XFINITY Drivers Reed and Suarez Running ARCA at Chicagoland Speedwayby Kyle Pokrefky June 20, 2015 0 comments
JOLIET, Ill. — 200 laps and 300 miles of racing on Saturday at Chicagoland Speedway isn’t quite enough for Ryan Reed and Daniel Suarez as both drivers will run a Saturday double and compete in the ARCA Racing Series’s Scott 150 ahead of Saturday night’s Owens Corning AttiCat 300.
Suarez is to make his second of four scheduled starts this year with Venturini Motorsports in a No. 15 ARRIS Toyota and is entered to help gain experience ahead of Saturday night’s XFINITY Series race.
Suarez has one prior start at Chicagoland in the XFINITY Series with RAB Racing from last September that resulted in a 15th-place finish for the Monterrey, Mexico native.
Making for his best finish of his two 2014 NXS starts, the current rookie of the year contender in XFINITY will use what he learned in his lead lap finish from last year in both of tomorrow’s races.
“This is the goal, to gain a little more experience on the race track and see how everything is going to work out tomorrow,” Suarez said on Friday. “I think that is going to be able to help me for sure…
“There is some stuff that we learned form last year that I’m going to try to [use] in both the ARCA and XFINITY race tomorrow.”
Reed enters his first ARCA race in over two years in Lira Motorsports’s No. 58 Ford, being added to the SCOTT 150’s entry list late in what Reed calls a ‘last minute deal.’
The Lira organization that fields cars for Michael Lira (on all tracks that he is eligible to run on) and leading rookie of the year driver David Levine had an opening in the No. 58 seat this week and enlisted the help of Roush Fenway Racing to help fill the seat for a one-race deal.
“It was just a good opportunity,” Reed remarked. “The guys at Lira Motorsports had an open seat and they said they wanted one of the Roush drivers to come run it and Jack thought of me. It’s a good opportunity to get some more seat time around Chicago.
“I ran a few races here but extra seat time never hurts. I’m really excited, it’s a fun series and I think they have an A-plus program. It’s a good opportunity to go out there and maybe get my first ARCA win.”
Reed will also use this opportunity to further prepare himself for Saturday’s XFINITY race. With the ARCA race being run in the evening, Reed hopes that he can feel out how the track will transition throughout the night and use the information he gathers to his advantage in Saturday night’s marquee event.
“Probably the biggest thing is you’ll be able to feel – this place is weather-sensitive – so you’ll be able to feel out that much more with what the track is doing,” Reed stated. “Also too during the race, tomorrow night before our XFINITY race I can see how the track is transitioning as the sun starts to go down.
“There’ll be some important stuff but also it’s going to be a lot different feel going from the Hoosier rubber to the Goodyear rubber. There’ll be some good things and some things that I’ll have to separate and not get too caught up with.”
With 300 laps and 450 total miles on both drivers’ plates for tomorrow – a longer distance than a Sprint Cup race at Chicagoland – being physically prepared for all of Saturday will be just as important as being mentally prepared for two different races in two different cars.
As Suarez puts it, Saturday will prove to be a good challenge, but one that he’s looking forward to.
“I think the preparation is the same for every weekend with trying to be in shape and trying to work out every week,” Suarez said. “My normal workout program that I have with these guys with Joe Gibbs Racing, so far, I’ve been feeling really good in the races. For sure, tomorrow will be a good challenge to have both races together.”
The Scott 150 is scheduled for a 6:00 p.m CT start time on Saturday evening and will be broadcast on FOX Sports 2.
The Owens Corning AttiCat 300 will follow the Scott 150 at 8:30 p.m and will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1 and on MRN.
Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky
Photo credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images