Ricky Carmichael, No. 4 Monster Energy Chevrolet Silverado, WinStar World Casino 400K Preview

Ricky Carmichael No. 4 Monster Energy Chevrolet Silverado Event Preview Fact Sheet

Event/Date:          WinStar World Casino 400K – June 10, 2011

Venue:                   Texas Motor Speedway – Fort Worth, Texas

American Muscle

·         This Week’s Monster Energy Chevrolet Silverado … Ricky Carmichael will pilot chassis TMS-021 from the Turner Motorsports (TMS) NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) stable in Friday night’s WinStar World Casino 400K at Texas Motor Speedway. Built new for 2011, this is the same Monster Energy Chevy Carmichael raced to a 12th-place finish last month at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

·         Texas Totals … Carmichael has four NCWTS starts to his credit at Texas Motor Speedway and has a 10th-place finish to call a career-best at the lightning-fast, mile-and-a-half Fort Worth oval. The Tallahassee, Fla., resident has logged an impressive 8.3 starting average, 13.3 average finish, completed 588 of the 630 total laps run over those four races (93 percent) and earned just over $52,000 in purse money.

·         A Look Back at Kansas … With no laps on the race track and less than two hours to prepare their back-up truck, Carmichael and his Mark Rette-led Monster Energy team soldiered to a 21st-place finish in last Saturday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway. Carmichael lost the handle on his black and green No. 4 machine during qualifying and backed his primary truck in to the outside retaining wall. Rather than attempt to repair their heavily damaged Chevrolet Silverado, Rette and Co., rolled out the back up for the 167-lap affair.  The15-time AMA National Champion was forced to start 35th but despite the less-than optimal circumstances, Carmichael came up just short of a top-20 finish.

·         In a nutshell … The 2011 season marks Carmichael’s second year competing on a full-time basis and third year overall in the NCWTS. Since making his series debut 51 races ago, the father of twins has gone on to earn three top-five and 13 top-10 finishes. Over those same 51 races, the motocross legend has logged a 15.0 average start, a 17.1 average finish, led 38 laps and completed 90.7 percent of the laps run, earning just over $673,000 in purse money.

·         There’s a New Kid in Town … For the first time this season, Canadian-born Steve Arpin will take his turn behind the wheel of the No. 32 Chevy Silverado as Turner Motorsports welcomes Mike’s Hard Lemonade to the Mooresville, N.C.-based organization’s family of sponsors. Arpin will race the No. 32 machine five times this season. In addition to this Friday’s 400K in Texas, Arpin will steer the Mike’s Hard Lemonade Silverado at Kentucky Speedway (7/7), Iowa Speedway (7/16), Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis (7/29) and Chicagoland Speedway (9/16).

·         Get to the Point(s) … Carmichael is currently 16th in the NCWTS driver point standings and sits just 14 points outside the top 10. He is 14 markers behind 10th-place Brendan Gaughan and just 27 points behind Parker Kligerman in eighth. Carmichael’s Turner Motorsports’ teammate James Buescher is seventh in the standings and trails fifth-place Timothy Peters by a slim 12-point margin.  Brad Sweet picked up two spots in points with his eighth-place finish last week at Kansas Speedway before turning over the keys of the No. 32 machine to Arpin for this weekend’s race in Texas.

·         Turner Motorsports is Texas Strong… Turner Motorsports owner Steve Turner considers Texas Motor Speedway his home track. Turner along with his wife Sandra live outside of Houston, only four hours from the Great American Speedway.  Turner Motorsports captured its second NASCAR Nationwide Series win of 2011 last weekend at Chicagoland Speedway with Justin Allgaier and the No. 31 Brandt Chevrolet team.  The organization is in its sophomore season of NASCAR competition and has already captured two wins, one pole, 26 top-five and 60 top-10 finishes in both Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series competition. Turner Motorsports has expanded from a two-truck Truck Series operation in 2010 to become the largest stand-alone multi-series team in NASCAR’s top-three touring series, fielding three entries in the NCWTS and four entries in the Nationwide Series.

·         Dreaming of the Prelude … Turner Motorsports will be well-represented in the seventh annual running of The Prelude To The Dream as Carmichael, and Nationwide Series regulars Allgaier and Jason Leffler travel to Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio for Wednesday night’s charity event. All three Turner Motorsports drivers have unique experience running on dirt that should play into their favor at the high-banked, half-mile clay oval. The live, commercial-free broadcast will begin at 8 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (5 p.m. PDT) with an immediate replay. HBO Pay-Per-View’s racing telecast has a suggested retail price of $24.95 and is available to more than 71 million pay-per-view homes. HBO Pay-Per-View is the leading supplier of event programming in the pay-per-view industry.

