Sean Corr shakes up ARCA contenders at Talladega...fastest in practice

Sean Corr shakes up ARCA contenders at Talladega...fastest in practice

TALLADEGA, Ala. (May 5, 2017) -- Sean Corr doesn't show up very often, but when he does -- specifically on the restrictor plate tracks -- he's always near the top of the board.

Corr, in the No. 46 NESCO-Empire Racing Group (ERG) Ford, was the best of the best Friday at Talladega Superspeedway in preparation for the 55th running of the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards General Tire 200. The Goshen, N.Y. veteran turned the fastest lap in practice with a top speed of 187.588 mph. Corr got the job done in his favorite superspeedway car.

"This old girl has always been my favorite car," said Corr. "It's an old Robert Yates chassis…we lovingly call her "Baby". For the last several years, this has always been my car of choice for superspeedways. I'm happy to see it on top of the board."

Corr didn't have a lot of time in practice. With the schedule adjusted for rain, the series was allotted a half-hour practice session in between NASCAR Xfinity Series sessions. Fortunately, he got in a good pack of cars.

"We went right out and got in the middle of a pack…this thing really wants to draft. Unfortunately, we have to start way back."

The field was set by 2016 car owner points, which puts Corr all the way back in the 35th starting position for the race. Corr's ERG team is a development team for Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM).

Kyle Weatherman, in the No. 78 St. Charles Glass-Turn One Condos Chevrolet for Mason Mitchell Motorsports, was second fastest overall. Rookie Codie Rohrbaugh, in the No. 7 Grant County Mulch Dodge, was third on the practice charts.

"I got in a line with the 78 and the 66 (Mark Thompson) which are pretty good cars," said Rohrbaugh. "It's gonna take being in a pack of five or six cars to make it happen. I think everything's good on our end…I'm excited."

Thompson, making his 100th career ARCA Racing Series start, was fourth on the board in the No. 66 Phoenix Air Ford over Noah Gragson (No. 55 Musselman's Toyota). Tom Hessert, Brandon Lynn, Justin Haley, Bobby Gerhart and Shane Lee completed the top-10 cars in practice.

Haley, in the No. 28 MDM Motorsports Toyota, is making his career-first Talladega start.

"Car is really good," said Haley. "We had a little ground wire issue so we didn't get a lot of practice. But the car handles really well. I tested with this same team at Daytona. It's kind of funny…this team, MDM Motorsports, was our rival team in K&N last year."

Haley, the 2016 NASCAR K&N East champion, is another driver who starts farther back than he would prefer.

"I'm a little nervous starting in the middle of the pack, but I'm confident in the package we have here today."

Gerhart, in the No. 5 Lucas Oil Chevrolet, is yet another good car that's going to have to come from the back.

"I don't like starting in the back, but the car is very good," said Gerhart. "It depends on who out there wants to come with us. You're definitely going to have to have some help."

Gerhart, who's won eight times at Daytona and once at Talladega, is extremely confident in his car.

"I have a lot of history with this car. I would have been confident if it came right off the truck without any practice. We won Daytona in this car in 2007 and '10. It's never run here, but we know we have a great car."

Corr, who finished 11th in the season-opener at Daytona, has five previous starts at Talladega, with a best finish of seventh last year.

Corr's Ford will ride with the message "Support Our Troops" on the hood. Prior to leaving for Talladega, Corr made a special visit to Victory Junction in Randleman, N.C. to help donate a purpose-built bus to the camp for chronically-ill children. Corr and his family own a bus company in their hometown in upstate New York.

"It felt great to give back to Victory Junction and try to help some of the kids at camp," said Corr. "It doesn't take long when you are there to see that Victory Junction is a pretty special place, and I give a lot of credit to the Petty family to making that Camp happen. I'm glad that our family could make this donation.

"We're pretty focused on the race. We know we have a good car, and that's a lot of credit to 'Grumpy' (Mike Cheek) and the team. We feel we can compete for the win, but we have to be there at the end to make that happen. So, we'll be smart and take our opportunities when they come. It's great to be back at the track and I'm looking forward to Friday night."

The General Tire 200 is live on FS1 at 5 p.m. Central time Friday afternoon. There will also be live flag-to-flag audio coverage of the race at arcaracing.com, which will also feature live timing and scoring and live chat.

Practice Speeds
Starting Line-Up

About Empire Racing

Established in 2009, Empire Racing Group is a development team that strives to identify young racing talent and assist them in the advancement of their careers. While ERG originally focused on the ARCA Racing Series with driver Sean Corr (team owner/driver), the team has since expanded its reach into other series thanks in part to its alliance with Grumpy's Performance, Inc. Under the expertise of crew chief Mike 'Grumpy' Cheek, ERG now competes in various late model series as well as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS). In 2017, ERG will be serving as the developmental team for Richard Petty Motorsports, providing young drivers with driver coaching, technical support, public relations, and marketing needs. Drivers for the 2017 season include notable rising stars Thad Moffitt, Harrison Moffitt, and racing veteran Sean Corr.

To learn more about ERG, call (704) 664-8882 or visit www.empireracinggroup.com.

About Richard Petty Motorsports

A performance and marketing driven company, Richard Petty Motorsports, co-owned by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty and successful business entrepreneur Andrew Murstein, is one of the most recognized brands in all of motorsports. With a history of over 200 wins and business partnerships with national and global leaders, today the race operation fields one team in competition in the NASCAR premier series with driver Aric Almirola. Almirola will return to the iconic No. 43 Ford with partners Smithfield Foods, STP, United States Air Force and Fresh From Florida. The team is headquartered in Mooresville, N.C.

Don Radebaugh
dradebaugh@arcaracing.com

Comments
mark s.

Good luck # 46