LONG POND, Pa.: Greg Van Alst and his Anderson, Indiana-based ARCA Menards Series team return to Pocono (Pa.) Raceway focused on redemption in Friday’s General Tire Delivers 200.
Last year at the 2.5-mile triangle, Van Alst had hoped to capitalize on a strong day of testing in hopes of making his debut at the “Tricky Triangle” a successful one, however, an accident in practice forced the team to withdraw from the race and sit on the sidelines for the first time in his ARCA career.
Returning to the Long Pond race track nearly a year later, Van Alst is feeling comfortable about his return and eyeing his sixth top-10 of the ARCA Menards Series season Friday night.
“I try not to think about last year at Pocono, because it was such a disappointment for my team,” explained Van Alst. “I have learned a lot about what happened though and have learned even more about myself and being a better ARCA Menards Series driver – so I’m upbeat about returning to Pocono and finishing what we started in 2021.”
After delivering a respectable top-15 finish in his ARCA Menards Series road course debut earlier this month at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Van Alst is ready to return to the oval for the next three weeks and propelling his family-owned team forward and continue his climb in the ARCA Menards Series championship standings.
“I learned a lot at Mid-Ohio, especially about racing in the rain,” recalled Van Alst. “Without a doubt, leaving Mid-Ohio with our race car intact and inhaling a lot of road course experience firsthand will prove to be beneficial for Watkins Glen next month.
“Before Watkins Glen though. We are focused on Pocono.”
Van Alst will join a majority of the ARCA Menards Series competitors for an open test session on Thursday where he hopes to dial in his No. 35 CB Fabricating Ford Fusion in hopes of capturing his second top-five result of 2022.
“Any chance we can take advantage of track time before the actual race weekend begins is a huge benefit,” he added. “I was really happy with the performance of our car during the test last year, but this year we have a similar strategy but also a gameplan to see if we can’t be even faster than we were last summer.
“We ended our five-race consecutive top-10 streak at Mid-Ohio a couple of weeks ago, so I’d like to reset that streak with our best finish of the season on Friday.”
Chris Barkdull’s CB Fabricating, a longtime partner with Greg Van Alst Motorsports has boosted its commitment to the team and will continue its role as the primary marketing partner of Van Alst’s No. 35 Ford Fusion.
Headquartered in Anderson, Ind., CB Fabricating offers a complete list of fabricating from design, laser cutting, CNC punching, forming, welding, powder coating, and assembly.
Their 26,000-square-foot facility allows them to service the needs of many different industries. Everything from the Automotive, agricultural, aquatic, medical, transportation, electrical enclosures, and much more.
“We are reaching the halfway point of the 2022 ARCA Menards Series season and the consistency we have shown over the last two months is the type of pace that will keep Chris and everyone on this team in it for the long haul,” expressed Van Alst. “We have even bigger goals that we’d like to conquer in the second half of the season and I know that keeps Chris and I excited about the path and longevity of our team.
“With every race complete, it’s a small victory for our team knowing the large mountain that is still left to climb. I’m thankful to have the support of Chris and CB Fabricating.”
In addition to CB Fabricating, Top Choice Fence, Norton Transport, KRJ Race Products and Lintz Creative will serve as associate marketing partners for Van Alst’s 21st career ARCA start.
Entering Pocono, Van Alst sits a career-high fifth in the ARCA Menards Series championship standings, three points out of fourth and 61 markers in the arrears to championship leader Rajah Caruth.\
“Step by step and with a little luck, I hope we will soon find ourselves a part of the championship picture,” sounded Van Alst. “While top-10 finishes are strong efforts for us, we need to be competing for top-five runs on a consistent basis to have any shot at the championship. This is a tough series and we are still proud of where we are at.
“We still stay focused.”
The General Tire Delivers 200 (80 laps | 200 miles) is the 10th of 20 races on the 2022 ARCA Menards Series schedule. Practice begins on Friday, July 22, 2022, from 2:45 p.m. to 3:20 p.m. A timed General Tire pole qualifying session kicks off from 3:30 to 3:50 p.m. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) with the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM channel 391, online channel 981 managing the radio waves beginning at 6:30 p.m. ARCARacing.com will also stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities. All times are local (ET).