Empire Racing's Corr, Staropoli top overall speed charts at Daytona

Empire Racing's Corr, Staropoli top overall speed charts at Daytona

(DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – December 20, 2014) – If the annual ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards open test at Daytona Int’l Speedway is an indicator of which teams will be top contenders in the 52nd running of the Lucas Oil 200 in February, then Empire Racing is in a really good place.

In fact, the team took the top three spots on the charts among the 49 drivers who posted time and speed over the two-day test Friday and Saturday at the “World Center of Racing.”Sean Corr in car at Daytona test 2014

Sean Corr, in the No. 48 Empire Racing-Hylton Motorsports Ford, led the way around the 2.5-mile superspeedway in 47.743 seconds, an average speed of 188.509 mph. His teammate, rookie Patrick Staropoli, was second and third on the charts with speeds of 188.478 mph in the No. 8 Empire Racing Ford, and 188.344 mph after he hopped in the 48 car for a few rounds.

Corr was in a familiar car, the same one that the Goshen, N.Y. driver earned the Menards Pole Award presented by Ansell in at Daytona in 2012. Corr also finished fifth at Daytona in 2013 and 10th in 2014 in the same machine. Corr is utilizing the new ARCA Ilmor 396 engine.

“We’ve been running the new Ilmor motor; it’s an amazing powerplant,” Corr said. “The pull off the corners is incredible; it just wants to go. I’d fall behind them down the backstretch just to see what would happen and they’d pull away in (turn) three, but coming off four it’d power right back up to the pack. It’s an amazing motor. This is also my first time with fuel injection…everything I’ve ever raced before was with a carburetor, but this entire package is making a believer out of me.”

Staropoli, considering his story, got his share of headlines too over the weekend.

“This wasn’t exactly supposed to happen,” said Staropoli, a Harvard graduate.Patrick Staropoli candid

“One of Empire’s drivers got really sick so we got a call Thursday night to see if I’d be interested. So l left Charlotte right away, drove all night and got here at four in the morning, slept for about an hour, and came out to the track.

“It’s more than I could have hoped for. I still can’t believe it. I just want to thank Richard Hardin of American RF…he found out that Sean Corr was looking for a driver, and got in touch with me. This is amazing. The biggest track I had ever been on before was Iowa.

“I had no idea what to expect. The only race I’ve ever run here was on the backstretch in a K&N car so I had no idea what I was getting into. I’ve never drafted before, but it’s the coolest thing…to feel how the wind moves and shoves the car around. Hopefully I’ve turned some heads and opened some doors. I’m so hoping I get to come back here and race. This place is amazing,” added the 25-year-old Plantation, Fla. driver. Staropoli was utilizing a Roush Yates engine in the 8 car.

Corr is planning to return for more ARCA testing at Daytona in January.

“We still have one more complete car at the shop…the vin number is just one off this car,” Corr said. “We’re going to bring the sister car back for the January test to see how it goes with the Ilmor, but I’m not getting out of my primary car for the race…I’m too attached to it.”

Austin Cindric, in his first superspeedway attempt, turned heads earning the fourth fastest speed overall at 187.758 mph. Cindric, in a Cunningham Motorsports Dodge, is the son of Penske Racing headman Tim Cindric.

"I learned a lot this weekend,” said Cindric, who also posted the fastest speed overall in the afternoon session Saturday. “This is the first time I have been in a stock car. I went from knowing nothing to knowing something. I certainly can't say that I know a lot, but I sure did learn a ton this weekend. From Crew Chief Paul Andrews to teammate Tom Hessert and spotter Richard Coleman…all of them worked with me and taught me a lot. This was the first time that I have ever drafted. Lots of credit goes to Richard (spotter) for talking me through all of the specifics that go into drafting. We probably ran five draft sessions today with, at most, six cars in the draft. This was a great weekend, a great first experience with Cunningham Motorsports."

Cindric’s Cunningham Motorsports teammate Tom Hessert turned the fifth fastest lap.

“The test went really well…very productive,” Hessert said. “”We got to work with the new Ilmor motor. We’ve got a little work to do to suck up better in the draft, but our crew chief Chad Bryant has a plan for back at the shop, so I’m sure we’ll find more speed. Overall, we got a lot of good info off the car.”

Eight-time Daytona winner Bobby Gerhart was sixth fastest in his own Bobby Gerhart Racing Chevrolet, one spot ahead of Venturini Motorsports’ Leilani Munter in seventh.Leilani Munter talks with Bill Venturini at Daytona test 2014

“Our car was really good,” Munter said. “We were on top of the board for a long time on the first day. We had a little tire rub, but we beat the fender out and went back to the top of the board for much of the day. I couldn’t be happier with our Venturini Motorsports Energy Freedom Toyota. We drafted with Gerhart yesterday…got right up on his bumper and he wasn’t going anywhere.

