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Sep 04, 2014 - 06:24 AM
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Cody Coughlin Quickest in ARCA Open Testing at Kansas
Posted by: newsla on Sep 04, 2014 - 06:23 AM
Cody Coughlin Quickest in ARCA Open Testing at Kansas

Cody Coughlin is getting used to the 1.5-mile tracks. Wednesday was his first taste of Kansas Speedway and the 18-year-old rose to the top of the speed charts during an official ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards test session.


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"I really like the track," Coughlin said. "I seem to like the 1.5-mile ovals, which is good because they are on the majority of the schedule in the upper levels of racing. It is really smooth and fast to get around."

Coughlin turned in a top speed of 171.630 mph, just faster than Mason Mitchell's best lap of 171.314 mph. Eight cars made it onto the track despite a morning rain shower that delayed all on-track activity. Some teams chose to stay later at the speedway in a non-official capacity from ARCA.

Mitchell, the current ARCA Racing Series point leader, hopes to return to Kansas for the ARCA 98.9 on Oct. 3 with a championship within his sights. He has a slim 20-point lead over Grant Enfinger heading into the next race on the ARCA schedule - at Salem Speedway on Sept. 13.

So far it's been pretty good," Mitchell said. "We have two cars here today and we're getting ready to run the second one. First one has been really good for us. Few more adjustments we're going to try. Pretty happy with everything. Look forward to coming here in October and hopefully closing out our championship season."

Mitchell was the first car on the track once the session began and was on top of the speed charts until late in the afternoon when Coughlin, in a Venturini Motorsports car, took over the top rung on the ladder.

"I was surprised that we ended up P1 on the charts," Coughlin said. "The Venturini team came here well prepared for a good test session today. I think the one thing that really helped with our test today was that the learning curve wasn't as big for me because we ran at Chicagoland in July, which is a similar track.

"I felt coming in that we could have a good test session, but to leave with being the fastest car really gives us a lot of confidence when we return for the race. Last week, in my Super Late Model, we had a good test and it got us a win on Monday at Winchester Speedway. I hope we can repeat that here at Kansas."

Cars from Cunningham Motorsports, Team BCR and Ken Schrader Racing also tested. Matt Tifft turned his first laps at the track, and was third-quickest at 170.106 mph. Tom Hessert was fourth (168.203 mph) and Austin Wayne Self fifth (167.879 mph).

"So far so good," Hessert said. "We're working on our No. 77 car. Struggling a little bit, a little bit too tight. Making a lot of good changes to it. Glad to be here for the test and glad we can have the opportunity to work on our cars a little bit."

Brandon Gdovic, making his debut with Cunningham Motorsports, was sixth (167.634 mph). John Lowinski-Loh was seventh (165.776 mph) and Venturini's Leilani Munter was eighth (163.157 mph).

The open test was the third of the season for ARCA, starting in Daytona in December and moving to Pocono Raceway during the summer. ARCA will next hold an open test at Kentucky Speedway on Sept. 16 - three days prior to the ZLOOP 150 at the Sparta, Ky. speedway.

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