“Merrell Knocking On The Door Heading Into’s ARCA Backyard”
TOLEDO, Ohio (May 12, 2011) – – Matt Merrell’s success in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards thus far in 2011 hasn’t been surprising. With top-10 finishes in each of the first four races of the year, Merrell has found himself knocking on the door to his first career victory. Frustrating enough though, victory has eluded the Portland, Texas native.
The opportunity for “champagne wishes and caviar dreams” will once again be in prime this weekend as Merrell and his Win-Tron Racing crew return to Toledo Speedway for the running of the Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care.
No doubt that taking the checkered flag first in the No. 32 Champion Brands Dodge Charger on Sunday will help a surge in the point standings where the former USARacing Pro Cup Series competitor occupies third, just 80 markers behind leader Ty Dillon.
“I’m more than ready to win,” said Merrell. “Not only have we found ourselves close this season but in the past too. This Win-Tron Racing team continues to give me the ingredients on a weekly basis to climb into the No. 32 Champion Brands Dodge Charger and be competitive. A win at Toledo would be so sweet; I hope we can pull it off on Sunday.”
The first of two contests at Toledo Speedway this year signifies the third race that Champion Brands will heed the role as the primary sponsor for the Lakeville, Minnesota-based team. Headquartered in Clinton, Missouri Champion Brands LLC produces and blends more than 300 products including fuel, oil and engine additives and lubricants for the automotive, heavy truck, agricultural and specialty markets.
“To have a partner like Champion Brands on-board is a real blessing,” continued Merrell. “It’s because of their commitment to this team and me as a driver that I’ll be heading back to Toledo this weekend. Sure, another strong run would be good for us, but man, would a win mean that much more. We’ll just keep doing what we’re doing and hope it will all unfold.”
The 26-year old will make just his third start at Toledo Speedway on Sunday and aim to improve on his brilliant fifth place finish that occurred in 2009. “It’s been a while since I’ve been to Toledo, but hopefully I won’t forget how to drive the place,” Merrell joked.
Nate Thiesse, co-owner of Win-Tron Racing is confident in the ability of Merrell once again this weekend. “Matt has all the talent in the world to take this team back to victory lane. He’s such a wheelman. He proved that at Toledo in the past. His strong finishes this season have kept his confidence high and knowing that we know he’s going to give us 150 percent behind the wheel. We know it’s just a matter of time and not if but when Matt will add his name to the list of first time ARCA winners.”
Merrell will make his 17th career start at Toledo in the ARCA Racing Series presented Menards this weekend. In his previous 16 outings, Merrell has seven top-fives including runner-up finishes of second at Berlin (Mich.) Raceway and Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (August) in 2009 and nine 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 Dodge Charger second in June of 2009.
The Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care (200 laps / 100 miles) is the fourth of 19 events on the 2011 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. The 69th ARCA race at Toledo Speedway is a two-day show. Practice begins Saturday, May 14th with an hour and a half practice session planned from 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Menards pole qualifying presented by Ansell is set for later in the day slated to begin at 3:30 p.m. An hour and 15 minute on-track autograph session has been etched in from 12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. on race day (Sunday). The contest will take the green flag shortly after 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 15. The race will not be televised nationally but event coverage including live timing and scoring throughout the weekend will be available through the ARCA Racing Network (ARN) online at arcaracing.com presented by ARCANation.com. For the second consecutive race at Toledo Speedway, the anticipated thriller will be available locally on television through the Buckeye CableSystem Sports Network (BCSN) Sunday night at 9:00 p.m. All times are local.
Further information including driver opportunities with Win-Tron Racing is available by visiting win-tronracing.com or contacting Nate Thiesse at 952.469.1839.