Shawn Szep “Wins The ARCA Truck Series Weekend” At Toledo!
Toledo, OH (May 21st, 2016) — A typical racing checklist: be fastest in first practice. Be fastest in final practice. Win the pole…and with a new track record. Lead the most laps. Win the race. Not many in racing can check off all those things. However, not many are Shawn Szep of Marysville, Ohio, who did just that in the Safety-Kleen 50 at the Toledo Speedway to open the 2016 ARCA Truck Series season!
“Man when we unloaded it, the truck was fast right off the trailer! All the guys in the shop, my Crew Chief Craig Herron, they worked so hard and this is a brand new truck and the first time we ever raced it and I’m real happy with the way it performed!”
Szep also reset the track record to 16.600 seconds, besting Danny Jackson’s 16.802 from 2014. He then rolled two threes on the dice making the invert a six and Szep started there, putting long time series veteran Bob Mikolajczyk in the front spot.
Szep marched his way thru the field and snatched the lead away from Mikolajczyk on lap nine. Getting up of the corner seemed to be Szep’s strong point as Brad Yunker and Brandon Huff, stout in their own right and fighting for second, watched their rival slowly pull away.
There were five yellows (those laps don’t count in the ARCA Truck Series) and even Szep was surprised at the number. “It was too bad we had all those cautions and all those trucks got tore up. But glad to see no one was hurt and glad the fans came out to support us! And thanks to Toledo Speedway for all they do for the series!”
On each restart, it would depend who would be on Szep’s outside, Yunker or Huff, but with each wave of
Chief Starter Denise Engle’s green flag, Szep was gone. He said later, “before that restart, I thought I’d try to restart in third gear to see what would happen and we still got away from them!”
As usual, the 44-year-old was appreciative for those who helped him to win his third pole in a row and his second Lincoln Welders Victory Lane in a row and third in the last eighth ARCA Truck Series events! “I just can’t say enough about DEI, Technicom Electric, ProStar Designs and Amsoil.”
He continued, “Brian Finney is running the ARCA Series here and he helps me with springs and shocks and he’s one of the best in the business! We’ve made leaps and bounds with this new spring and shock package and now this truck is an absolute rocket!
“It sure makes my job look easy!” But the #81 pilot wasn’t through with that, still addressing the crowd: “Today is Armed Forces Day. I’m a veteran myself (Air Force) and I’d just like to say thank you to all who served our country, and whether you’re active or inactive, thank you…and I’d also like to remember those who didn’t make it back home…”
The series returns to the flat and always exciting 1/5 mile facility at the Lake County Speedway on the shores of Lake Erie in eastern Ohio Saturday, June 4, 2016!
Kentucky Motor Speedway, a 1/4 mile paved oval in Whitesville, Kentucky, will host the annual ARCA Truck Series family celebration during Labor Day weekend. Keeping with tradition, the cookout will be September 3, 2016 and the race will be September 4, 2016.
The series will present six of the events at four new venues this season. Spitzer Speedway (formerly known as Mansfield Motorsports Park) will host two events, June 18, 2016 and August 27, 2016. The Spitzer Speedway is a half-mile oval race track located in Mansfield, Ohio. It features moderately high banks and a wide racing surface, making it suitable for close racing and passing.
Lorain County Speedway will host two events as well. The first event will be held on July 9, 2016 and the second will be a two day event, October 1-2, 2016. Lorain County Speedway is located in Amherst Township, near South Amherst, Ohio. This track is a 3/8-mile asphalt oval, with 12 degree banking in both turns, and slight banking on the straightaways. It will be at the Lorain County Speedway where additional milestones will be reached. As a company, Phoenix Management Group of Ohio, LLC will celebrate its 60th race during the July event. As part of PMG’s celebration, the annual ARCA Truck Series Family Day at Cedar Point is scheduled for July 10, 2016.
Shady Bowl Speedway, the world’s fastest 3/10th of a mile asphalt speedway, will open its track to ARCA Truck Series on July 2, 2016. Shady Bowl Speedway is located in De Graff, Ohio.
On August 6, 2016 the series will race at Midvale Speedway, in New Philadelphia, Ohio, a 3/10 mile, semi banked, asphalt oval.
As has been since 2012, the ARCA Truck Series season finale is at Lake County October 15-16th, these dates will mark milestones for Phoenix Management Group of Ohio, LLC. It will be the 11th straight annual event held at the Lake County Speedway. And as a whole, the ARCA Truck Series will celebrate its 200th event during the October race.
So make your plans now to be a part of another historic ARCA Truck Series season!
The ARCA Truck Series just completed its sixth full season presented by the Phoenix Management Group of Ohio, LLC, (or PMG) of Millersport, Ohio in 2015, under a licensing agreement with the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA).
The ARCA Truck Series (ATS) ran exhibition races late in 1998 with the first full season in 1999. Today, the series has grown into one of the most versatile in short track racing, having taken popular four cylinder, V-6 & V-8 sealed crate engine powered trucks to asphalt tracks of many sizes under one mile, road courses, and numerous dirt tracks in its history.
The Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is among the leading and most diverse auto racing sanctioning bodies in the country. Founded in 1953 by John and Mildred Marcum, the organization administers more than 100 events each year.
Following the ARCA Truck Series has become easier than ever lately! For in-depth stories, continually log on to ARCATruckRacing.com. You can now also follow the series on Twitter at @ARCATruckRacing, there is an “ARCA Truck Series” Facebook page, “ARCA Truck Series” on YouTube and “ARCA Truck Racing” is on LinkedIn.