MARNE, Mich: On the strength of three consecutive top-10 finishes in the premier ARCA Menards Series, short track ace Greg Van Alst and his Greg Van Alst Motorsports team invade the Great Lakes State of Michigan this weekend hunting a victory in Saturday night’s Zinsser SmartCoat 200 at Berlin (Mich.) Raceway.
Last weekend at Iowa Speedway, Van Alst showcased a new vibrant No. 35 CB Fabricating Ford Fusion paint scheme that attracted attention from his peers and the fans alike.
And while Van Alst collected a solid top-10 finish in his Iowa debut, he left the 0.875-mile oval with more to be desired.
“Anytime you can finish inside the top-10 in ARCA Menards Series competition it’s a good weekend,” offered Van Alst. “We don’t want to be good though. We want to be great.
“Everyone on this Greg Van Alst Motorsports team did a phenomenal job at Iowa, but unfortunately we just didn’t have the short run speed that I felt like would have accelerated our progress further. We made some gains during the race that allowed us to charge forward.
“I left Iowa already thinking ahead on what we can do to be better at Berlin.”
The iconic Berlin Raceway, nestled on the outskirts of Grand Rapids, Michigan has often been doted as a true short track. A tight short track with sweeping straightaways and no backstretch wall, the track has been prone to entertain some of the best ARCA Menards Series action of the season and that is a welcoming sign for Van Alst.
“Everyone knows for a long time, I slept and breathed short track racing, so I’m upbeat about getting to Berlin Raceway this weekend,” he explained. “Iowa had a bigger track feel with its demeanor but Berlin will be the exact opposite this weekend.
“I have experience at Berlin – three starts in a Super Late Model. And even though the ARCA cars don’t race like a Super Late Model, — the track characteristics should be very similar.
“We’re focused on leaving our mark at Berlin – hoping for a similar performance like we produced at Winchester Speedway last year. We weren’t very good at Winchester to start with – but we made huge gains throughout the race and found ourselves knocking on the door of a win.”
When it comes to hoisting that ARCA Menards Series race winning trophy, Van Alst still believes that is a task his Anderson, Indiana-based team can accomplish this season. After all, there’s still 70 percent of the season still on the docket.
“We can win this year, but everything is going to have to fall in line in order for that to happen,” sounded Van Alst. “It’s a tough field with teams that may have a lot more resources and funding that what we are working with. But I feel that we are racing competitively and keep making slow gains to erase that deficit to the powerhouse teams in the ARCA Menards Series.
“Berlin in my view is a perfect opportunity to level the playing field a little more on a smaller track, we just have to be ready to execute when it counts most.”
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.
“A string of three consecutive top-10 finishes is the type of pace that will keep Chris and everyone on this team in it for the long haul. He continues to be excited about the path and longevity of our team and so am I.
“With every race complete, 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 18th career ARCA start.
Entering Berlin, Van Alst sits a career-high sixth in the ARCA Menards Series championship standings, five points out of fifth and 54 markers in the arrears to championship leader Nick Sanchez.
“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 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. I’d be extremely disappointed coming out of Berlin and not be inside the top-five heading to Elko Speedway next weekend.”
The Zinsser SmartCoat 200 (200 laps | 100 miles) is the seventh of 20 races on the 2022 ARCA Menards Series schedule. A final practice begins on Saturday, June 18, 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 (ET).