Greg Van Alst and team ride momentum to Michigan International Speedway
BROOKLYN, Mich: Still embracing the emotions of his career-best ARCA Menards Series finish at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway last month, Greg Van Alst and his Greg Van Alst Motorsports team head to Michigan International Speedway eager for a duplicate performance in Friday evening’s Henry Ford Health System 200.
An added race to his ARCA schedule at Winchester, Van Alst utilized the 200-lap race to improve the handling on his No. 35 CB Fabricating Ford Fusion and found himself second on the final restart behind Ty Gibbs hunting for his first career ARCA victory.
While Van Alst attempted to steal the win from the Joe Gibbs Racing powerhouse driver, Van Alst settled for a runner-up finish and added fuel to the team’s program and the mindset that a family-owned team can compete and challenge with ARCA’s finest.
“It has been a little more than two weeks since Winchester, but I mean the adrenaline and attitude around our team is that we won the race,” said Van Alst. “Everyone knows that I have a love and hate relationship with Winchester and still do, but our performance was a total team effort.
“We worked hard on a brand new race car acquired from Chad Bryant and had to really throw everything at it during the final break to put ourselves in that position. The finish is such a huge boost to this race team and something that we definitely want to build on at Michigan.”
Van Alst will make his ninth career ARCA Menards Series start Friday at Michigan’s two-mile oval and even though he doesn’t have any prior experience in the Irish Hills, the Anderson, Ind. native is still optimistic about the challenge that awaits him and interim crew chief Jeff McClure.
“I’m looking forward to Michigan this weekend,” added Van Alst. “Obviously, it’s another race track that I have never been too, but I am looking forward to getting on the track and getting some laps before the race.
“We have an incredibly short practice like two hours before the race on Friday, so it’s going to be important to dial in our No. 35 CB Fabricating Ford Fusion as best as we can and making good adjustments during the race. I’d like to think that we are capable of another top-five finish on Friday evening, but it has to be like Winchester where everything played out just right.”
The lack of track time doesn’t necessarily worry the 2019 ARCA CRA champion.
“It’s the same for everyone, so you have to feel comfortable with the balance in that,” sounded Van Alst. “I know Michigan is an incredibly fast track, but I am ready for that. I love how wide Michigan is and the ability to race multiple grooves. The draft will be a huge factor for much of the race, including the start and restarts.
“Taking advantage of that momentum on the track is going to be key to setting your pace. We’ll just see what happens.”
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.
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.
For the third consecutive race, not only is Van Alst racing for third top-10 finish of the year on Friday, but awareness too.
CB Fabricating president Chris Barkdull was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer and will utilize the ARCA event to bring attentiveness and awareness to the disease as Barkdull continues treatment.
“Chris couldn’t be at two races at once, so he wasn’t at Winchester, but he was the first person I talked too when I climbed out of the car,” remarked Van Alst. “I told him that none of this would have been possible without him. He’s just not an investor or a partner in this thing – he’s family.
“While we are focused on performance, we are fully invested in awareness too. This is important to Chris to do his part to educate the public and that is exactly what he is going to do, and we are happy to keep using the race car to our advantage.”
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 ninth career ARCA start.
Following Michigan, Van Alst’s next ARCA Menards Series race with regular crew chief Jim Long is located in Thunder Valley at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway for the Bush’s Beans 200 on Thurs., Sept. 16, 2021.
The Henry Ford Health System 200 (100 laps | 200 miles) is the 13th of 20 races on the 2021 ARCA Menards Series schedule. A half-hour group practice is set from 4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. The event will be televised live on MAVTV and aired on the Motor Racing Network (MRN Radio) beginning at 6:00 p.m. (MRN). ARCARacing.com will also stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities. All times are local (ET).