ARCA - Maryeve Dufault Overcomes Obstacles To Create Golden Finish At Talladega
TALLADEGA, April 18, 2011: It’s known that when the age you are turning and the day you were born are the same, that it’s your “golden birthday.” Same can be said for racing when your car number matches the place you finish, then it’s known as your “golden finish,” and so it was for Maryeve Dufault and the No. 12 VR-12 / Dodge Motorsports / Victory h2o Dodge Charger, this past Saturday morning for the postponed 3 Amigos 250 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
Although what started out to be a great weekend for Tony Marks Racing’s No. 12 VR-12 / Dodge Motorsports / Victory h2o Dodge Charger race team by qualifying third on the starting grid, turned out to be quite challenging. After failing post-qualifying inspections due to a part malfunction, Dufault and the No. 12 VR-12 / Dodge Motorsports / Victory h2o Dodge Charger were moved to the end of the field to start in the 39th position. Immense storms and tornadoes swept thru the central Alabama area on Friday afternoon, causing the race event to be pushed back to Saturday at 8:00 a.m.
Even though all the challenges of mother nature and machine seemed to be coming against the Tony Marks Racing team, Dufault and the No. 12 VR-12 / Dodge Motorsports / Victory h2o Dodge Charger took the checkered flag with a 12th place finish.
Immediately beginning the 94 lap event, Dufault powered her way up thru the field gaining 14 positions right out of the shoot. She held onto that spot for the first few laps until the first caution flag of the day flew at lap 15. After pitting for fuel and two right side tires, Dufault went a bit above the yellow line coming out of pit road, so ARCA officials waived her to the end of the lead lap putting her back in the 24th position, but that was no challenge for her.
Dufault and the No. 12 VR-12 / Dodge Motorsports / Victory h2o Dodge Charger found some friends on the track and gained ground in the draft to push their way up to ninth position. With a couple more cautions coming out and so much movement on the track, Dufault ended up scoring her career best finish in only her second career ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards start.
“After all the emotions that we went thru this weekend, I think we had a really good finish for the No. 12 VR-12 / Dodge Motorsports / Victory h2o Dodge Charger team,” said Dufault. “I learned a lot out there today; it’s very different from Daytona. There were some people out there that try to mess your driving up so you just really had to be careful.”
For car owner Tony Marks, he was ecstatic with his driver’s performance and ability to maneuver in such a tight and intense race. “Maryeve despite her setbacks overcame the odds and did a great job for TMR and all of our sponsors,” he said. “We were in the lead draft and just missed a top-10 finish. I’m super proud of her “never give up attitude” and ability to master the draft so brilliantly in only her second career start.
Next up for TMR and Dufault will be their first tango with Salem (Ind.) Speedway for the running of the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200. The Sorel, Quebec Canada native will make her ARCA short track debut in the third race of the 2011 season. The field will take the green flag on Sunday, May 1 shortly after 2:00 p.m.