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May 13, 2013 - 06:45 PM
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Toledo Speedway Busy With More Testers In Prep For Menards 200
Posted by: newsla on May 13, 2013 - 06:42 PM
NASCAR News
Toledo Speedway Busy With More Testers In Prep For Menards 200; 2012 ARCA Champ/Nationwide Driver Chris Buescher Coaches Rookie Mitchell


Monday afternoon provided yet another opportunity for ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards teams to test at Toledo Speedway in preparation for this weekend's Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care.

 

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ARCA Racing Series championship defenders, the Roulo Brothers, and Cunningham Motorsports spent all day on the half-mile track, each team with two drivers.

The Roulo Brothers brought 2012 ARCA national champion driver Chris Buescher, who played the role of coach and mentor to SCOTT Challenge Rookie contender Mason Mitchell, who took his first laps around Toledo Monday morning. Buescher has won four of the last five ARCA races at Toledo. While there are no plans for Buescher to race in the upcoming Menards 200, the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver understands the track as well as anyone, and arguably better than many.

"I honestly don't know what it is," Buescher said. "You know I hated this track after my first two runs here. Ever since then, I've had something click and have been able to get around here pretty decent. I think Mason should be in good shape come next week. The car's pretty close; I like how it's driving. I feel like we've made some gains, and we're going to get him back in here before too long and see what he thinks about what we've been working on this morning."

According to Buescher, who finished 12th in the recent Nationwide race at Darlington, he feels Mitchell is getting up to speed quickly.

"He's a quick learner; he's done a really nice job this year," added Buescher. "They had some luck not go their way so far, but just trying to speed up the learning curve as much as possible."

Mitchell was grateful to have Buescher helping.

"I'm getting some good tips from the one and only Chris Buescher," Mitchell said. "Everything's going pretty good right now. It's (Toledo Speedway) got its own character. Just gotta figure out everything, just like anywhere else. It's pretty smooth."

Cunningham Motorsports, led by NASCAR champion crew chief Paul Andrews, tested with veteran and former Toledo polesitter Tom Hessert and newcomer Austin Wayne Self, who, like Mitchell, took his first laps on the fast Toledo half-mile.

"First time I've seen the track," Self said. "The car's feeling pretty good. We put stickers on it; it's been a lot more comfortable with those. Just working on trying to get the car a little better, to get the good run off the corner; but I think we're pretty happy right now the way it's going.

"It's a really cool track. You get here, and it doesn't look like it's going to be a real fast track, but you get on there, and it's a lot faster than it looks, so I'm excited to see what it's going to be like with all the cars on it."

Self, 17, is slated to make his series debut in the No. 22 Cunningham Motorsports Dodge in this Sunday's Menards 200.

Outside of Hessert's wins at Iowa and Salem, the Cherry Hill, Jew Jersey driver has had some of his best finishes at Toledo, finishing third back-to-back in 2009 and 2010. He was also fourth in 2011, the year he won the pole, and finished fifth last year. Ironically, Hessert has never tested at Toledo.

"I've never had the opportunity to test here in the past, so it's pretty cool to be able to spend the day up here," Hessert said. "It's the car we ran at Mobile. It's actually a car I ran a lot when I was with Cunningham in 2010, so it's nice to be back in it. It's a little snug right now; we're working on it. We'll figure it out as the day goes on.

"Hopefully, we'll get that little bit extra we need to try and get the win up here. I'm sure we'll make a long run - just gotta get it to where it's driving a little better on the short run first."

Discount Tickets on Sale Now for Menards 200
Tickets are on sale now for the Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care at Toledo Speedway. Tickets are $15, compared to $25 on race day, and are available at Menards stores in Toledo, Defiance, Holland, Oregon, Sandusky and Findlay.

The weekend's activities include ARCA Racing Series practice and qualifying plus the ARCA Truck Series Grogan's Towne 50-lap race on Saturday, May 18. The Menards 200 is Sunday, with an autograph session at noon and the race at 2 p.m.

The Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care is live on SPEED.

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