Photo courtesy of Rette Jones Racing
Amber Balcaen Riding Momentum Wave to Iowa Speedway ARCA Debut
NEWTON, IA: Fresh off a career-best seventh-place finish in the premier ARCA Menards Series race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway two weeks ago, rookie Amber Balcaen and her Rette Jones Racing ride the momentum wave to Iowa Speedway for Saturday night’s Calypso Lemonade 150.
The tight confines of the 0.875-mile Iowa Speedway offer another new track on Balcaen’s roster, but she is embracing the opportunity to tackle the series’ first short track of the season hoping to deliver her first top-five finish in the sixth race of the season.
“I am looking forward to carrying my momentum of another career-best finish onto Iowa this weekend,” said Balcaen.
“This momentum of back-to-back top 10s is big for our team and my confidence moving forward. Hopefully, it continues in a big way on Saturday night.”
The race on Saturday marks the first time this season that the premier ARCA Menards Series has combined with the ARCA Menards Series East which will bring a variety of new drivers and new teams to the table, a challenge that Balcaen embraces.
“Combining the two ARCA Menards Series platforms brings in new players into the mix which means we must step up our Rette Jones Racing game with our No. 30 ICON Direct Ford Fusion. The premier ARCA Menards Series alone has a lot of fast cars, but when you combine another series, it brings a few more, so execution for us on Saturday is key in making sure we keep going in the right direction.”
Balcaen’s mission has been to make improvements with every start. Some finishes may not reflect the enhancements she has gained behind the wheel of her No. 30 ICON Direct Ford Fusion, but with every ARCA premier start, she is becoming a better driver and her average finish of eighth over the past month showcases a path in the right direction. I think we are definitely headed in the right direction for our 2022 season,” Balcaen explained. “Our goal going into the season was to show improvement and progression every race and we have done that. The more laps I get underneath me, the more skills and confidence I am building as a driver.
“I know Iowa Speedway has become a fan favorite for the ARCA Menards Series over the years, so I am looking forward to experiencing it for myself this weekend and earning our third top-10 of 2022.”
With her previous preparations paying off, Balcaen is keeping her same approach for Iowa Speedway this weekend.
“I am taking similar steps to prepare for Iowa by watching and studying film, going on iRacing and keeping up with my rigorous fitness and hydration regimens. At the end of the day, I am hoping that all of that hard work will pay off with fast laps and a smart race on Saturday night.”
As far as the race, Balcaen believes her Rette Jones Racing No. 30 ICON Direct Ford Fusion can contend for another top-10 finish or better.
“For Iowa, I want to continue on this path of clean top-10 finishes and push towards getting our first top-five of the season,” sounded Balcaen.
For crew chief and co-team owner Rette, he is confident that his rookie driver will continue to adapt and find her groove and continue an upward pace in her ARCA Menards Series quest.
“I was thrilled with Amber’s efforts at Charlotte,” offered Rette. “It can be difficult to get comfortable at incredibly fast tracks like Kansas and Charlotte, but she has done very well over the last two races and we are eager to get to Iowa and see what type of finish we can put together.” ICON Direct will continue to adorn the primary positions on Balcaen’s race car in their sixth of 20 races this season.
ICON Direct is a manufacturer of high-quality plastic component parts for the RV industry, located in Manitoba, Canada. ICON aftermarket replacement parts are available through RV Dealers and Distributors across North America and directly through their website IconDirect.com.
The Winnipeger’s new endeavor at Rette Jones Racing will also be supported by Glenn McLeod and Sons – cementing a full Canadian roster of partners for her ARCA Menards Series rookie season.
Longtime RJR partners Ford Performance, Goodridge Fluid Transfer Systems, Jones Group Demolition and Abatement and JRi Shocks will continue their relationship with the team in 2022 and serve as associate partners on Balcaen’s No. 30 ICON Direct Ford Fusion.
RJR is co-owned by Canadian entrepreneur and former race car driver Terry Jones. Entering Iowa, Balcaen sits fifth in the ARCA Menards Series championship standings, five points out of fourth and 51 markers in the arrears to championship leader Rajah Caruth.
The Calypso Lemonade 150 (150 laps | 132 miles) is the sixth of 20 races on the 2022 ARCA Menards Series schedule. A final practice begins on Saturday, June 11, 2022, from 4:15 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. General Tire Pole Qualifying will follow shortly after starting at 6:00 p.m. The event will be televised live on MAVTV and FloRacing beginning at 8:00 p.m. ARCARacing.com will also stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities. All times are local (CT).