Long Pond, PA (May 31, 2018) – Natalie Decker, recovering from recent surgery, will start tomorrow’s ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards General Tire #AnyWhereIsPossible 200 at Pocono Raceway but will give way to Brennan Poole after the drop of Friday’s green flag.
Decker, who underwent successful hernia surgery last week the day after finishing 15th at Charlotte Motor Speedway, will take the green flag before coming down pit road on lap-1 making way for Poole to jump into the seat of her No.25 N29 Capital Partners – Yamaha Power Products Toyota and complete the race for the popular 20-year old rookie driver.
“It’s an unfortunate situation for Natalie and the team,” said Poole Thursday morning from Pocono. “As a driver you always want to compete. I know how difficult this deal is for Natalie but it’s important for her to heal up and not push herself too much too early.”
Anticipating his role, Poole, who has spent the last three seasons racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, tested Decker’s car during yesterday’s open test session at Pocono. With limited practice due to an engine swap, the Texas native posted the seventh quickest practice time.
“I’m really bummed about not racing at Pocono. I was really looking forward to coming back here and improving on last year’s finish. It just wasn’t meant to be. The last thing I want to do is push myself too hard and take a chance of missing more races,” said Decker.
Decker, who made her series superspeedway debut at Pocono in 2017, picked up her first ever career top-10 in last year’s July race.
“Brennan (Poole) was a natural fit to fill in at Pocono. Not only will he do a great job representing my sponsors – N29 and Yamaha Power Products, but he has history with Venturini Motorsports and has had a bunch of success on this track over the years. We’ll see what happens tomorrow. I’m still excited to be at the track – but it’s going to be a little weird watching from the pit box instead of from behind the wheel.”
Throughout his career Poole has made 36 career ARCA starts and is a six-time series winner racing under the Venturini Motorsports banner between 2011-2014. In four series starts at Pocono, the 27-year old driver has accumulated an impressive track stat sheet, setting the current track qualifying record (’12) and earning one victory on the Tricky Triangle along with three consecutive General Pole awards.
Practice for the General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200 is raceday, Friday morning from 10 – 11:25 a.m., with General Tire Pole Qualifying at 2 p.m. The General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200 is live on FS2 Friday afternoon at 5:45 p.m.
In addition to live coverage on FS2, arcaracing.com will feature live timing and scoring and live chat of all on-track activities.
ABOUT VENTURINI MOTORSPORTS:
Over the last 35-years Venturini Motorsports (VMS) has evolved into one of the most recognizable names in professional motorsports. Known for long-time dominance in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, Venturini Motorsports is held in high regard as one of the premier NASCAR driver development programs in the county. Since 2007, VMS has specialized in the career development of some of today’s top racing talent including current NASCAR “Stars” – Joey Logano, Erik Jones, William Byron, Alex Bowman, Ryan Blaney, Darryl ‘Bubba’ Wallace Jr., Daniel Suarez, Christopher Bell, Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, Ben Rhoads, Ryan Reed, Brandon Jones, Matt Tifft, Brennan Poole, Dalton Sargeant, Justin Haley and Todd Gilliland. Integrity, dedication and continuous innovation paired with years of on-track success has helped define Venturini Motorsports as one of the longest tenured teams in all of modern day racing. In 2012, the Venturini racing family was recognized for their collective achievements and inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame – now finding themselves enshrined with such sports icons as Joe DiMaggio, Mario Andretti, Chip Ganassi, Andy Granatelli, Vince Lombardi, Tommy Lasorda and Rocky Marciano.