(DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - February 20, 2012) - It goes without saying that Chad Hackenbracht’s 14th-place finish in Saturday afternoon’s Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona International Speedway was no way an indicator of the team’s performance during the season opener. Still, the team had plenty to be proud about in their third start at “The World Center of Racing.”
Since the checkered flag was thrown at the end of the 2011 season, the CGH Motorsports team led by Kevin Reed immediately turned their attention towards their superspeedway program all with the intentions of glittering in the limelight with their No. 58 Tastee Chocolate Apples Chevrolet.
Boasting a slick looking paint scheme designed by award-winning motorsports artist Sam Bass, the team took to the Daytona high banks for qualifying on Friday afternoon and landed a strong ninth, the team’s best outing ever at a restrictor plate track.
43 cars took the green flag with Hackenbracht wasting little time to move towards the front. With coaching from spotter and former NASCAR driver Tim Fedewa, the New Philadelphia, Ohio native quickly began picking off one position at a time and found himself settled in the fifth position by lap five.
The first caution flag of the day waived on lap seven with Hackenbracht maintaining a presence inside the top-five. That would change though as Reed decided to bring his protégé to pit road for what had hoped to be the team’s lone pit stop of the event.
Restarting 20th, Hackenbracht once again began moving forward only to be stalled by another quick caution. When racing resumed, the family-owned team found themselves sitting 11th in the running order and on the move.
It didn’t take long for the 20-year old to find himself back in the top-10 when he feathered his way into the seventh spot by lap 34 where he would hover for the next thirty laps.
While running in a wad of racecars approaching lap 60, Hackenbracht would be ousted from the bottom line of the racetrack and immediately become freight-trained back through the field dropping to 12th then back to 19th in just a matter of two laps. Frustrated by what just had transpired, Fedewa informed his driver to keep his composure and stay focused on getting back towards the front.
Running near the tail end of the lead draft when the caution flag flew on lap 69, Reed decided to bring the rising star to pit road where a splash of fuel would be added to the No. 58 Tastee Chocolate Apples machine.
With five laps remaining, Hackenbracht restarted the race 20th and aggressively tried bolting his way to the front but would be stalled in race traffic. When the yellow flag waived with two laps remaining, the team would get another chance to gain some much needed track position as the field would be given the first green-white-checker finish of the year.
Simply put, the driver would run out of laps despite giving a gallant effort in the two-lap shootout and take the checkered flag in the 14th position and narrowly avoiding several spinning cars which started when several cars in the top-10 began to run out of fuel.
“We just ran out of time,” said Hackenbracht. “I had no help when I got shuffled back there with about twenty laps to go. We had nothing to lose by coming to pit road near the end of the race for fuel, but we just couldn’t get a group together there at the end to make that push back in the top-10. I’m disappointed but then again, I’m not. This is my third trip to Daytona and the first I’ve actually finished the race. The team did a really good job with the preparation of the car and the pro motor engine underneath the hood was strong, we just needed a couple more laps. The most positive thing is that we have a car to take to Talladega and that’s something we haven’t been able to do the last two years leaving Daytona.”
Next up for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards will be the first of two stops in the state of Alabama with the sanctions first ever visit to Mobile (Ala.) International Speedway for the running of the Mobile ARCA 200 on Saturday, March 10.
CGH Motorsports still has marketing partnerships available for the 2012 ARCA Racing Series season. Interested parties can contact Jordan Dahl at Jordan@cghmotorsports.com or 570.234.5449.
Connect with Chad Hackenbracht and CGH Motorsports through Facebook by clicking here.
Tweet with Chad Hackenbracht through Twitter at @ChadH58 or CGH Motorsports @CGH5858.
About CGH Motorsports:
CGH Motorsports (CGHMotorsports.com), established in 2007 by Ohio entrepreneur Greg Hackenbracht is located in a 10,000 sq. foot facility located in Mooresville, North Carolina. CGH Motorsports is home of rising sensation Chad Hackenbracht, who competed in nine ARCA Racing Series races in 2010 after an aggressive ARCA testing schedule in 2009. Chad Hackenbracht is the 2008 National Asphalt Legends champion, winning 33 percent of his races and finishing in the top-10, 85 percent of the events he competed in. The team has stepped up their commitment from a partial schedule in 2010 and ran a full-effort in 2011, and will attempt another full season of competition in 2012.