Pocono's Sr. VP Nick Igdalsky Ready for ARCA Road Course at Palm Beach Int'l Raceway
Nick Igdalsky is the Senior Vice President of Pocono Raceway and South Boston Speedway. It just so happens he's also a fulltime driver on the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards tour. It also means that the grandson of Pocono patriarchs' Drs. Joe and Rose Mattioli has a lot on his plate. He's not complaining.
"This is fantastic," said Igdalsky. "ARCA's always been near and dear to my heart. I grew up watching Tim Steele dominate at Pocono ...... Bobby Gerhart lives just up the road ....... Following the career of Frank Kimmel. I would have absolutely no problem racing in ARCA for the rest of my career. To me, it's a wonderful thing."
When asked about being able to keep up with all his responsibilities, the 32-year-old driver said, "I'll let you know in April when we've got three races in a month."
Racing fulltime in the ARCA Racing Series for Andy Belmont Racing with title sponsorship from ModSpace, Igdalsky sees his racing program as valuable experience, offering up important perspective he can utilize toward the track op side of things.
"I'm very fortunate. I'm in a position to have the freedom to go race. Actually, I really think it helps my perspective as a track op to see things from the competitor side, and incorporate this back home. Racing fulltime in the ARCA Racing Series offers a unique perspective from the driver side, whether it be driver comfort, safety or whatever it may be. It's all very valuable to be able to see these things and incorporate them on the other side. It's not just fun, although there's a lot of that."
After a disappointing start at Daytona, Igdalsky is ready to get back to his roots in the next event on tour - the Tire Kingdom 150 presented by ModSpace at the 2.034-mile, 11-turn Palm Beach Int'l Raceway road course.
"I feel good about heading to a road course," added Igdalsky. "They've changed the configuration since I was last there, shortened the overall track and lengthened the backstretch, so it will make for a very interesting race. One small mistake and you will be off the track and in trouble."
Igdalsky has extensive experience in road course competition and is looking forward to the race. In fact he's one of the very few drivers entered who can, not only claim to have experience at Palm Beach, but race wins there as well.
"I raced there quite a bit in the Formula 2000 open wheel cars. Won quite a few races there. When ARCA announced it was going to Palm Beach, it couldn't have added a better race for me."
The recent test session at the track did not go as good as was expected in the morning but with the changes made in the afternoon the team is feeling good about the race. Igdalsky, in his rookie season with ARCA, will be driving the ModSpace-sponsored Andy Belmont Racing No. 1 Ford. ModSpace will also serve as presenting sponsor of the race.
"Having our sponsor also being the presenting sponsor of the race makes us want to do well even more than we usually do," said team owner Andy Belmont. "It would be a great day if Nick and the crew were able to put the ModSpace Ford in victory lane in their race.
"ModSpace will have a large number of guests on hand for the race and we want to be able to impress them."
Beyond the event at Palm Beach, Igdalsky couldn't be more excited about his season ahead.
"I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to running the whole schedule. Can't wait to go to Talladega. We didn't have the finish we wanted at Daytona, but we were contenders. We were able to race up into the top-10 inside of 10 laps to go before we had our incident. Yah, I was disappointed, but at the same time very excited to know we have a car that can run up front."
Igdalsky hopes to do just that at Palm Beach.
"We just need to go to Palm Beach and treat it the same way I've always treated road courses. Don't overdrive the car, be consistent. Don't worry about being the fastest car every lap; just be consistent and keep all four tires on the pavement. If you do that lap after lap the attrition will take care of itself and you'll be in the hunt in the end.
"We all need to be careful at Palm Beach. There are not a lot of run-off areas. If you get off track, there are a lot of concrete walls waiting for you, so there's not a lot of room for error. I'd hate to skid off into the gator pond," joked Igdalsky. "Actually, I think they've got a fence around it now, but when we ran open wheel cars I saw a couple cars get close to going in. One was upside down."
All prize money earned by the team goes to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
The Kingdom Tire 150 presented by ModSpace at Palm Beach Int'l Raceway is scheduled to roll off at 1:00 PM Saturday afternoon, February 27th. On-track activity begins on Friday, February 26th with practice from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM followed by Menards Pole Award Qualifying presented by Ansell at 4:00 PM. The race will also be featured in live streaming audio at ARCAracing.com.
Information on the race and how to order tickets is available at www.racepbir.com.
Aaron's Renews ARCA Sponsorship
Officials from the Automobile Racing Club of America and Aaron's, Inc. have announced that the Atlanta, Georgia-based Aaron's Sales & Lease Ownership division has renewed their sponsorship and marketing program with the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards for a third year.
With the sponsorship announcement, Aaron's retains its position as the official Sales & Lease Ownership retailer of ARCA. The official category sponsorship includes the Aaron's Lap Leader program, offering a $500 cash bonus to the team leading the most laps each race, and a $5,000 year-end cash bonus to the team leading the most laps over the course of the season.
The announcement also means the continuation of the Aaron's Lucky Dog award, the progressive and pioneering procedural rule which allows the first car one lap down to return to the lead lap during caution.
"Aaron's has been a great sponsor, and a great promotional partner for the past two years," commented ARCA Vice President of Marketing and Communications Mark Gundrum. "They activate at-track and in the event markets, they have brought valuable and innovative awards programs to the competitors, they sponsor races...they are a great sponsor in the sport of auto racing."
Six-time Daytona winner Bobby Gerhart, who led 51 laps en route to victory lane in this year's Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona, earned the Aaron's Lap Leader Award in the season-opener.
In addition to their ARCA sponsorship, Aaron's also sponsors the Michael Waltrip Racing team and drivers Michael Waltrip, David Reutimann and Trevor Bayne, plus Pierre Bourque in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. Aaron's also sponsors the "Dream Weekend" at Talladega Superspeedway in April, with naming rights to the Aaron's 312 NASCAR Nationwide Series event and the Aaron's 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
Aaron's, Inc. is the leader in lease ownership and specialty retailing of office furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and electronics with more than 1,655 Company-operated and franchised stores in 48 states and Canada. Founded in 1955 by entrepreneur R. Charles Loudermilk and publicly traded since 1982, Aaron's was a pioneer in the furniture rental industry.
There are two operating divisions of Aaron's: sales and lease ownership and manufacturing. The Aaron's Sales & Lease Ownership division is the largest and fastest growing division, serving credit-constrained consumers in need of basic home furnishings, appliances and electronics. Customers range from white-collar professionals and blue-collar workers to young couples and retirees. The Sales & Lease Ownership division has 1,072 Company-owned stores and 569 franchised stores. The MacTavish Furniture Industries division manufactures the majority of furniture leased and sold by Aaron's. Vertical integration allows the Company to control quality, styling and cost, leading to superior customer service.