NEWTON, IA: Fresh off his first top-five finish of the 2022 ARCA Menards Series season, Greg Van Alst and his Greg Van Alst Motorsports team trek west to Iowa Speedway looking to pull off an upset by capturing a victory in Saturday night’s Calypso Lemonade 150.
In the premier ARCA Menards Series most recent race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, Van Alst and his Jim Long-led team unloaded off the hauler competitively and maintained a solid pace throughout the General Tire 150 and earned the team’s second top-10 finish of the season.
The Charlotte finish also brought some much-welcomed momentum to the family-owned team after a turbulent start for Van Alst in the opening three ARCA races of the season at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway and Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway respectively.
“We are that team that nobody is paying attention to that is sneaking in under the radar,” said Van Alst. “I like it that way. We were solid at Charlotte and feel that the Charlotte performance is where we should be on a weekly basis.
“I am really proud of the efforts of every single person on this team. The mojo leaving Charlotte was super contagious and we’ve been able to maintain that upbeat demeanor over the last couple of weeks, but now it’s time to get focused back on racing and be ready for Iowa Speedway this weekend.”
Van Alst has never tackled Iowa’s 0.875-mile oval, but he’s not letting his inexperience stop his mentality of continuing a forward trend where Van Alst is hunting not only his first ARCA Menards Series victory – but perhaps even a championship.
“There is still a long way to go in 2022 and right now we plan to be there for it through the thick and thin,” he said. “We are working hard to make sure we are working as far as ahead as possible so we can be in a good position for the summer stretch.
“The car we are taking to Iowa is the car that we got wrecked in Phoenix with. We have been working hard getting this car ready to get back on track. With the rest of life, work, kids, etc., we have to work in the race shop when we can. It’s getting tougher as the season goes.
“Iowa, however, provides us an opportunity to go for our third straight top-10 in ARCA competition, something we’ve never done before,” added Van Alst. “Even though I’ve never been to Iowa, I’m taking the same approach as everyone else doing the necessities of studying film, picture and whatever else comes across my way that I think will be beneficial towards executing Iowa from a positive perspective.”
The race on Saturday marks the first time this season that the premier ARCA Menards Series has combined with the ARCA Menards Series East which will bring a variety of new drivers and new teams to the table, a challenge that Van Alst embraces.
“Anytime you combine two series you have to prepare for the unexpected. There are going to be cars and drivers that you think aren’t going to be that competitive that are and vice-versa, so you just have to approach the race with an open mind and expect that the field will be a little more competitive than other races this season.
“We’ll see how practice goes. From what I understand, track position is important just like any other short track and we will focus our efforts on starting as close to the front as possible.”
As for his goals for Saturday night’s 150-lap contest, Van Alst would like to earn a third second-career ARCA Menards Series top-five finish.
“I think we can score another top-five,” sounded Van Alst. “The car is plenty capable. Same car we finished second at Winchester with last summer. If we unload good it will give us the entire practice session to tune on the car.
“I’m not sure what to expect as the sun sets but I’m sure Jim (Long, crew chief) will have us tuned in for the track changing through the course of the day.
“Our goal at Charlotte was a top-five finish and we accomplished that. We are hungry for a win and I would love to complete that task on Saturday night. It’s not going to be easy, but nothing in racing is ever supposed to be easy.”
Chris Barkdull’s CB Fabricating, a longtime partner with Greg Van Alst Motorsports has boosted its commitment to the team and will continue its role as the primary marketing partner of Van Alst’s No. 35 Ford Fusion.
Headquartered in Anderson, Ind., CB Fabricating offers a complete list of fabricating from design, laser cutting, CNC punching, forming, welding, powder coating, and assembly.
Their 26,000-square-foot facility allows them to service the needs of many different industries. Everything from the Automotive, agricultural, aquatic, medical, transportation, electrical enclosures, and much more.
“The performance at Charlotte gave everyone a boost of energy– including Chris. He is excited about the path of our team and so am I. Like the last couple of races, Iowa can prove to be a pinnacle race for our small team and I’m thankful to have the support of Chris and CB Fabricating.”
In addition to CB Fabricating, Top Choice Fence, Norton Transport, KRJ Race Products and Lintz Creative will serve as associate marketing partners for Van Alst’s 17th career ARCA start.
Entering Iowa, Van Alst sits a career-high sixth in the ARCA Menards Series championship standings, seven points out of fifth and 58 markers in the arrears to championship leader Rajah Caruth.
“We have been fast but until the last two races we didn’t have the results to show for it,” sounded Van Alst. “We should be competing for top-five runs on a consistent basis, but this is a tough series and we are still proud of where we are at. Top-10 in points is still no slouch and we are right there knocking on the door to the top-five!”
The Calypso Lemonade 150 (150 laps | 132 miles) is the sixth of 20 races on the 2022 ARCA Menards Series schedule. Final practice begins on Saturday, June 11, 2022, from 4:15 p.m. –5:00 p.m. General Tire Pole Qualifying will follow shortly after starting at 6:00 p.m. The event will be televised live on MAVTV and FloRacing beginning at 8:00 p.m. ARCARacing.com will also stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities. All times are local (CT).