Sparta, KY (September 23, 2015) – The final stretch of the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season takes center stage with the Crosley Brands 150 at Kentucky Speedway on Friday, September 25th.
Returning to the blue grass state, Venturini Motorsports is set to defend Brennan Poole’s 2014 team victory on the 1.5 mile Kentucky oval. Taking the reins for Venturini Motorsports’ (VMS) three car effort are some of NASCAR’s young guns – Daniel Suarez, Brandon Jones and William Byron.
In preparation for ARCA’s 19th event of the 2015 campaign the VMS trio participated in Tuesday’s series open test. William Byron, the NASCAR K&N East Series point leader topped the speed charts Tuesday – leading both morning and afternoon sessions. Byron, who finished second in his ARCA debut at Lucas Oil Raceway in late July, was fastest among the 25 drivers who posted time and speed throughout the day.
“It was my first time on a mile-and-a-half, and I learned a ton,” said the 17-year-old Byron. “I was a little timid at the beginning…I didn’t know where the edge was, so I kept my guard up. We worked on my comfort level at the start and then we worked more on the car. I feel like we’re in a good place. It’s definitely a lot of fun…the sensation of speed is incredible…so many moving parts to superspeedway racing. We got some long runs in today so I feel like we came out with a good feel of what it’s going to be like in the race. Looking at what was here today, there’s going to be so much competition…I’m excited.”
Byron circled the 1.5-mile track in 30.797 seconds for an average speed of 175.342 mph. He was followed on the charts by VMS teammate Brandon Jones in the No.25 Toyota, who posted a speed of 173.863 mph. Daniel Suarez at the controls of the No.15 ARRIS Toyota finished the day ninth quickest out of 25 testers.
A Closer Look inside VMS’s Kentucky Stable
Daniel Suarez, driver of the No.15 ARRIS Toyota, will make his fourth appearance with VMS. Suarez, who drives full-time for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and on a part-time basis with Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, made his ARCA debut with VMS at Kentucky in ’15 where he finished fifth after qualifying third and leading 39 laps. Suarez started the season at Daytona International Speedway with a career-best second. Veteran crew chief Jeff McClure will reunite with Suarez at Kentucky.
Brandon Jones, driver of the No.25 Ansell-Menards Toyota, returns to the driver’s seat for VMS after a five race hiatus. Jones, a two-time ARCA Series winner, co-pilots VMS’s flagship car with Frank Kimmel. Jones has made eight series starts in 2015, earning five top-5 and seven top-10 finishes. Ryan London will be back on top of the box calling the shots for the Ansell-Menards team. London is currently second in the ARCA Cometic Crew Chief of the Year standings – the 25 team currently ranks third in the ARCA Series owner championship point standings.
Jones, a Richard Childress Racing development driver, is arguably one of the busiest drivers in all of Motorsports. The 18-year old standout is in the midst of completing a 34-race – 4 team schedule which includes ARCA (10 races), NASCAR XFINITY (5 races), NASCAR Trucks (17 races) and the NASCAR K&N Series (2 races). His season best efforts include two runner-up finishes in both the ARCA Series and NASCAR Truck series to go along with an impressive eight place finish in his NASCAR XFINITY Series debut at Iowa.
William Byron, driver of the No.55 Liberty University Toyota, will make his second ARCA career start with VMS. Earlier this season he turned in an impressive series debut at Lucas Oil Raceway finishing second after leading a race high 120-laps. Byron currently holds a 13-point advantage in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Championship point standings with one race remaining (Dover, October 2nd). Friday’s ARCA race at Kentucky will mark Byron’s Speedway debut on a 1.5 mile track.
Byron, a member of the NASCAR NEXT class of 2015, has notched six victories this season driving for HScott Motorsports with Justin Marks in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Division. Byron’s K&N crew chief, Kevin Bellicourt, will be on top of the box at Kentucky with VMS.
Crosley Brands 150 Media & Schedule
Practice for the Crosley Brands 150 is Friday afternoon, September 25 from 12:30-2:00pm, followed by Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell at 4:40pm. The Crosley Brands 150, the 22nd ARCA race at Kentucky, is scheduled to get the green flag just after 8:00pm ET.
In addition to Live Timing and Scoring at arcaracing.com of all on-track activities, the Crosley Brands 150 is live on FOX Sports 1 Friday night at 8:00pm ET.
ABOUT VENTURINI MOTORSPORTS:
Venturini Motorsports (VMS), fielding cars for over 30-years in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, is one of the premier NASCAR driver development programs in the country. Multiple team championships and consistent on-track success, VMS has evolved into one of the most recognizable names in motorsports. Since 2007, VMS has assisted in the career development of notable NASCAR drivers such as Joey Logano, Justin Allgaier, Brian Scott, Alex Bowman, Ryan Blaney, Brennan Poole, John Wes Townley, Brandon Jones, and Justin Boston. Over the years the Venturini name has become synonymous with modern-day racing in America. In 2012, the Venturini family was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame and now find themselves enshrined with such sports icons as Joe DiMaggio, Mario Andretti, Vince Lombardi, Tommy Lasorda and Rocky Marciano.