Concord, North Carolina (June 11, 2018) – The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards visited Michigan International Speedway over the weekend for the 37th running of the #ZOMONGO 200.
Dodging rain which delayed both Saturday and Sunday’s two top-tiered NASCAR series races, Friday evening’s eighth ARCA event of the season went off without a hitch.
Returning to Michigan with a three-team effort, Venturini Motorsports (VMS) unloaded with drivers Michael Self, Leilani Münter and Natalie Decker. Self, topping all team drivers finished third, while Leilani Münter crossed the stripe after 100-laps in the ninth-position. Decker in her return finished 15th.
After qualifying third, Michael Self quickly jumped out front on lap-5 leading 23-circuits around Michigan’s 2-mile track. Rebounding from a disappointing finish in his last series start at Charlotte, Self, kept his No.15 Sinclair Oil Toyota in the mix claiming his fourth top-5 of the season.
“I don’t know what happened,” said Self. “We were super-fast for the first 20 laps or so, then we started to get a mad vibration. Then we got super tight and never really got it back. But, we salvaged a good day out of it. I’m happy for the folks at Sinclair Oil; it’s always fun to run good for them.”
Self, running a limited schedule, will return to the track on June 28 at Chicagoland Speedway.
Leilani Münter, driving her No.20 VeganStrong.com entry for VMS, turned in a solid performance finishing ninth on the lead lap in her Michigan track debut.
This was Münter’s second top-10 finish of the season and second of her career in fifteen-series starts since 2010. Münter, known best for her environmental activism made news earlier in the year qualifying and finishing eighth in ARCA’s season opener at Daytona.
“Today was a great day for our Vegan Strong team,” says Münter. “We ran our race and kept the car clean. Big thanks to VeganStrong.com and everyone on this team for making it fun to come to the track and come out with solid results. This is the first season I’ve had significant sponsorship backing to run a more than one or two races. I’m still learning quite a bit but feel we’re making huge strides each and every week. Excited for Chicago!”
Münter, a native of Rochester, MN, has three more series events remaining – Chicagoland Speedway (June 28), Pocono Raceway (July 27) and the series finale at Kansas Speedway (October 19).
Natalie Decker’s return to the driver’s seat after recovering from recent hernia surgery fell flat in as the 20-year old rookie driver finished 15th in her Michigan return to her No.25 N29 Capital Partners – Yamaha Power Products Toyota.
Qualifying 11th, Decker’s chances were deflated early after cutting a left rear tire on the first lap of Friday’s 100-lapper at Michigan. Making multiple pit stops to cut away burning rubber left behind on the rotor, Decker was unable to recover going down 7-laps to the leaders.
“This was obviously not the way we wanted to return to the track,” says Decker. “We had a really good car. I don’t know exactly what happened but we ran over something getting up to speed and the car snapped loose and we went spinning. The crew did their best to get me back out but things got worse when we had to make multiple stops after the car filled with smoke from the melted rubber. It’s behind us now and I’m looking forward to this week’s trip back home (state) for short track racing at Madison.”
Decker, a native of Eagle River, Wi. remains fifth in ARCA’s driver point standings, looks to regain her form in front of a home state crowd during Friday’s Herr’s Potato Chips 200 at Madison International Speedway.
The Herr’s Potato Chips 200 is scheduled for Friday June 15 at Madison International Speedway, located just outside Madison, Wisconsin. Practice is scheduled for 2:15 pm ET (1:15 pm local), with General Tire Pole Qualifying is set for 6 pm ET (5 pm local), with the green flag slated for 8 pm ET (7 pm local). Live timing and scoring of all on-track sessions will be available at ARCARacing.com, and the race will be televised live on MAVTV.