Weatherman, Lynn, Swaim, several test with Lira Motorsports at Nashville

Weatherman, Lynn, Swaim, several test with Lira Motorsports at Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 20, 2016) – The gates have officially swung open at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville where Lira Motorsports, the first of several ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards teams headed to the iconic short track at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds to test, spent Friday and Saturday circling the high-banked oval in preparation for the Nashville ARCA 200 coming April 8-9. 

Lira Motorsports Nashville Garage, Test 2016Seven drivers, rotating in and out of five composite body Ford Fusions, tested for Lira Motorsports, including series full-timers Kyle Weatherman and Brandon Lynn. Weatherman, along with his brother Clayton, was on hand Saturday for the track’s Media Day, as was Korbin Forrister. Lynn tested Friday along with Travis Swaim, and series newcomers Morgen Baird and Sheldon Creed. 

Kyle Weatherman, the 2015 SCOTT Rookie of the Year and ARCA’s defending Short Track Challenge champion, says the car’s good, but he and his crew chief Sam Schram will compare notes and try to make it better. 

“All in all, we’re definitely in the ballpark, but we still have some work to do,” Weatherman said. 

“The most important thing was that we left with a good game plan. We’re not exactly where we need to be, but I think we’re close. Between what I think and what Sam thinks, I think we can come up with the right package. 

“Our longest was probably a 10-lap run and there wasn’t much fall off. I think we can come back and run as well as anyone else or better than anyone else.” 

Weatherman mentioned the weather was much cooler than they may have anticipated. 

“It was chilly today…maybe 45 to 50. Last year during the race, it was in the 60s and 70s, so we have to factor all that in there. We started off too tight, but we’re still close. We need to make some changes but that’s what these tests are for. We got better as the runs went on. 

“Clayton went real well…he’s right in there where I am. Travis (Swaim), Brandon (Lynn)...they all made a really good showing. We’ll be good.” 

Lynn tested Friday ahead of Weatherman. Unlike Weatherman, who won the pole last year at Nashville, Lynn had not turned a lap there before Friday. Brandon Lynn Nashville Test 2016

“Track’s a lot of fun,” Lynn said. “It’s really challenging but that’s what makes it so fun. That bump coming off (turn) two is a little different…had to get used to that. But, overall, I’d say I caught on pretty quick…it was a good test. 

“Turns one and two were a little more sweeping that three and four. You don’t have to abuse the brakes as much in one and two…you can let the car roll through there. That’s quite a bump coming off two though…I’d say comparable to the hump on the frontstretch at Salem.” 

Lynn, along with crew chief Bryan Quanz, also learned they need to get the nose of the car off the ground more for the race. 

“We know we have to pick the car up off the ground a bit to get through the corners better. After we got longer into the run, the car wanted to skate up the track, and that was from bottoming out. Once we get the nose off the ground, we’re going to be pretty good. 

"Fifteen laps was probably our longest run on sticker tires, which gave us an idea of what the car’s going to do on fresh tires, and what the car feels like when it starts falling off. We put plenty of laps on older tires too before we switched to stickers. Overall, I think we found a good balance for the race. The car’s stable…I think we’re going to be very competitive.” 

In addition to the Nashville ARCA 200, top Super Late Model teams from all across the country will be battling for ARCA/CRA Super Series and Southern Super Series points on Friday, leading up to the North-South Super Late Model challenge on Saturday as a show-opener for the ARCA 200.  

If that’s not enough excitement, earlier this week it was announced that Nashville recording artist Colt Ford will be live in concert at the track after the races Friday night, April 8. The weekend promises to be one of the biggest and most exciting short track entertainment events of the 2016 racing season. 

More ARCA Testers on the way
Tuesday, March 22 also marks a busy day of open testing at Nashville with at least three ARCA teams on hand – Venturini Motorsports, Cunningham Motorsports and Team Crosley. Series veteran Tom Hessert will be on hand for Venturini Motorsports along with newcomers/rookies Christian Eckes and Cole Williams. Eckes, from Middletown, New York, is just 15 years old. Williams, currently a sophomore at Indiana University Southeast, is already well known at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville, having earned the Pro-Late Model track championship there in 2014. Both Eckes and Williams would be making their career-first ARCA attempts at Nashville.
 

Cunningham Motorsports will be joining the Venturinis March 22, testing both of the team’s full-time drivers – Chase Briscoe and Kevin Thomas. Both Briscoe and Thomas opened the season with solid runs at Daytona, finishing fourth and seventh, respectively. Both are making their career-first attempts at Nashville. 

Team Crosley is also on the card for Tuesday, with driver Bo LeMastus. LeMastus, driver of the No. 42 Crosley Brands car, finished sixth in the Daytona opener, a career-best finish for the Louisville, Kentucky driver. 

The 2016 Lucas Oil ARCA 200 Daytona champion John Wes Townley is marked on the calendar for two days of testing on March 23-24 in his No. 05 Athenian Motorsports Chevrolet. Ken Schrader Racing, with driver Matt Kurzejewski in the No. 52 Ansell-Menards Toyota, will be joining Townley for testing on March 23. 

General admission tickets for Friday, April 8 and reserved seating in addition to general admission seats for Saturday, April 9 are available by calling 217-764-3200 during regular business hours. Tickets will also be sold at the gate each night. 

The Nashville ARCA 200 race weekend is a Track Enterprises promotion. Track Enterprises is a racing promotion company based in Macon, Illinois, overseeing Macon Speedway, Lincoln Speedway, Terre Haute Action Track, as well as hosting a number of ARCA, USAC, UMP, POWRi, WOOLM, and other top events throughout the Midwest. Track Enterprises info can be found online at www.trackenterprises.com.

Don Radebaugh, dradebaugh@arcaracing.com

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