ARCA - Corr Strengthens ARCA Resume With Solid Finish
MILLVILLE, May 23, 2011: ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards championship contender Sean Corr strengthened his racing resume Sunday afternoon by delivering his fifth consecutive top-20 finish of the year in the ModSpace 150 at New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP).
Corr, the Goshen, New York native brilliantly crafted his No. 82 Roush Yates Performance / Roush Yates Engines / Empire Racing Ford Fusion around the 12-turn, 2.3-mile Thunderbolt Raceway in his road racing debut which further solidified and completed the team’s goals for the weekend.
Armed with road racing ace and former ARCA Racing Series winner Robb Brent at their disposal, the Empire Racing team led by crew chief Howard Bixman and team manager John Bellesfield allowed Brent and Corr to split the seat time in both practice sessions Saturday focusing on a comfortable setup for the No. 82 Roush Yates Performance / Roush Yates Engines / Empire Racing Ford Fusion.
With every lap around the Millville, New Jersey race course, Corr continued to shine. In qualifying late Saturday afternoon, the New Yorker delivered his best lap of the day good enough to put his blue oval 22nd on the starting grid.
At the start of the fifth race of the season, Corr showed extreme patience but also utilized his first road course race as a test of durability and determination. By lap 10, Corr had moved his No. 82 Roush Yates Performance / Roush Yates Engines / Empire Racing Ford Fusion into the top-20.
However, with the road racing experts setting a torrid pace at the beginning of the race, Corr along with much of the field would find themselves off the lead circuit by lap 16 of the 67 lap contest.
Despite falling off the lead circuit, cheerleading from his team including spotter Brent allowed the avid dirt driver to hover around the “lucky dog” position. When the caution flag waived on lap 21, Corr found himself one car away from returning to lead lap status. During the yellow, Bixman brought his driver down pit road for four tires and fuel.
On the restart, Corr would chase down the No. 23 of Nick Igdalsky for the “lucky dog” position and by lap 29, the No. 82 Roush Yates Performance / Roush Yates Engines / Empire Racing Ford Fusion made an impressive move around the ARCA veteran to once again find himself in the prime spot.
The caution would waive yet again approaching lap 35 with Corr again narrowly missing the “lucky dog” award as colleague and friend Chad Hackenbracht made a green flag pit stop and returned to the race track just inches ahead of Corr.
Frustrated but not out, Corr would again hunker down in his No. 82 Roush Yates Performance / Roush Yates Engines / Empire Racing Ford Fusion and try to put his family owned team in the “free pass” position. By lap 40, Corr was locked in the 16th position but found himself gaining tremendous experience battling with the best of the best in the ARCA Racing Series.
Ten laps later, Corr still maintained the 16th place position, the first car one lap down. The break the team had been waiting for all day would finally come with just 10 laps remaining when debris forced ARCA officials to waive the yellow flag putting the No. 82 Roush Yates Performance / Roush Yates Engines / Empire Racing Ford Fusion back on the lead circuit.
Restarting at the tail end of the longest line, Corr immediately hammered down on the restart with seven laps remaining to puncture his automobile into the top-15 and a solid chance of knocking on the door of a top-10. But, with just a handful of laps remaining, Corr’s machine began to sputter thus forcing an unexpected trip to pit road for a splash of fuel.
Corr would maintain his position on the lead lap before the leaders caught the white No. 82 Roush Yates Performance / Roush Yates Engines / Empire Racing Ford Fusion with two laps remaining, putting Corr once again the first car one lap down.
Persevering with a “champion” like attitude, Corr took the checkered flag in the 16th position, improving six positions from his original starting position.
“The car was really good,” said Corr of his first road racing event. “A lot of us found ourselves trapped early in the race but we never ever gave up. We finally had a break go our way, then had to make the trip to pit road for a splash and go. Overall though, we’re looking at the bigger picture - which is we learned a lot this weekend thanks to Robb (Brent) and the hard, dedicated work of the Empire Racing team. We were also able to walk away with the car in one piece and a respectable finish.”
The 26-year old added, “I want to thank Roush Yates Performance, Roush Yates Engines, TransGroup, BoomText for all of their support not to mention all of our friends and family who made the trip to come and watch me race. It was such a great feeling to have that much support in the stands.”
Sunday’s finish vaulted Corr to ninth in the championship standings after five of 19 races with a comfortable 70-point cushion over 10th place driver Dakoda Armstrong.
Before Corr and his Mooresville, North Carolina-based team shift their focus to round six at Chicagoland Speedway for the Messina Animal Wildlife Stopper 150, the team will trek back west to the Great Lakes state of Michigan to participate in an open ARCA Racing Series test at Michigan International Speedway on Wednesday in preparation for next month’s The RainEater Wiper Blades 200.
With his 16th career ARCA start on deck at Chicagoland, Corr will return to the 1.5-mile oval for the first time since 2009 where he qualified 27th and finished then a season-best 13th. The Messina Animal Wildlife Stopper 150 will take the green flag on Saturday, May 4th at 5:00 p.m. live on SPEED.
Recently, Empire Racing and BoomText officially announced the “Hard Corr Fans” program powered by BoomText, a mobile marketing campaign which allows fans to pledge towards becoming an official member of the Empire Racing team – not to mention helping three of Corr’s personal charities. To join the campaign, fans just simply have to text the word “CORR” to 411247 where they will receive an automated safe-secured link to join the “Hard Corr Fans” team. The activation of the project continued this weekend at New Jersey Motorsports Park.