WATKINS GLEN, NY: On the heels of another top-10 finish in ARCA Menards Series competition two weeks ago at Michigan International Speedway, Greg Van Alst and his team trek to the Fingers Lakes of New York ready to make the most of the final road course race of the season in Friday night’s General Tire Delivers 100 at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.
By no means does Van Alst consider himself a road racing ace, but on the strength of a respectable 12th-place finish in his road course debut last month at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the Anderson, Ind. native returns to the mindset of turning both left and right in hopes of delivering his eighth top-10 finish of the 2022 season.
“Hopefully the second road course is better than the first,” Van Alst said with a chuckle. “Right now, it doesn’t look like there will be any rain which is a big relief from what we dealt with at Mid-Ohio.
“I don’t feel we did badly at Mid-Ohio; I am just inexperienced. So hopefully we take what we learned and get better at Watkins Glen.”
A long-time racer with aspirations of someday making a start in one of NASCAR’s top-three national divisions, Van Alst is familiar with the layout of Watkins Glen from studying previous races, but as the ARCA veteran knows – nothing is more adequate than actual seat time.
“For me, it’s just going to be about consistency at Watkins Glen this weekend,” added Van Alst. “I don’t expect to see us in contention for the win, but I think with a game plan, I think we can maintain a good enough pace that keeps our top-10 rebooted streak alive on Friday.”
With seven top-10s in the last nine races in a tough summer stretch, Van Alst is proud of the work that his all-volunteer team has committed to his No. 35 CB Fabricating Ford Fusion not only this summer but all year long.
“The momentum of our team is really big right now,” added Van Alst. This stretch has been tough on us with no full-time guys. I’m not complaining by any means, but I am proud of what we are doing with the way we operate and work hard to get to the race track every week.
“This weekend might be our biggest challenge yet, but I am confident if we can have a good race on Friday night, it’s only going to help us prepare for the rest of the weekend and Milwaukee next weekend.”
Following Watkins Glen, Van Alst will join the rest of the ARCA teams and travel west to the Illinois (Ill.) State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Ill where he’ll make his debut on a dirt track in the highly-contested Atlas 100.
“It’s a part of the dream right?” sounded Van Alst. “I’ll admit I’m more nervous about the travel to and from each track. You just worry about something happening out of your control. But, once you arrive at the track and unload, it is business as always but there are a lot of miles to cover in a short amount of time.
“I don’t know what to expect on Sunday as far as racing on the dirt. I’m just trying to have a positive open-mind approach and hope it will help for DuQuoin in a few short weeks.”
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 accelerating forward and preparing for this six-week stretch and none of it would be possible without the support of Chris,” expressed Van Alst.
“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 Michigan International Speedway feeling like we got our mojo back.
“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 24th career ARCA start.
Entering Michigan, Van Alst sits a career-high fourth in the ARCA Menards Series championship standings, 84 markers in the arrears to championship leader Nick Sanchez.
“Step by step, we will do everything we can to catch the top three,” sounded Van Alst. “No question they have been the three strongest cars all year, 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 General Tire Delivers 100 (41 laps | 100.45 miles) is the 13th of 20 races on the 2022 ARCA Menards Series schedule. Practice begins on Friday, August 19, 2022, from 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. General Tire pole qualifying kicks off at 4:25 p.m. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 and the Motor Racing Network beginning at 6:00 p.m. ARCARacing.com will also stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities. All times are local (ET).
The Atlas 100 (100 laps | 100 miles) is the 14th of 20 races on the 2022 ARCA Menards Series schedule. Practice begins on Sunday, August 21, 2022, from 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. General Tire pole qualifying kicks off at 11:15 a.m. The event will be televised live on MAVTV and FloRacing beginning at 1:00 p.m. ARCARacing.com will also stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities. All times are local (CT).