BROOKLYN, Mich: After returning to top-10 status in the ARCA Menards Series’ most recent race last weekend at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, Greg Van Alst and his team trek to the Irish Hills of Brooklyn, Michigan looking to build more momentum in Saturday night’s Henry Ford Health 200.
Heading into last Friday night’s Reese’s 200, Van Alst raced at the famed Brownsburg, Indiana short track looking for a change of pace after a few weeks of struggle with his No. 35 Greg Van Alst Motorsports Ford Fusion.
Throughout the 200-lap race, Van Alst and his all-volunteer team treaded the waters of a very competitive short track race and moved inside the top-10 in the closing laps to earn his sixth top-10 finish of 2022.
“It was important for our team to get back inside the top-10 after a couple of tough races at Mid-Ohio and Pocono,” said Van Alst. “We’ve made some gains with our short track program throughout the year but we still have room for improvement.
“We are focused on getting to Michigan for Saturday afternoon’s race, but in the back of my mind, I’m thinking down the road what we have to do to be better for the stretch drive.”
The Anderson, Indiana native invades his Michigan return looking to duplicate or better his sixth-place ARCA finish at the 2.0-mile oval he achieved last summer. Michigan was one of three top-10 finishes he earned during the season in which he ran part-time.
Stepping up to the plate and running full-time this season, Van Alst has showcased a lot of speed in his intermediate and speedway program and the No. 35 CB Fabricating Racing team is eager to get back to Brooklyn, Michigan with the intentions of delivering their second top-five run of 2022.
“I had a blast at Michigan last year,” Van Alst said. “It’s a very wide track with a lot of character and brilliant speeds. I thought last year that Michigan was one of our best showings on a bigger race track and I’d love nothing more than leave the track on Saturday night with another top-10 or maybe even a top-five added to our tally.”
Van Alst has repaired the primary No. 35 CB Fabricating Ford Fusion the team attempted to utilize in last month’s General Tire Delivers 200 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, but after a practice crash – the seasoned driver was forced to revert to a backup short track car which resulted in a hard-fought 15th-place finish.
“A lot of hard work by the team has allowed us to get the Pocono fixed and ready to go this weekend and that’s amazing,” sounded Van Alst. “We had a hard hit at Pocono but we know that this car is one of the better cars in our fleet and luckily we were able to get the body and suspension fixed and I feel like we can go to Michigan and contend for our first top-five since finishing fifth at Charlotte in May.
“That seems like forever ago. We are getting to the point where it will be crunch time in the ARCA Menards Series. Three months of racing will go by fast. I wouldn’t say that we are out of the woods for the championship yet, but we need to pick up the pace considerably to catch the top three in points.
“We won’t worry about points though. We’ll stay focused on speed and a strong performance and hope that the points will take care of themselves as the season plays out. We conquered a lot of goals so far this year, so no matter what happens – I’m proud of our team, my guys for everything they have done and continue to do for me and our primary partner CB Fabricating.”
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.
“We are just past the halfway point of the 2022 ARCA Menards Series season and the consistency we have shown over the last two months is the type of pace that will keep Chris and everyone on this team in it for the long haul,” expressed Van Alst. “Everyone left Lucas Oil Raceway relieved to get back inside the top-10 at a place that we had a lot of support.
“Michigan is another chance and another opportunity to turn heads. We have even bigger goals that we’d like to conquer in the second half of the season and I know that keeps Chris and I excited about the path and longevity of our team.
“With every race complete, even if it is not the finish we are hoping for, it’s a small victory for our team knowing the large mountain that is still left to climb. 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 23rd career ARCA start.
Entering Michigan, Van Alst sits a career-high fifth in the ARCA Menards Series championship standings, one point out of fourth and 74 markers in the arrears to championship leader Rajah Caruth.
“Step by step and with a little luck, I hope we will soon find ourselves a part of the championship picture,” sounded Van Alst. “We have eight races to propel ourselves forward and make an amazing comeback. It’s not going to come without some luck and strong finishes, but we are not going to go down without a fight. This is a tough series and we are still proud of where we are at.
“We still stay focused.”
The Henry Ford Health 200 (100 laps | 200 miles) is the 12th of 20 races on the 2022 ARCA Menards Series schedule. Practice begins on Saturday, August 6, 2022, from 10:45 a.m. to 11:20 a.m. General Tire pole qualifying kicks off at 11:30 a.m. The event will be televised live on MAVTV and FloRacing beginning at 6:30 p.m. ARCARacing.com will also stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities. All times are local (ET).