MOORESVILLE, N.C. – ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards rookie Justin Fontaine (@driverFontaine) will tell you that it was extremely hard to wipe the smile off his face following preseason testing last month with his Win-Tron Racing team at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
Five weeks later, Fontaine is smiling again, upbeat about returning to the “World Center of Racing” for his ARCA debut in Saturday afternoon’s Lucas Oil Complete Engine Treatment 200 driven by General Tire.
For his superspeedway debut, Fontaine will drive the No. 33 ProMATIC Automation Toyota Camry for Win-Tron Racing, part of a two-car operation for the Mooresville, N.C.-based team with teammate Gus Dean.
“There aren’t words to describe how excited I am about going to Daytona this week,” said Fontaine. “I’ve been ready for race week since after the test. We had a good test session and the car had a lot of speed. I know I still have plenty to learn, but I know that I have a really good team around me and that’s important, especially at a place like Daytona.”
Speaking of the test, Fontaine, a veteran of Late Models turned in the 13th quickest lap overall in a two-day session that saw 52 drivers turn at least one lap around the 2.5-mile superspeedway.
“We spent time in single car runs with the team easing me into the draft,” recalled Fontaine. “We know that the draft is going to be super crucial this week with qualifying and the race, so I’ll be working close with Gus (Dean) and the other competitors and hope we can post a good lap in practice that put us with a good group for qualifying.
“When it comes down to the race, we’ll take it from there. I’ve watched a lot of You Tube over the last two weeks going back and watching the old ARCA races from Daytona. I’ve seen mistakes and what works and what doesn’t, I don’t plan to forget what I watched.”
For his ARCA debut, the Fletcher, N.C. native will be surrounded by veterans. Whether it’s in the garage with crew chief Bill Henderson, guidance from above from spotter Richard Coleman or in the hauler with team principals Kevin Cywinski and Tim Self, Fontaine knows he’s in good hands.
And if all that input isn’t enough, Fontaine’s cousin, Chris Fontaine, a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver and often considered a superspeedway ace has also offered support.
“I’m thankful to have all the support around me that I do,” Fontaine said. “With all their advice, I hope it means good things during the race for our No. 33 ProMATIC Automation Toyota Camry.”
Fontaine joins Win-Tron Racing, the driver development partner of AM Racing for several races on the ARCA Racing Series tour in 2017 starting with the Feb. 19 Lucas Oil Complete Engine Treatment 200 driven by General Tire.
Tim Self, team principal at AM Racing attended the ARCA test to watch Fontaine make his first laps at Daytona and is confident of good things in the series’ season-opener.
“Like I said at the test, I’m proud of Justin,” said Self. “He learned a lot at Daytona during the test and without a doubt that confidence will help this weekend. Kevin (Cywinski) and I have worked together to make sure we put the personnel around Justin that he’ll be comfortable with and that he can trust.
“Once that green flag drops though, it’s all up to Justin and Richard and I think they’ll do great.”
The Lucas Oil Complete Engine Treatment 200 driven by General Tire (80 laps / 200 miles) is the first of 20 races on the 2017 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins Thurs., Feb. 16 with a two-hour session from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. A final practice session has been etched in on Fri., Feb. 17 from 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Group qualifying is set for later in the day at 3:30 p.m. The preamble for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series’ “Clash” is set to take the green flag on Sat., Feb. 18 shortly after 4:00 p.m. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), while ARCARacing.com will stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities.
To learn more information on AM Racing please visit amracingteam.com.
For more on Justin Fontaine, please like his Facebook page (Justin Fontaine) or follow him on Twitter @driverFontaine.
Follow Win-Tron Racing on Twitter @WinTronRacing, like on Facebook (WinTron Racing) or click on WinTronRacing.com.
About ProMATIC Automation:
ProMATIC Automation, Inc. specializes in the design and build of custom factory automation equipment. With complete in-house capabilities of design, programming, fabrication, machining, electrical and mechanical assembly, ProMATIC can manage project resources and coordinate manufacturing efforts to provide quality, on-time automation project implementation.
ProMATIC Automation, Inc. has extensive experience in the integration of high-level automation technologies like robotics, laser, vision, and dispensing systems along with many years of combined experience in the design and machining of custom manufactured components.
For more information on ProMATIC Automation please visit promaticautomation.com.
About Win-Tron Racing:
Located in Mooresville, North Carolina, Win-Tron Racing is a professional race team headquartered in “Race City USA.” Owned by former racer Kevin Cywinski, the team will compete for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards championship in 2017 with driver Gus Dean in the No. 32 GREE Toyota Camry. Learn more at WinTronRacing.com or on Twitter @WinTronRacing.