Scott Rookie Challenge points leader David Levine commented, before the Corrigan Oil 200 on Friday, that he didn’t know what racing at Michigan International Speedway would be like. By the end of the 200 mile race, he had come to the conclusion that the Irish Hills track was the toughest challenge he has faced to date on the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. The 21-year old driver rose to the challenge, collecting his 5th top ten finish of the year.
“That was harder than Pocono,” Levine commented after the race. “To finish 7th in my first time here is awesome. This was a huge challenge, and having to battle the weather didn’t help. Good, hard racing all night. I can't thank everyone enough for all their hard work!”
During a 2.5 hour practice on Thrusday, David and his number 59 TraqGear/Momo/Ford Performance Lira Motorsports team worked to increase his speed and comfort level around the fastest track on the ARCA Racing schedule. The results were more than a 1.5 second faster lap time from the beginning of the session to the end. The session ended with David at 14th quickest overall.
Rain forced the cancellation of qualifying on Friday morning, setting the starting grid for the race by Thursday’s practice times, per ARCA Series rules. That placed David on the outside of row seven for the drop of the green flag.
Rain continued to be a threat throughout the entire race, and was the cause of two of the four cautions during the event. Despite the weather, David consistently moved up from his starting position, and was racing inside the top 10 before the midway point of the race.
With 27 laps to go, David took the green flag for the final restart from caution in the 8th position, then raced to a seventh place finish. This was his 5th top ten finish this year. He remains at 5th in the driver points standings, and should also maintain his position atop the Scott Rookie Challenge standings.
“We needed a few less caution laps towards the end of the race for our strategy to work today,” said Crew Chief Sam Schram. “We had more fuel left than some of the cars that finished ahead of us, but the caution laps allowed them to save enough to make it to the end. Great job by David here in Michigan. He made huge gains from where he started when we first unloaded on Thursday.”
David will be on more familiar ground when the ARCA Series returns to action this Saturday at his home track of Chicagoland Speedway. David has two previous ARCA Series starts at the 1.5 mile track that is only about an hour from his Highland Park, IL home. His previous Chicagoland races, coming in 2012 and 2013, resulted in 12th and 14th place finishes.
Lira Motorsports PR
Lira Motorsports PR