TALLADEGA, Alabama (April 12, 2011) – – After delivering an electrifying third place performance at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Win-Tron Racing has once again called upon Portland, Texas native Matt Merrell to drive the team’s No. 32 Toyota Camry in Friday afternoon’s 3 Amigos 250 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
Given Merrell delivered a champion-like performance at Daytona is fitting for the second of 19 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards races this season as Win-Tron Racing announced last week that Champion Brands has signed on as the primary marketing partner of the team’s No. 32 Toyota Camry for Merrell’s inaugural debut at the 2.66-mile superspeedway.
“To have another shot at victory at a superspeedway in the No. 32 Champion Brands Toyota Camry is a blessing for sure,” said Merrell, a former competitor in the USARacing Pro Cup Series. “We had such a strong race car at Daytona and we’re bringing that same car back to Talladega hoping for the same results.”
Merrell added, “It’s very humbling to represent a great company like Champion Brands. Win-Tron Racing, I know is one of the best in the ARCA Racing Series and I know Champion has found a great home with them. It’s my goal to go out there in the race and prove to them why it’s such a great home.”
Much like Daytona, Merrell, the 26-year old has never tested nor raced at the 2.66-mile superspeedway but the lack of track time isn’t a worry for him because of the faith that he has in his Lakeville, Minnesota-based team led by Win-Tron’s wizard crew chief Mike Chafee.
“To go to a place like Daytona or Talladega can be intimidating for sure, but I’m not worried,” Merrell sounded. “Mike (Chafee) and Mike (Resop) and the entire Win-Tron Racing team know what they are doing when it boils down to this restrictor plate racing, so I’m just going to Talladega this weekend and do exactly what I did in Daytona and hope we leave with the same or even a better result.
If we’re able to pull off a win at Talladega at Friday, I can’t even begin to explain the emotions and happiness it will bring to not only me and my family but for this Win-Tron Racing team. They’ve had a lot of faith in me over the years and have always put me in first class equipment; I would like to thank them with a win in the worst way.”
Nate Thiesse, co-owner of Win-Tron Racing is equally upbeat about having Merrell back at the controls for the 3 Amigos 250. “Matt did a magnificent job at Daytona and there’s no hesitation to think that he cannot do the same again on Friday. He showed at Daytona that despite very little experience in the draft, he tackled the finesse of the draft like a veteran. We know that he’ll race smart and put our No. 32 Champion Brands Toyota in contention when it really counts!”
The team’s No. 32 Toyota Camry is also aiming for its third consecutive top-10 finish on a superspeedway. Last April, Justin Marks delivered a ninth place performance after a late-race shuffle in the draft. In February, Merrell piloted the same automobile to a podium third place finish in the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200.
Merrell will make his 15th career start and first at Talladega in the ARCA Racing Series presented Menards this week. In his previous 14 outings, Merrell has six top-fives including runner-up finishes of second at Berlin (Mich.) Raceway and Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (August) in 2009 and seven top-10s. His best start position for Win-Tron Racing occurred at the tricky triangle of Pocono (Pa.) Raceway where he qualified his No. 32 CollinsHope.org http://www.collinshope.org/ Dodge Charger second in June of 2009.
The 3 Amigos 250 (94 laps / 250 miles) is the second of 19 events on the 2011 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. The 49th ever ARCA race at Talladega Superspeedway is a two-day show. Practice begins Thursday, April 14 with a three hour practice session planned from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Menards pole qualifying presented by Ansell is set for later in the day slated to begin at 5:05 p.m. Coverage of time trials is available online through the ARCA Racing Network (ARN) online at http://www.arcaracing.com/ arcaracing.com in collaboration with Alabama’s local WTDR Thunder 92.7 FM. A 45-minute final practice has been etched in on Friday, April 15 from 10:00 a.m. – 10:55 a.m. The event will take the green flag that afternoon shortly after 4:00 p.m. The race will be televised live on SPEED with additional live broadcasting available through the ARCA Racing Network (ARN) online at http://www.arcaracing.com/ arcaracing.com in collaboration with Alabama’s local WTDR Thunder 92.7 FM. All times are local (Central).
Further information including driver opportunities with Win-Tron Racing is available by visiting win-tronracing.com http://www.win-tronracing.com/ or contacting Nate Thiesse at 952.469.1839.