TALLADEGA, Ala. (April 18, 2011) – – In his first ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards race in a little less than five years, dirt late model standout Will “The Thrill” Vaught delivered an exceptional ninth place performance in the postponed 3 Amigos 250 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
Vaught driving the No. 51 Cureduchenne.org http://www.cureduchenne.org/ Chevrolet Impala in a collaboration effort with Phoenix Racing and owner James Finch produced the 28th fastest time in the three hour practice session on Thursday. At the end of practice, Vaught consulted with crew chief Ricky Pearson to discuss a plan to try and gain more speed before qualifying.
“We have a good car,” said Vaught. “It may not have the speed by itself, but it will draft good in the race. I know we’re going to qualify decent, I just want to try and not put ourselves in a potentially bad situation.”
In Menards pole qualifying presented by Ansell, Vaught, the Crane, Missouri native assembled the 26th quickest lap solidly earning the 24-year old his third career ARCA start. “Not bad, we’ll take it,” Vaught said of his qualifications run.
Electing to play it safe, Pearson decided to keep his driver behind the scenes during drafting practice on Friday morning – shifting their attention towards the second race of the season later in the day. Ultimately though clouds and heavy downpours invaded the 2.66-mile superspeedway just an hour before race time forcing officials to reschedule the race until Saturday morning.
Arriving at the track early Saturday morning, Vaught buckled in his No. 51 Cureduchenne.org http://www.cureduchenne.org/ Chevrolet Impala ready to rock shortly before 8:00 a.m. (Central).
Early on in the 3 Amigos 250, Vaught played it conservatively and had moved up to the 20th position by lap six. The drafting dance would fluctuate Vaught between 18th and 22nd during the first quarter of the race.
Maintaining himself on the lead lap, the upcoming young-gun would bring his Chevrolet bowtie to pit road on lap 44 for four tires and fuel before rejoining the field in the 20th position.
The second half of the event would see Vaught make his move on the field, moving himself comfortably into the top-20 by lap 60. With 11 laps remaining, Vaught found himself riding 16th – ready to return to green flag conditions after a two-car incident on the frontstretch.
The last green flag run of the day would be some of the most intense racing of the race but it provided prime opportunity for the No. 51 Cureduchenne.org http://www.cureduchenne.org/ Chevrolet Impala to storm into the top-10. With two laps remaining, Vaught sat 12th but a late race charge on the last lap surged the Will Vaught Racing (WVR) team into the top-10 where the youngest crossed the start finish line ninth.
“I had a lot of fun out there; we just needed a little more steam under the hood to get us into the top-five. We lived up to our game plan; stayed out of trouble and we were able to get out of here in one piece and with a good finish. I’m happy,” said Vaught.
He added, “I hope we were able to make some noise with our Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy awareness. We were honored to have David Carter McClain who is suffering from DMD here with us this week at Talladega. It’s something that shouldn’t be taken lightly and we used Talladega to spread the word and hopefully it was mission accomplished.”
For more information on Will Vaught, please visit willvaughtracing.com. http://www.willvaughtracing.com/
For additional input on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), please click over to cureduchenne.org. http://www.cureduchenne.org/
Cureduchenne.org http://www.cureduchenne.org/ was founded by Paul and Debra Miller whose son was diagnosed with DMD (Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy) in November 2002. Paul Miller is a vice-president of a food company and Debra Miller was in advertising sales before giving up her career to become a stay-at-home mom. Today, the Millers effectively use Cureduchenne.org http://www.cureduchenne.org/ as a way of communication to bring further attentiveness and funding for DMD.