ARCA Notes From Lucas Oil Raceway

ARCA Ansell Protective Gloves 200 winner Ty Dillon and runner-up Ryan Blaney form a combination to watch as they climb the stock car ladder in pursuit of NASCAR fame and fortune in the coming years.

Dillon, whose pedigree traces back to grandfather Richard Childress and father Mike Dillon, is only 18 years-old, but has scored six series’ wins in 2011 driving the Childress Chevrolet for grandpa. “Having the family here was cool,” said Dillon who was congratulated by grandpa and dad in Victory Lane at Lucas Oil Raceway Thursday night. “Patience and maturity are the keys to this team. I’m glad to win in Indiana- there’s so much racing history here. I’m learning to be patient in these longer races.”

Ty revealed that, because he has raced so much in the south, he’s not very familiar with tracks like LOR, and has used computer simulators to make “thousands and thousands of virtual laps” to familiarize himself with unfamiliar circuits.

Dillon also tested a Camping World Truck Series mount at Pikes Peak Int. Raceway recently, and will make his series’ debut later this season: likely at Kentucky and perhaps Loudon.

Ryan Blaney,17, is another young driver, making his way from quarter-midgets to the ARCA Series and beyond. The son of Sprint Cup veteran Dave Blaney, Ryan was runner-up to Ty Dillon at LOR in only his second ARCA start.

Dave, and brother Dale Blaney, have a driving history that goes back to winged sprint cars, and Ryan had thoughts of following that career path. “I wanted to do it, but living in North Carolina didn’t provide places to race sprints. And to go up north to run them wasn’t practical”, said the young Blaney who filled his budding career with Legends cars, quarter midgets, and more recently, super late models on southern dirt tracks when he was fourteen. “He’s too far down his career path in late models to go to sprint cars,” said father Dave while trying to cool his son down after a hot 200 laps at LOR.

Lucas Oil Raceway Notes:
• USAC midget pilot Dakoda Armstrong finished fourth in the 200 lap ARCA run, and has come to a crossroad in his young racing career. “I’m following two (career) paths right now, but I’ll be doing five truck series races this year and a full season next year. Right now I’m out of midgets.”

• A Lucas Oil Raceway official noted that with NASCAR moving its Nationwide Series event to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2012, that LOR has also dropped NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series from their 2012 calendar. Look for ARCA to replace the NNS there in 2012 during Kroger Speedweek.

• Former Wisconsin “Cheesehead” John Close, who left the Frozen Tundra for North Carolina a number of years ago, now does PR and marketing for another young ARCA prospect, Max Gresham, of Griffin, GA. Gresham finished 11th Thursday in his Gresham and Associates Toyota owned by Cathy Venturini. Author Close is also working on a deal to produce his third racing book.

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