(TOLEDO, Ohio - June 13, 2012) - Since the beginning of the 2009 season, Cunningham Motorsports has won more than any other team in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards - that would be 15 races in all.
Yes, Parker Kligerman helped in a big way in 2009 when the Westport, Conn. driver steered his way to nine victories in the No. 77 Cunningham Motorsports Dodge. But despite Kligerman's dominance, Cunningham Motorsports has managed to put four other drivers in victory lane since then - most recently, Alex Bowman at Salem back in April.
The longtime ARCA team hopes to add the next win this Friday at Michigan International Speedway in the RainEater Wiper Blades 200 where Bowman, in the No. 22 13 abc/abc 12/St. Jude's/eBay Motors Dodge, will take his best shot on the newly-paved two-mile Michigan oval.
Fortunately, the team picked up some local sponsorship for the race from local ABC station affiliates WTVG in Toledo, Ohio and WJRT in Flint, Michigan. The ABC logos will occupy the hood on the renowned No. 22 Dodge.
Bowman, in preparation for the race, tested at Michigan in May. The Tucson, Ariz. driver is also coming off a solid third-place finish last Saturday at Pocono.
"The test at Michigan went really well, with the exception of our last lap," Bowman said.
"We're expecting to have a fast race car and a new sponsor on the hood this weekend from ABC. Even though the track will be different from the track we tested on, we're looking forward to getting back to MIS and showing how good this Cunningham Motorsports Dodge really is."
Car owner Kerry Scherer (below right), who has shared car owner duties with Briggs Cunningham over the years, attributes the team's success with good people and the quality of equipment.
"Well, that's number one; we've got really good people at Cunningham Motorsports," Scherer said. "And it starts with our crew chief Paul Andrews. That man works harder than anyone I know. His knowledge of the sport is unprecedented. He's just very impressive.
"The quality of our equipment speaks for itself. The help we get from Penske Engines is certainly key. You put all that together and it provides a very consistent product on the race track."
In addition to Kligerman's nine wins in 2009, Cunningham Motorsports won that same year on the New Jersey Motorsports Park road course with Patrick Long at the helm. Kligerman trailed Long in second for a one-two Cunningham punch. No matter the venue, the team excelled, and continues to perform.
In 2010, Cunningham sent Dakoda Armstrong to Victory Lane at Talladega Superspeedway and again at Salem Speedway. Tom Hessert, also in a Cunningham car, pulled off a dominating performance at Iowa Speedway during which the Cherry Hill, N.J. driver led 126 of 200 laps en route to the winner's circle.
Armstrong repeated as a Cunningham victor in 2011 at Winchester Speedway. Bowman's victory at Salem earlier this year, where he turned back the charge from nine-time series champ Frank Kimmel, brings the team to 15 wins total since 2009.
Chase Miller and Scott Lagasse Jr. also earned victories in Cunningham Motorsports cars prior to the 2009 season.
"It's not like we're only good at certain tracks either," Scherer said. "Our record proves we're good everywhere, from Talladega to Toledo, and everywhere in between. Before getting caught up in the wreck at Talladega last month, we were fastest in final practice there too."
And, of course, the team has the numbers to back it up. In addition to Bowman's win at Salem, he qualified outside the pole on the Indiana short track. Menards Pole Awards presented by Ansell this year at Mobile, Toledo, and Elko add to Cunningham Motorsports' continual success story.
"You also have to consider that we only ran nine times last year, and we're doing everything we can to run the full season this year. We only hope we can secure the necessary funding to do that. Alex (Bowman) is an outstanding young driver. He certainly deserves a shot at the ARCA championship.
"I'm just so proud of this organization, and the people who work so hard here."
Cunningham Motorsports also earned back-to-back Team Messina Rookie Challenge titles with Kligerman in 2009 and Armstrong in 2010. They are one of the very few ARCA teams that has won on all the different types of racing surfaces that ARCA requires from its competitors. Cunningham's win column includes events on short tracks, intermediate tracks, superspeedways, road courses, and yes, even the dirt, where Kligerman swept both mile dirt races in 2009.
Both Kligerman and Armstrong moved onto the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series following their tenure in ARCA.
Despite getting knocked out of competition on a Lap 10 multi-car melee at Talladega, the Aaron's Lap Leader in 2012 thus far is - you guessed it - Alex Bowman (252 laps led in four races) in the Cunningham Motorsports Dodge.