MOORESVILLE, North Carolina (May 27, 2011) - - The 2011 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards started off on the shaky side for CGH Motorsports and driver Chad Hackenbracht but the last three races, the Mooresville, North Carolina team has stepped up their game and shown the tour exactly what they are capable of.
At Salem (Ind.) Speedway last month, Hackenbracht flexed his short track muscle despite his lack of stock car experience around a smaller track. Still, the driver of the No. 58 CGH Motorsports Chevrolet Impala SS qualified an impressive ninth at the demanding short track and had cleverly moved into the top-five during the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 before transmission issues sidelined the 19-year old. Still, the team left the track with a top-20 finish and a much needed boost.
From Salem, the tour moved onto their home-town surface of Toledo Speedway. Another new track to the New Philadelphia, Ohio native could have easily sunk the freshman driver. However, Hackenbracht's attentiveness to details soared the driver into the top-12 in final practice. With Mother Nature washing out qualifying, the former Asphalt Legends champion would have to strut his stuff and come from the back to the front during the Menards 200.
During the 200-lap event, Hackenbracht showed extreme maturity and patience. Keeping his nose clean on his No. 58 Tastee Chocolate Apples Chevrolet Impala SS, the rising star had maneuvered his machine into the top-10 but handling woes hindered the team in the later stages of the second short track race of the season leaving Hackenbracht with a 11th place finish, a career best in the ARCA Racing Series.
The diverse schedule of the ARCA Racing Series took the stars and cars from short track racing to road course racing at New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP). The 12-turn, 2.3-mile Thunderbolt Raceway was another fresh track to Hackenbracht. He would however lean on the experience of his team led by crew chief Rob Torrey and director of competition Kevin Reed not to mention some of the limited road course experience he acquired during his Legends days to guide him towards a strong finish.
The lone road course race of the season would test the patience of the CGH Motorsports team. After losing a motor in the first practice session, the team methodically inserted a back-up short track motor into their primary car for qualifying. During time trials, Hackenbracht overcame managing a faulty transmission and additional engine woes qualified his No. 58 CGH Motorsports Chevrolet Impala in the 19th position. Impressive for all things considered.
Despite circling the course in the top-20, changes following time trials would knock the No. 58 automobile to the rear of the 35-car field for the start of the ModSpace 150.
When the green flag flew, Hackenbracht clearly was a man on a mission. Keeping his nose clean and tires on the pavement, the No. 58 quickly and quietly began moving up the leader board.
Hoping pit strategy would play into their favor, the team would short-pit for tires and fuel but become trapped a lap down with the caution flag waived shortly after their stop. Still, the team wasn't about to give up. With impressive driving and maneuvering from their young driver, Hackenbracht was able to retain his lost lap back and find himself in contention for a superior finish.
During the final stages of the fifth race of the season, Hackenbracht showed just how determined he was. Although trying to be shuffled and knocked around by some of his veteran competitors, the team persevered with a ninth place finish, their best finish in 14 career ARCA Racing Series starts.
"I cannot tell you what a relief it has been to reel in the finishes we deserve," said Hackenbracht who thanks to his first top-10 finish has moved inside the top-10 in the ARCA Racing Series championship standings. "Our season started off on the wrong foot at Daytona with a bad crash. We didn't have the performance we were looking for at Talladega and then running as strong as we were at Salem to have that disappointment there, I was just wondering when we were going to get the monkey off our back.
This team fails to ever give up. Rob (Torrey), Kevin (Reed), Richie (Mason), the entire CGH Motorsports team works their hardest every day in support of me and my dream. That's so important to me. To have the finishes we have the last two races is just the start of I hope of some more great finishes to come. I'm really looking forward to Chicagoland next weekend."
For Reed who made the move to CGH Motorsports from Venturini Motorsports following the season-opener at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, he is equally happy about the team's current direction.
"This is a total team effort," said Reed, the 2010 ARCA Racing Series crew chief of the year. "Greg, Susan and Chad Hackenbracht have a ton of belief in not only myself but everyone on this team. We've made some internal changes for the better and it's obviously showing with results on the race track. I couldn't ask for anything more right now. I'm just anxious to keep going in the right direction."
As for his protégé, Chad Hackenbracht, Reed commented, "Chad is an awesome kid with a lot of talent and plenty of drive. He comes to the shop every day, does what he can to help and then focuses on the other aspects of racing that he needs to do as a driver. From working out, to practicing on the simulator, reviewing videos, working with his public relations team, the kid is the real deal. I promise you that."
The question is when not if Chad Hackenbracht and his team will enter victory lane this season. It would not be a surprise to consider the team a pre-race favorite for the Messina Animal Wildlife Stopper 150 which is set for Saturday, June 4th at 5:00 p.m. airing live on SPEED.
Last year the team qualified a stout 11th but their race ended in disappointment just 32 laps into the event when a tire failure resulted in a 27th place finish. This year, Torrey and Reed have put their heads together and built what they believe will be a strong intermediate race program.
"The intermediate tracks are important to us," added Reed. "Chad enjoys competing on them and I have some great success on them. This year we're determined to make the CGH Motorsports team contenders starting at Chicagoland."
Hackenbracht sounded, "I feel like Chicago owes me one. We had a good Chevrolet last year but had some bad luck in the race; but I'm ready to get back there and make up for what we lost next weekend. If we were able to pull it off with a victory, I cannot begin to describe what it would mean not only to me but my family and team. It would be awesome!"
CGH Motorsports is actively seeking additional marketing partners for the full 2011 ARCA Racing Series schedule. Single, multi and full-season placements are available on the team's No. 58 entries. Interested parties are urged to contact Jordan Dahl at 570.234.5449 or email@example.com.
The Messina Animal Wildlife Stopper 150 (100 laps / 150 miles) is the sixth of 19 events on the 2011 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. The 11th ARCA event held at Chicagoland Speedway is a two-day show. Practice begins Friday, June 3 with a one hour and twenty minute practice session planned from 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Menards Pole by Ansell qualifying is slated to begin at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 4. The field will take the green flag shortly after 5:00 p.m. The event will be televised live on SPEED with additional broadcast coverage including live timing and scoring throughout the 1,318 race for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards since it was formed in 1953 will be available through the ARCA Racing Network (ARN) online at arcaracing.com presented by ARCANation.com. All times are local.
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About CGH Motorsports:
CGH Motorsports (CGHMotorsports.com), established in 2007 by Ohio entrepreneur Greg Hackenbracht is located in a 10,000 sq. foot facility located in Mooresville, North Carolina. CGH Motorsports is home of rising sensation Chad Hackenbracht, who competed in nine ARCA Racing Series races in 2010 after an aggressive ARCA testing schedule in 2009. Chad Hackenbracht is the 2008 National Asphalt Legends champion, winning 33 percent of his races and finishing in the top-10, 85 percent of the events he competed in. The team will step up their commitment from a partial schedule and prepare for a hopeful full-season ARCA championship assault beginning in February 2011.