Teenage Duo of Erik Jones and Clint King Lift Venturini Motorsports with Top-5’s Finishes at Madison International Speedway
Thursday September 6, 2012
Concord, NC (August 28, 2012) — After nearly a 4-hour rain delay Sunday afternoon the ARCA Racing Series’ Herr’s Live Life with Flavor 200 event at Madison was back on track much to the delight of the teams and faithful fans who patiently waited out the slow moving weather front blanketing the Midwest.
Under ideal conditions Saturday afternoon team Venturini hit the track for qualifying to determine Sunday’s starting grid. Behind the wheel for Venturini Motorsports this weekend included familiar team drivers Brennan Poole, Nelson Canache, Erik Jones and Clint King.
With championship implications on the line third place series driver Brennan Poole led his team’s qualifying efforts with a fast lap of 18.117 seconds good enough for outside row and 10 driver bonus points behind former teammate and last year’s winner, Alex Bowman (pole winner).
After leading the points for a substantial portion of the season and trailing Chris Buescher by only a small margin before last week’s race at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, Poole finished out of the top 20 on the Springfield dirt last week and dropped to 95 points behind Chris Buescher’s lead with just four races to go.
Jones qualified third, King started 10th and Canache rounded out the group with a 14th place starting spot.
Once the green flag dropped the field sorted out showing little effects of the long rain delay. While Poole maintained his spot on the bumper of Bowman, sixteen year old VMS teammate Erik Jones driving his No.55 Paragon Corvette Reproductions machine was in hot pursuit of the leaders.
Poole would eventually catch and pass Bowman for the lead on lap-55 and lead the next 16 circuits around the .5 mile track.
Meanwhile Venturini’s dynamic teenage duo of Erik Jones (16) and Clint King (17), nicknamed the “Kid”, tightened the gap and joined the mix competing for the top spot, giving Venturini Motorsports three cars in the top-5 positions.
Poole’s lead evaporated on lap-67 giving way to hard charger Chad Hackenbracht.
Jones who started from the third spot in his midnight black Paragon entry was a serious contender from the onset and was able to steal the lead away from Hakenbracht just before the mid-way point of the race.
Although Jones would relinquish the lead to Buescher the eventual race winner, he remained in control and in contention to the end.
Jones leading the field at Madison marked the fourth time in eight series starts the 16-year old from Byron, Michigan has led laps during his inaugural rookie season – an impressive feat from the youngest driver in ARCA history. Meanwhile Poole, King and Canache maintained their positions within the top-10 until a caution flag appeared. The third caution of the race set up the opportunity for the leaders to pit make adjustments and take on new Hoosier rubber.
As the leaders came down pit-road Nelson Canache driving his No.66 Venezuelan Tourism Toyota stayed out to take the lead. Canache led the restart in his sporty white car featuring blue numbers but would be overtaken quickly by teammate Clint King and his No.15 Speedrack Chevrolet.
The lead swap between Canache and King gave Venturini Motorsports the unique distinction of leading the Madison race with all four individual car entries. Poole led laps 55-66 (12), Jones led laps 81-85 (5), Canache led laps 134-138 (5) and Clint King led laps 139-144 (6).
After another quick caution flag waived when Poole spun in turn-2, Buescher battled King side-by-side for several laps before finally reclaiming the top spot away from the seventeen-year old King from Denton, North Carolina.
Poole’s unfortunate spin shuffled him back in the field but maintained momentum for Jones and King.
The late caution set up a real contest for the dueling teenage drivers for Venturini as they sought their first series victory. Both rookie drivers have proven early in their careers they have what it takes to win in the ARCA Racing Series.
Clint King who made his ARCA debut in 2011 has 2 pole awards to his credit and has finished in the top-10 seventy-eight percent of his starts and Jones who made his debut earlier this year at Mobile International Speedway has completed the same feat fifty-six percent of the time.
A fast and furious conclusion brought out back-to-back green/white/checkered flag attempts to crown a victor. Jones and King would continue to battle race leaders Chris Buescher, Frank Kimmel, Alex Bowman and Chad Hackenbracht.
On the final lap of the race while Kimmel was racing Buescher hard from behind for the lead, Kimmel was spun dismantling any threat to Buescher as he crossed the finish line for his fourth series victory of the year.
As for Jones and King, they both kept their composer during the mad dash and finished the race in the fourth and fifth positions respectively. Poole would overcome a late race spin and finish 10th while Nelson Canache put together another strong run finishing 12th.
Poole’s respectable but disappointing finish leaves him in third-place in the series point standings 135 behind fellow Texan, Chris Buescher with just three races remaining. Poole however still leads Alex Bowman for ARCA Rookie of the Year honors with a 410 to 406 point advantage.
Erik Jones’ fourth place finish notches another impressive outing and his second consecutive top-5 finish. In just nine ARCA starts this season Jones has now posted (4) top-5 and (5) top-10 finishes of his young career.
Business as usual for Clint King who’s fifth place finish at Madison earns him his (4th) top-5 and (7th) top-10 finishes in just nine races with Venturini dating back to August of 2011. King has earned the distinction of being one of the most consistent drivers in the garage.
Due to ARCA’s and NASCAR’s competition age restrictions both teen drivers are limited to competing at short-track events only restricting their ability to compete in the series on a full time basis.
Next up for Venturini Motorsports is a trip to the DuQuoin State (Illinois) Fairgrounds on Labor Day for the annual running of the Southern Illinois 100 presented by Federated Car Care.
Brennan Poole, Nelson Canache, Kevin Swindell and fan favorite Steve Arpin will make up the starting line-up for Venturini Motorsports in DuQuoin.
About Venturini Motorsports
Venturini Motorsports (VMS), fielding cars in the ARCA Racing Series, is one of the premier NASCAR driver development programs in the country. The 2012 season marks the team’s 30th Anniversary of competition in the ARCA Series. 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, Steve Arpin, Brian Scott, Max Gresham, Miguel Paludo, Josh Richards, Ryan Blaney, and Scott Lagasse, Jr.
Official: www.VenturiniMotorsports.com | Twitter @VenturiniMotor | Facebook: Venturini Motorsports
This report was provided by an outside PR source and posted by Bryan Davis Keith.
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