TOLEDO, Ohio (May 16, 2011) – – Chad Hackenbracht and his CGH Motorsports team did exactly what they said they were going to do in Sunday’s Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care, shine. After proving that the team had an excellent short track program two weeks ago at Salem (Ind.) Speedway, the New Philadelphia, Ohio native with the leadership of crew chief Rob Torrey and director of competition Kevin Reed were bound and determined to do it again.
Unlike Salem, the family-owned CGH Motorsports team did not have the opportunity to test at Toledo Speedway, so the Mooresville, North Carolina-based team utilized two practice sessions on Saturday afternoon to dial in their No. 58 Tastee Chocolate Apples Chevrolet Impala SS.
Mother Nature played havoc with the track conditions early Saturday forcing adjustments in the day’s schedule which now included two practices and the cancellation of qualifying. After a series of changes in practice, Hackenbracht and his posse made adjustments to their Chevrolet bow-tie which found the team a competitive 12th in the final practice session.
Because of the removal of time trials from the day’s activities, the team would line up 27th based on the 2011 ARCA Racing Series rule book.
For the second consecutive weekend, rain would drench the race track on race day forcing ARCA Racing Series officials to spend a majority of the morning drying the Northern Ohio race track. The command to start engines was given shortly before 2:00 p.m. with the drivers circling the track under yellow and green flag conditions together to officially begin the fourth race of the season.
The all-clear would be given by lap 20 putting the field under true racing conditions. Not knowing what the weather was going to do, Hackenbracht quickly began slicking and dicing his white, blue and black automobile through the field following the likes of Matt Crafton, Ty Dillon and Chris Buescher.
When the second caution flag waived by lap 26, Hackenbracht had moved up 11 positions to claim the 16th spot.
A short time after returning to green flag conditions, a multi-car incident broke out on the backstretch on lap 37 which forced Hackenbracht to take extreme abrasive maneuvers to miss a slew of mangled race cars. Emerging unharmed, Hackenbracht found himself now in the top-10.
Under a long green flag run, Hackenbracht continued to move his way through the running order and by lap 59 had positioned himself in the eighth position. By lap 80, the 19-year old had rose to seventh and knocked on the outside of the top-five by the half-way mark. A yellow flag waived on lap 109 allowing amble opportunity to pit for four tires and gas.
Restarting 12th as other competitors ahead of him utilized a different pit strategy, Hackenbracht patiently began picking off his competition one position at a time and had moved back into the top-10 by lap 133.
With 52 laps remaining, No. 58 Tastee Chocolate Apples Chevrolet Impala SS was hovering in the seventh position. As the final stages of the race pressed on, the handling began to change for Hackenbracht which found himself beginning to slide back in the running order but continuing to fight hard.
A caution inside the final 10 laps of the fourth race of the season saw Hackenbracht locked in ninth but on the final restart, typical short track beating and banging ensued knocking Hackenbracht out of the top-10 coming to the checkered flag, capturing 11th overall, beating a previous career best of 13th at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway last year.
“It was a good run for CGH Motorsports and Tastee Apple,” said Hackenbracht. “We really had a good car the first half of the race. After we put the second set of tires on the car, it changed. We’re not exactly sure why that happened, but we made the best of the situation. I did everything I could to stay in the top-10, we just need the race to end a few laps earlier.”
The 2008 National Asphalt Legends champion continued, “this is a nice boost for our race team, especially after Salem. We were competitive, mixed it in with the best of the best in ARCA. This was also a career best for our team. We’re making gains as the season rolls on, so these all are positive things we can take moving forward!”
Next up for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards is the lone stop at a road course. The ModSpace 150 is set for next Sunday, May 22 at New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) in Millville, New Jersey. Hackenbracht will once again make another “first” in his stock car career by competing at a road course.
Exiting Toledo, Hackenbracht has competed in 13 ARCA events maneuvering five top-20 finishes including a career-best 11th at Toledo Speedway in May 2011. Two ninth place qualifying efforts at Kansas Speedway (2010) and Salem (Ind.) Speedway (2011) are his best time trials efforts to date.
CGH Motorsports is actively seeking additional marketing partners for the full 2011 ARCA Racing Series schedule. Single, multi and full-season placements are available on the team’s No. 58 entries. Interested parties are urged to contact Jordan Dahl at 570.234.5449 or