TOLEDO, Ohio (March 20, 2017) -- With the Music City 200 presented by Azure Foundation less than three weeks away, several ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards teams are headed to Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville this week for testing.
It starts Tuesday (March 21) with Venturini Motorsports (VMS), Win-Tron Racing, Mason Mitchell Motorsports, Empire Racing, Bret Holmes Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing. Cunningham Motorsports and Ken Schrader Racing are logged in for Wednesday. If it rains Tuesday, most are planning to stay over till Wednesday.
Venturini Motorsports GM Billy Venturini is taking four cars and three rookie drivers to include Zane Smith, Christian Eckes and Raphael Lessard. Venturini says the preparation for the test is "pretty-much" the same as it is getting ready for a race.
"It's pretty-much exactly the same work you put in to go to a race...it's no different than race prep," said Venturini.
"The only thing you don't have to have ready are the exteriors...we have one car in primer yet, but other than that, the car's are race-ready."
The test will also require VMS to throw the full weight of its full-time force at the effort.
"We're going with anywhere from three to four full-time people with each car which is what we have on race weekends, plus a couple volunteers for each car. There'll be at least 20 of us on the road for the test. It's quite a production."
The team is also taking a fourth car that they may, or may not use.
"We have a fourth car...we just don't know if we're going to be able to use it. It's a short track car that didn't perform the way we wanted last year. We redid everything on it and put a new configuration on it set-up-wise, so we'll see. Two years ago it was one of our best short track cars. Justin Boston won twice in it when it had a steel body on it. It's a really nice car...we just got a little sideways with it. We found out some things with it and we might take it out a give it a run at Nashville. First and foremost, we'll concentrate on our three drivers."
Win-Tron Racing is expected to test with Gus Dean and another TBA driver while Mason Mitchell Motorsports is coming with Kyle Weatherman is its driver. Empire Racing is expected to be testing with rookie Thad Moffitt, the grandson of Richard Petty. Bret Holmes is testing with Bret Holmes Racing, and rookie Riley Herbst is expected to test with Joe Gibbs Racing.
Cunningham Motorsports is testing with Dalton Sargeant and Shane Lee. Ken Schrader is testing with current point leader Austin Theriault.