 44th Pocono ARCA 200, some higher-profile drivers have entered with hopes of gaining valuable seat-time in preparation for Sunday's grand finale.
Wisconsin drivers' Paul Menard and Johnny Sauter have both filed entries for the Pocono ARCA 200.
Menard, listed in a #15 Teresa Earnhardt-owned Chevrolet, has never raced at Pocono. His average finish in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series in 2007 is 26.6. No doubt Menard's looking for Pocono seat time as well as a good old-fashioned shot of confidence. When Casey Mears, struggling at the time, won both ARCA RE/MAX Series events at Pocono in 2003, his NASCAR stats showed significant improvement immediately thereafter.
Sauter is another driver looking to get a head start on Sunday's Cup race at Pocono via the ARCA RE/MAX Series. Sauter's entered in the #32 Country Joe Racing Dodge. Country Joe Racing, headed-up by three-time ASA national champion Kevin Cywinski, continually fields first-class equipment for a variety of drivers in the ARCA RE/MAX Series. The team, based out of Minnesota, has earned ARCA RE/MAX Series victories with drivers' Joey Miller, Blake Bjorklund and most recently with James Buescher.
In addition to Cup drivers in search of Pocono experience, the Pocono ARCA 200 has become a hotbed for driver development teams.
Evernham Motorsports has entered a Dodge Charger with Erin Crocker at the helm. Crocker is the only female driver in series history to earn a trio of second place finishes. Her best Pocono finish was third in 2005.
Also entered from the driver development arena is Tim Andrews in the Cunningham Motorsports Dodge Development Dodge. Andrews is the son of veteran NASCAR crew chief Paul Andrews.
The Eddie Sharp Driver Development team has two entries with Michael McDowell in a #2 Dodge Charger and a #22 Toyota Camry listed with driver ‘to be announced'. According to Sharp, NASCAR driver David Reutimann may practice and qualifying the car while Josh Wise, who will be en route from the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Texas, will drive the car in the Pocono ARCA 200 on Saturday.
A full weekend of on-track activity is planned for the June event, with ARCA RE/MAX Series haulers scheduled to converge at the speedway on Thursday, June 7th from 4-6:00 pm. A practice session is scheduled for Friday, June 8th beginning at 10:15 am, with SIM Factory Pole Award Qualifying slated for 1:45 pm. The Pocono 200 kicks off Saturday afternoon, June 9th at 1:00 pm and will be televised same-day on SPEED at 8 pm eastern.
As a result of crew members entering another team's area in the garage resulting in a physical altercation after the June 2 ARCA RE/MAX Series race at Iowa Speedway, penalties have been issued to two individuals. Dan Koozer and Ryan Parks of the #1 team [of Dominick Casola] have been fined $500 each and placed on probation for the remainder of the 2007 season. The penalties were issued as a result of conduct detrimental to the sport of auto racing.
NINE FOR NINE, NEW WINNERS HIGHLIGHT ’07 SEASON
Frank Kimmel led ARCA RE/MAX Series rookies' Michael McDowell, Michael Annett, Phillip McGilton and Bryan Clauson across the Iowa Speedway finish line on Saturday evening to become the ninth different series winner in as many events in 2007. Other 2007 race winners include Bobby Gerhart (Daytona), James Buescher (Lakeland), Chad McCumbee (Nashville), Brian Keselowski (Salem), Scott Lagasse, Jr. (Kansas), Billy Leslie (Winchester), Erik Darnell (Kentucky) and Ken Butler III (Toledo).
In 2006, 17 different race winners graced victory lane in 23 events, including 15 different first time series winners. In all, there have been 24 different winners in the last 32 events, beginning with Kraig Kinser's trip to victory lane at Talladega Superspeedway in September of 2005.