Earlier this week, Steve Arpin made the announcement that he would be joining Turner Motorsports to drive the No. 32 Mike’s Hard Lemonade Truck for five races.
[media-credit name=”stevearpin.com” align=”alignright” width=”243″][/media-credit]Arpin, a native of Fort Frances, Ontario, began his racing career on dirt, though made the transition to asphalt in in 2008, starting in the ARCA Racing Series and working his way up the ranks. Last year marked a breakout year for Arpin as he won three ARCA races for Venturini Motorsports and ran some Nationwide races for JR Motorsports, including a top 10 at Daytona.
Before Arpin gets set for his first Camping World Truck Series start at Dover next month, he talked about his deal with Turner Motorsports and more.
Ashley McCubbin: First of all, what are your thoughts on the announcement with Turner Motorsports?
Steve Arpin: I couldn’t be more thrilled about it. We’ve worked really hard with Mike’s Hard Lemonade. We had lots of success in the ARCA Series last year. We worked really hard to figure out our best spot for this year and when the opportunity arose at Turner Motorsports, its like I said a bunch of times now we’ve got all the ingredients for the perfect recipe and I’m absolutely thrilled. I’m like a kid jumping around in a candy store. I’d like to get in one of these trucks in drive them.
AM: You spoke of having all the perfect ingredients. What are some of your thoughts on working with your new teammates?
SA: We’ve got Ricky Carmichael – They call him the Goat. He’s like the greatest of all-time in motorcross racing; he’s a champion. There’s so much to learn from him on the transition to the truck series and asphalt racing. There’s so much to learn from him from a life in general side in what it takes to be successful and learning things from him from that stand point. Then there’s James Buescher – he has been really successful in the Trucks and trying to do as much as he can Nationwide that I couldn’t be more thrilled than that. I am going to be sharing a truck with Mark Martin, Blake Feese and Brad Sweet and we’re all going to leaning on each other and the four Nationwide drivers as well. It’s a great team and there’s so much knowledge and so much talent just under the Turner Motorsports banner that it promotes a great opportunity for success.
AM: So with the first start coming at Texas, what are some of your thoughts going into that?
SA: I am excited about that. It’s like the perfect place to start off a strong ambition with my history at Texas. We got our first intermediate win in the ARCA Series there last year. That’s where everything got kicked off with Mike’s Hard Lemonade; that was the first race with them on board with us last year and it’s Steve Turner home track and it’s my favorite track so its going to be awesome. Texas is such an event. The facility is just unbelievable when you pull into the place and they do such a good job at Texas Motor Speedway and the fans around Texas are great too so we’re pretty excited about that.
AM: With the ARCA experience under your belt, how do you think that is going to help you?
SA: Anytime you can get lots of experience with being with a team and racing knowledge, its good in my situation as I don’t have a lot of asphalt experience. This is still pretty new adventure so I don’t think I can put a price on how beneficial that was to me. I was a great team, Venturini Motorsports, and they put great cars under me and gave me the opportunity to win races and have Mike’s Hard Lemonade, it was just a great experience for me, both as a driver and as a brand ambassador.
AM: What are some of your thoughts on the competition level in the Camping World Truck Series right now?
SA: I think its incredible. I think anytime you get into anything under the NASCAR level at that level of motorsports, these people don’t get here by accident. You got to earn your way here and the competition level – we’re going to be racing against guys like Ricky Carmichael, James Buescher, Kyle Busch at times, Ron Hornaday, Todd Bodine. It’s absolutely incredible level of competition and it’s definitely going to be a step up from the ARCA Series compettion wise, but I think we’re definitely ready for the challenge.
AM: What are your expectations going into this?
SA: I want to win races. I realize there’s going to be a learning curve and we’re definitely going to need to have some curve balls thrown at us and some growing pains, that’s just part of life and anything you do, but its just as matter of how we learn from those mistakes and learn from those growing pains and capitalize on them. Part of being a racecar driver is my job is to get into that racecar and make it go as fast as I possibly can and provide the crew on information about what the car is doing and get the truck just as good as we can possibility it. With Turner Motorsports and Hendrick motors and all the people we have at Turner Motorsports, we’re putting myself in a position to do really well and I don’t think my expectations should be any less than good solid runs.
AM: What’s your first racing memory?
SA: My first racing memory was my first go-kart race when I was 10 years old. All I remember was getting out of go-kart and begging my dad the whole trip home, it was an hour trip home, begging my dad the whole way ‘if I could do this for the rest of my life, this was all I wanted to do for the first of my life’. I just absolutely love driving racecars ever since the first time I drove go-karts. Its just most thrilling – like, I’m luckiest guy on earth to do what I love doing for a living. It’s the most thrilling thing to be able to work hard all week long and get going on the weekend to get in that car and drive.
AM: And what’s your favourite racing memory?
SA: I think my favourite racing memory was Daytona Speedweeks in 2007. We just had a great week there. At Vulousia Speedway Park, we won a whole bunch – I think we won five in a row there. The other two races were run at Georgia and won both of those. We had seven wins there and that was pretty incredible experience for me.
AM: Where do you see yourself in five years?
SA: I’ve got my plans for the next 15-20 years. I’m just trying to figure out how we can get all these team owners to go along with my plan. That’s no word of a lie. I really want to keep up on my progression. I really want to take this opportunity in the Truck Series, whether it’s one year or two years, I really want to take this opportunity and captitalize on it and keep progressing up the ranks. But ultimately, my ultimate goal is to end up in the Cup Series and that’s where I want to be. We want to focus hard and make sure we do this right, both on the competition side and business side, and make sure we have a long-lasting relationship with Mike’s Hard Lemonade as well.