“I just want to thank Venturini Motorsports for believing in me. My crew chief Jeff McClure and all the guys have worked so hard on this car, and it showed. I’ve never had a car this good before. It took me 14 years of driving to get in a car this fast. I want so bad to win this race for the Venturinis…they believe in me. Now it’s time for me to do my job and win the race. I want to be the first female driver to get to Victory Lane in ARCA, and I know I’ve got the car to do it.”

Cody Coughlin, also in a Venturini Motorsports Toyota, was eighth quickest overall and fastest in the first session Friday. Rookie David Levine was ninth. Levine was behind the wheel of a Lira Motorsports Ford.

SCOTT Rookie of the Year Austin Wayne Self climbed the charts late in the session Saturday, earning the 10th fastest speed in a Mason Mitchell Motorsports Ford.

The ARCA Racing Series will return to Daytona Int’l Speedway on January 16 for a one-day open test ahead of the Lucas Oil 200 February 14, 2015.


ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards
Daytona Int'l Speedway
Open Test Results Overall (12/19-20/14)
1 48 Sean Corr 47.743 188.509 Frd
2 8A Patrick Staropoli 47.751 188.478 Frd
3 48 Patrick Staropoli 47.785 188.344 Frd
4 77A Austin Cindric 47.934 187.758 Dge
5 77 Tom Hessert 47.954 187.68 Dge
6 5 Bobby Gerhart 48.078 187.196 Chv
7 66 Leilani Munter 48.080 187.188 Tyt
8 55 Cody Coughlin 48.086 187.165 Tyt
9 68A David Levine 48.294 186.359 Frd
10 98 Austin Wayne Self 48.311 186.293 Frd
11 52 Clay Campbell 48.397 185.962 Chv
12 42 Bo LeMastus 48.467 185.693 Dge
13 77K Will Kimmel 48.591 185.219 Dge
14 69H Andy Hillenburg 48.612 185.139 Frd
15 88A Mario Clauser 48.695 184.824 Frd
16 54 Matt Kurzejewski 48.722 184.721 Dge
17 3 Karl Weber 48.738 184.661 Chv
18 78 Mason Mitchell 48.755 184.596 Frd
19 2A Sarah Cornett-Ching 48.763 184.566 Chv
20 88 John Lowinski-Loh 48.786 184.479 Frd
21 12 Tyler Audie 48.937 183.91 Dge
22 75 Benny Chastain 49.077 183.385 Chv
23 57C Robert French 49.094 183.322 Chv
24 58A Michael Lira 49.101 183.296 Frd
25 69 Will Kimmel 49.229 182.819 Frd
26 03A Rick Clifton 49.523 181.734 Chv
27 49 Brad Smith 49.56 181.598 Frd
28 57B Bryan Dauzat 49.589 181.492 Chv
29 97A Cassie Gannis 49.599 181.455 Dge
30 69B Travis Braden 49.633 181.331 Frd
31 57A Andy Seuss 49.635 181.324 Chv
32 69A Ty Majeski 49.660 181.232 Frd
33 97K Tommy Barrett 49.663 181.221 Dge
34 7B J.J. Pack 49.678 181.167 Frd
35 97G Roger Carter 49.716 181.028 Dge
36 75A Ginny Quinones 49.727 180.988 Chv
37 95 Mark Meunier 49.918 180.296 Dge
38 41A Thomas Serwin 50.032 179.885 Chv
39 7 Willie Mullins 50.047 179.831 Frd
40 7A Kyle Lockrow 50.152 179.454 Frd
41 57 Matt Frahm 50.193 179.308 Chv
42 59 Michael Lira 50.230 179.176 Frd
43 5A Scotty Hubler 50.242 179.133 Chv
44 97I Amber Balcean 50.269 179.037 Dge
45 41C Garrett Smithley 50.292 178.955 Chv
46 59G Gene Paul 50.364 178.699 Dge
47 41 Robby Lyons 50.505 178.200 Chv
48 97E Cody Lane 52.811 170.419 Dge
49 97K Mark Montgomery 52.95 169.972 Dge
50 97C Emerson Newton John 53.545 168.083 Dge
51 97J Kevin Hinckle 53.735 167.489 Dge
52 97 Josh Reeves 53.793 167.308 Dge


So glad to see the Roush-Yates Engine is still able to compete. The big test will come after Daytona, when the draft isn't the big equalizer. I do hope ARCA will keep a close look and do as IMSA does, with "Adjustments of Performance (AoP)" to keep the playing field somewhat level. It is asking a lot of the "open-engine" to be able to compete against a 2014 designed race engine with 38 more cubic inches and fuel injection vs. year 2000 technology [like the Ford D3] running a carb on the tapered spacer. I hope this isn't ARCA's version of bringing a knife [open-engine] to a gun fight [Ilmo396].

Nick Ramey was right. He told me, one time, over at Salem, the D-3 was still a great engine, and, this was after the FR-9 was being used for a couple of years!

Don, hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Nice talking to you during the chat yesterday.

Tim D.

ARCA Racing...

Don Radebaugh

Thanks Terry. Merry Christmas....


Good article about the Daytona test

Don Radebaugh

Same to you Mike R. Thanks for keeping up with it.... Don R......

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