TALLADEGA, Ala.: Nestled in his new race shop a few feet from his home in central Indiana, Greg Van Alst and his Greg Van Alst Motorsports team have been readily preparing for Saturday afternoon’s General Tire 200 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
Amid dealing with the eccentric weather of spring showers and winter blizzards since competing in his most recent ARCA Menards Series race at Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway, Van Alst is ready to escape the wild weather of the Midwest and head to Alabama and focus on trying to earn his first career ARCA Menards Series in just his second start at the 2.66-mile superspeedway.
“I’m excited to get back into the speedway car this weekend,” said Van Alst. “We did not get a chance to show what we were really capable of at Daytona in February.”
And it’s not just Daytona where Van Alst wasn’t able to showcase what his family-owned team was capable of.
Last April at the Southern Alabama race track, Van Alst felt like he was in a prime position to make a move for the lead but was spun by another competitor that abruptly ended his chances of a superspeedway upset.
Returning to Talladega a year later, Van Alst feels his superspeedway program is even better than it was in 2021 and is eager to continue to showcase that in the third ARCA Menards Series race of the year.
“I think we will be even better,” explained Van Alst of his superspeedway equipment. “We keep getting wrecked and every time we do, we repair it to be better than it was before. Without qualifying and the field set by owner points, we are likely forced to start mid-pack.
“No matter what though, I think we will have our work cut out for us. But, if we can find a good drafting partner we will make our way to the front and be in contention for the win.”
No matter where the Anderson, Ind. native starts on Saturday afternoon, should the veteran pull off his first career ARCA win in his 14th career start, the hard work over the past year and a half will have come full circle.
“It would mean everything to win,” sounded Van Alst. “It would prove that we deserve to be at this level and that we can compete against the best in the business from our own backyard shop. Winning is the reason we are here.
“We were one position away from doing it last summer at Winchester and Talladega provides another opportunity for us to try again.”
With finishes of 22nd and 36th respectively in the opening two races of the ARCA season, Van Alst is also looking to Talladega to pull his team from a disappointing start where circumstances outside of the driver’s control have dictated less than ideal finishes.
A win would undeniably turn the team’s world upside down for the right reasons, but if a win isn’t in the cards this weekend, a top-10 would be more than welcomed as the team hopes to run the full 20-race schedule in 2022.
“We are just plugging along the best we can,” Van Alst offered. “Both years I won championships in Late Models started out in a similar fashion. We are not going to give up.
“All we can do is continue to prep for each race the best that we know-how and continue to try to bring the fastest pieces that we can and hope that our luck will turn around.”
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 Chevrolet.
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.
“Chris enjoys competing at tracks like Daytona and Talladega just as much as I do – if not more,” Van Alst sounded. “Talladega is 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 14th career ARCA start.
The General Tire 200 (76 laps | 200 miles) is the third of 20 races on the 2022 ARCA Menards Series schedule. Group practice begins on Fri. April 22 from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. The series won’t host qualifying, setting the field by 2021 ARCA car owner standings. The 60th ARCA from Talladega is set to take the green flag on Saturday, April 23 shortly after 12:00 p.m. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) with the Motor Racing Network (MRN) handling the radio waves. ARCARacing.com will also stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities. All times are local (CT).