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From Watkins Glen Road Course To Berlin Short Track, British Columbia's Sarah Cornett-Ching Preps For Berlin Raceway's Federated Auto Parts ARCA 200
Posted by: newsla on Jul 23, 2015 - 06:05 AM
From Watkins Glen Road Course To Berlin Short Track, British Columbia's Sarah Cornett-Ching Preps For Berlin Raceway's Federated Auto Parts ARCA 200

ARCA rookie Sarah Cornett-Ching is currently sixth in ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards championship standings. Considering each track is new to the Summerland, British Columbia crowd favorite, her performance is notable. And, you can add Berlin Raceway to her list of tracks she'll visit for the first time. Cornett-Ching is scheduled to make her Berlin debut in the Federated Auto Parts 200 Saturday, August 8.

Despite her first attempt on the tricky Marne, Michigan short track oval, she won't have much time to think about it anyway.

"I'm going to run the (NASCAR) K&N East race at Watkins Glen (International) Friday, then run Berlin Saturday...so it's going to be a very busy weekend," said Cornett-Ching. "I really haven't been able to concentrate on getting ahead of the schedule with all the racing we've been doing anyway. Berlin will be new, but they're all new to me."

"All the racing" that Cornett-Ching has been doing this year is a far cry from last year when she only raced in three late model events near her British Columbia home while she welded full-time to earn a living. Just prior to her ARCA opportunity, she had been working full-time as a welder on a construction site on which a compressor station for natural gas is being erected, about 700 miles north of her Summerland hometown.

"I was renting a house with five other people. We would leave the house at 4 a.m., get on the bus for an hour bus ride, then work 10-12 hours, get back on the bus, get home, go to the market, cook some food and go to bed and get ready to do it all again. We work 15 days in a row then get six days off before we start our 15 days on again. It does wear on you.

"I'm a certified welder...part of the Red Seal Welders. It means you're certified to weld in any province in Canada. I was stick welding there, but I can do whatever's necessary...stick, wire, tig, aluminum, whatever. I was welding stainless steel on my last job."

But since her opportunity to run full-time on the ARCA national tour with Tony Blanchard Racing, she has since moved to Denver, North Carolina where she works in the shop building the racecars she drives. Blanchard, who owns the No. 2 RACE101.net team, also serves as Cornett-Ching's crew chief. With her welding certifications and experience, Blanchard puts her technical skills to great use.

"Sarah is unique in the world of motorsports," said Blanchard. "There are plenty of good drivers, but Sarah's ability to race, fabricate components on the racecar and stand in front of a camera and represent herself and her team as well as she does is rare. I want this year's racing season to be the start of something big for this young lady. She deserves every bit of the success I know she's got coming."

So far, so good. After 12 events, she's managed five top-10 finishes including career-best runs of eighth at Talladega and Chicagoland. She's also got her eye on a top-five championship run.

"I believe we definitely have a shot at a top-five, and we'll keep pushing for that," the 24-year-old driver added.

If she gets there, she'll go in the ARCA history books as the first female driver to finish in the top-five year-end standings. Currently, Shawna Robinson is the highest finishing ARCA female racer, finishing sixth in national points in 2000.

"I really think we can do it the way our runs have been going. I can't say enough for Tony (Blanchard) and his team. Every week we get better and better. If we keep clean and keep on track, we definitely have a shot at a top-five this year."

Former ARCA winners at Berlin include Nelson Stacy, Iggy Katona, Ramo Stott, Bob and Brian Keselowski, Tim Steele, Frank Kimmel, Fred Campbell, Scott Speed, Joey Coulter, Chris Buescher and Erik Jones to name a few.

Calypso Lemonades Short Track Challenge to Berlin
The Federated Auto Parts 200 is the eighth race of the 2015 Calypso Lemonades Short Track Challenge. The series-within-the-series consists of the 11 ARCA Racing Series short track events on this year's schedule. Short tracks, as deemed by series officials, are tracks one-mile in length or less. Through the first six races of the Calypso Lemonades Short Track Challenge, Kyle Weatherman has a 10-point lead over Austin Wayne Self.

Federated Auto Parts 200 Schedule
On-track activities for the Federated Auto Parts 200 begin with two practice sessions from 2:30-3:15 p.m. and final practice from 3:45-4:30. Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell is at 5:45 with the Federated Auto Parts 200 scheduled to start at 8:50. The 200-lap race is preceded by an on-track autograph session at 8, followed by pre-race ceremonies at 8:30. All times are local.

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