AVONDALE, Ariz.: It’s been almost a month since the ARCA Menards Series opened their season at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and the aftermath of the General Tire 200 is leaving a lot of unfinished business for Greg Van Alst and his Greg Van Alst Motorsports team.
In Friday afternoon’s General Tire 150 at Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway, Van Alst is looking to finish what he started last month at Daytona.
Rewinding back to the season-opener, Van Alst and his team were showcasing the same speed that his family-owned operation glistened in preseason testing at the “World Center of Racing” – Van Alst was putting himself in position to potentially win his first career race.
Then disaster struck.
While running in the top-five and under caution, Van Alst’s No. 35 CB Fabricating Chevrolet was plowed into from behind by another competitor who was being pushed by another driver unaware that the field was under yellow flag conditions.
The damage wasn’t enough to end the team’s day in their second trip to Daytona, but it was enough to dampen their spirit and leave the track wondering what if.
But Phoenix is on deck and a new track to Van Alst with the Anderson, Ind. native eager to get on track and put the Daytona drama behind him.
“All I’ve thought the last couple of weeks is what could Daytona have been,” said Van Alst. “But it’s time to stop fretting about Daytona. It sucks. There’s no denying that, but there are 19 more races to go this season and we must bonce back.
“I’ve never been to Phoenix, but I am excited to get there. Last year I thought we surprised a lot of people with how quickly we were able to do adapt to new tracks and I think Phoenix will offer more of the same.
“I’ve been doing my part to get ready. Whether it’s watching old races, studying photos or just networking with other drivers and teams – just doing everything I can to absorb as much intel as possible. Hopefully, all of the efforts help in our mission to earn a top-10 finish on Friday night.”
This weekend at Phoenix, however, will be more than just racing at a track for the first time. Van Alst, the 2019 ARCA | CRA champion will also find himself competing against ARCA competitors he’s never raced with before.
Friday’s second ARCA Menards Series race of the season is also a combination race with the ARCA Menards Series West which will bring a slew of good competition and other competitors that are expected to give him a challenge at earning his fourth career top-10 finish.
“There’s a lot to be excited about for Friday’s race, but you also have to be cognizant of whom you are racing,” Van Alst added. “I want to deliver our first top-10 finish of the year on Friday night, but I know it won’t be easy.
“Thankfully, I have a good crew led by my crew chief Jim Long who is just as or perhaps even more determined to do big things in Phoenix. Hopefully, we’ll have a good showing and give us some momentum for Talladega next month.”
Van Alst and his team are bringing the same Ford Fusion they competed with last year at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway, Michigan International Speedway and Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
The car brought the team great success in 2021 with a runner-up finish at Winchester and an additional top-10 at Michigan.
The team battled brake woes at Bristol but have since corrected the issue with their No. 35 CB Fabricating Ford Fusion ready to do battle for 150 laps on Friday.
“This car is a great piece for our Greg Van Alst Motorsports team and I’m glad we’re taking it to Phoenix this weekend,” sounded Van Alst. “The car quickly responds to changes and with Phoenix expecting to be a stout field, I am glad that we are bringing this car to the battle.”
Chris Barkdull’s CB Fabricating, a longtime partner with Greg Van Alst Motorsports has boosted its commitment to the team and will continue its role as the primary marketing partner of Van Alst’s No. 35 Ford.
Headquartered in Anderson, Ind., CB Fabricating offers a complete list of fabricating from design, laser cutting, CNC punching, forming, welding, powder coating, and assembly.
Their 26,000 square foot facility allows them to service the needs of many different industries. Everything from the Automotive, agricultural, aquatic, medical, transportation, electrical enclosures, and much more.
“Chris is the backbone of our ARCA Menards Series program, without him our presence would be minimal and I remember that every time I climb into the race car,” Van Alst sounded. “Phoenix is a new place which provides opportunity and I’m thankful to have the support of Chris and CB Fabricating.”
In addition to CB Fabricating, Top Choice Fence, Norton Transport, KRJ Race Products and Lintz Creative will serve as associate marketing partners for Van Alst’s 13th career ARCA start.
For more on Greg Van Alst and Greg Van Alst Motorsports, please visit GregVanAlst.com, like them on Facebook (Van Alst Motorsports) and follow him on Twitter (@GregVanAlst35).
For more on CB Fabricating, please visit CBFabricating.com and like them on Facebook (CB Fabricating).
The Lucas Oil 150 (150 laps | 150 miles) is the second of 20 races on the 2022 ARCA Menards Series schedule. A combined practice and qualifying session begins on Fri., March 11 from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. The green flag will wave later in the afternoon shortly after 5:30 p.m. The event will be televised live on FloRacing with the Motor Racing Network (MRN) handling the radio waves. ARCARacing.com will also stream live timing and scoring throughout the day’s festivities. All times are local (MT).