TOLEDO, Ohio: When the green flag waves in Saturday afternoon’s Shore Lunch 200 at Toledo Speedway, Greg Van Alst and his all-volunteer Greg Van Alst Motorsports team will have accomplished their biggest goal of the 2022 ARCA Menards Series, running every race.
And on the heels of their 10th top-10 finish of the year last weekend at Salem (Ind.) Speedway, Van Alst invades ARCA’s hometown track ready to add another top-10 to his season tally while carrying some much-welcomed momentum into the off-season.
“It’s going to be a bittersweet weekend,” said Van Alst. “I am glad to see the end of the season arrive, but I know it’ll be short-lived. I am taking a vacation with the family after Toledo and I know I’ll be ready to be at a racetrack soon after.
“Honestly, I can’t wait for Daytona to get here.”
But before Van Alst can point start thinking about a sophomore full-time season, he must first conquer 200 laps around Toledo’s dynamic half-mile.
Never turning a lap before in an ARCA car at the track nestled on the Michigan-Ohio border, Van Alst is eager to get on the track and hope that his prior experience in a Late Model will give him the confidence to earn his 11th top-10 finish of the year aboard his No. 35 CB Fabricating Ford Fusion.
“We still are not where we need to be heading to Toledo,” Van Alst added. “From a driver that also works on the cars, I understand how they work.
“I’m not saying as a driver I was perfect but our car was not perfect last weekend at Salem Speedway. We will continue to work hard and get better, including Saturday at Toledo.”
A native of Anderson, Ind. – Van Alst delivered a respectable seventh-place finish in the Herr’s Food 200, but Van Alst believes the challenges will make his CB Fabricating Racing team better for the long haul.
“Once we start getting better on our set up we will be a top-five team,” expressed Van Alst. “We were off a little last weekend. We knew the track was rough. Just didn’t realize that the back country railroad track crossings were smoother.
“This weekend at Toledo, I believe that we are prepared for anything and I hope we can take what we learn in practice and apply that will make us stronger for the season finale. A lot of people will be watching and we certainly want to end the year on a high note!”
Looking back at the previous 19 races this season, Van Alst pointed at the team’s top-five performance at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in May was a major accomplishment for his team.
“I think our top-five run at Charlotte was huge,” sounded Van Alst. “It shows that when we hit the setup right, we are fast. Overall if we can finish the season in the top five in driver points that’s huge for us.
“Being able to finish the season top-five in points is going to be huge for us as we approach potential marketing partners during the off-season and be better prepared for 2023.”
Speaking of next season, Van Alst already believes his team will be able to capitalize on their rookie season.
“I am excited for 2023,” he said. “I feel like a year of full time under our belts is huge. My crew chief Jim Long and I have created a great relationship and I feel 2023 will be a stronger year. We both have tons of experience but very little in the ARCA Menards Series until this year. We now have notes and can grow off of those.
“If we can pick up a couple of (marketing) partners over the off-season I am hoping to put two full-time people on our team. That would be the largest thing to help our team advance to the next level and hopefully, compete for a championship in 2023.”
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.
“Through the trials and tribulations of our 2022 ARCA Menards Series season, we’ve tried to approach each race with a positive attitude and with extreme grace because of the support of CB Fabricating and Chris (Barkdull),” Van Alst mentioned.
“We’re getting ready to cross the checkered flag and even if we don’t make it to Victory Lane on the track, we’ve accomplished so much this year that has made us winners. I couldn’t have done it without Chris and I appreciate everything he has done.”
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 31st career ARCA start.
Entering Toledo, Van Alst sits a career-high fourth in the ARCA Menards Series championship standings, 126 markers in the arrears to championship leader Nick Sanchez.
“Unfortunately, the championship appears out of our reach, so our focus will shift for this remaining race is to stay tucked up inside the top-five,” sounded Van Alst. “It is going to be tough to keep Sammy (Smith) behind because of the pace of his team right now and Toni and Amber are having solid runs too.
“But we will just continue to do our thing and see how it all shakes out on Saturday afternoon.”
The Shore Lunch 200 (200 laps |100 miles) is the 20th of 20 races on the 2022 ARCA Menards Series schedule. Practice begins on Saturday, October 8, 2022, from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. General Tire pole qualifying kicks off at 1:30 p.m. The season finale event will be televised live on MAVTV and FloRacing beginning at 4:00 p.m. ET. ARCARacing.com will also stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire day’s festivities. All times are local (ET).