·          Welcome Aboard… Kroger and the Independent Buyers’ Co-op (I.B.C.) will be featured on the lower-rear quarter panels of the No. 4 Monster Energy Silverado this weekend in Texas. The Kroger Co., (NYSE:KR) headquartered in Cincinnati, is one of the nation’s largest grocery retailers, with fiscal 2010 sales of $82.2 billion. The Kroger Co. spans many states with store formats that include grocery and multi-department stores, convenience stores and mall jewelry stores. Kroger operates under nearly two dozen banners, all of which share the same belief in building strong local ties and brand loyalty with our customers. I.B.C. is a buying group for independently owned convenience stores in Texas and Louisiana that negotiates programs with its vendors to offer I.B.C. members substantial savings in convenience store related product and services. I.B.C. is designed to provide its members with the massive advantages of having a fully staffed office dedicated to increasing members’ profits through the collective purchasing of products, promotions, services and training.  I.B.C. has created a format that its members follow to grow their businesses to their maximum, while reducing costs, streamlining their operations and increasing their profits.

·         Ultimate Drifting Challenge – Carmichaelalong with IndyCar Series driver Graham Rahal will experience racing at TMS from a different perspective with Formula DRIFT rides – the series that highlights the Firestone Twin 275s pre-race show. Rahal and Carmichael will receive a crash course on the art of drifting from some pro drifters and possibly even get behind the wheel of a drifting car on the frontstretch quarter-mile layout. Rahal then will give the drifters a chance to see life in his shoes with a ride in the IndyCar Experience two-seater around the 1.5-mile oval.

·         Meet the Driver(s) … Carmichael, Buescher and Arpin, along with several other NCWTS drivers will sign autographs on Fri., June 10 from 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. on the Texas Motor Speedway midway display area.

·         See the Monster Energy Silverado … The Monster Energy Chevrolet Silverado show truck will make a pair of stops in the Dallas/Fort Worth area this week. On Wednesday, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., the No. 4 machine will visit Bearcat Shamrock in Aledo located at 421 Highway 1187. On Thursday, Carmichael’s Turner Motorsports-prepared truck will make a pit stop at Kroger Store No. 542 – 3300 Texas Sage Trail – in Fort Worth.

·         Nationwide Notes … In 14 NASCAR Nationwide Series races in 2011, Turner Motorsports-prepared entries have notched two wins, 13 top-five and 31 top-10 finishes. Following his sixth-place finish in last weekend’s STP 300 at Chicagoland Speedway, Reed Sorenson, driver of the No. 32 Dollar General Chevrolet, assumed the points lead and currently paces second-place Elliott Sadler by two points. Allgaier notched his first win of 2011 and is fourth in the standings, with only 11 points separating him from Sorenson. Meanwhile, Leffler is sixth, just five points outside the top five. Turner Motorsports Nationwide Series teams have the weekend off before returning to the track in two weeks at Michigan International Speedway.

·         Up to Speed … The WinStar World Casino 400K from Texas Motor Speedway will take the green flag Fri., June 10 at 9 p.m. EDT. The race will be televised live on SPEED beginning at 8:30 p.m. EDT and broadcast on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

RICKY CARMICHAEL QUOTES Texas is one of you favorite race tracks and a place where you feel like you’ve got a legitimate chance to run in the top five or possibly even win. What makes Texas such a good track for you? “I’m not sure really sure I can put my finger on it but I like the amount of grip the track has. I just love everything about that track. The first time I went there, when I was a rookie and hadn’t been on a track like that before, I ran pretty good. It’s just one of those tracks we go to that gives me a really good feeling. I’m really excited to go to Texas this weekend.”

What’s the key to a fast lap at Texas Motor Speedway? “The truck needs to be good and secure underneath you. The track has a fair amount of grip so that’s not usually a problem. You need to run the truck along the white line on the bottom of the track as best as you can. Texas is typically a place where the fast guys will run around the bottom of the race track. The top line will probably start working once we get a little deeper in to the race but I think if you can get your truck working good on the bottom, that’s the best place to be. Fortunately for me, every time I’ve raced at Texas, I’ve been fast on the bottom and fast on the top.”

You had a tough weekend in Kansas. How do you put that behind you so you can bounce back in Texas? “I’m excited to go to Texas this weekend. Obviously, we’re not where we wanted to be as far as points go and we haven’t had the year we were hoping for. That being said, there are a lot of races left. We’re going back to the basics and try and figure some things out this weekend that can get us back to where we need to be. I think this weekend will be a great test for me and for my team because historically, I’ve run well at Texas and I know how the truck should feel. We’ve got a great opportunity to get a baseline and figure some stuff out like why I’m not getting the feel I like and what’s hindering us so, I’m very optimistic about this weekend. At the same time, if we can figure out what’s missing, I’ll be even more excited about our chances. With the way things have gone, expecting a win right now is a little far-fetched but if we can hit on the rights things, we can be up there. Our goal is to get the feel in the truck that I like and shoot for a top five.”

Considering you had a rough week in Kansas, Texas probably couldn’t come at a better time. “Texas couldn’t have come at a better time. We had a great meeting after our incident in qualifying last week. We’re going to work really hard to duplicate exactly what we had under the truck last year at Texas. I’m hoping we’re going to get it figured out this weekend.”

Texas is essentially a home race for Turner Motorsports. Does that provide a little extra motivation for you to do well? “Absolutely. I know all three of us … myself, James (Bueshcer) and (Steve) Arpin would all really like to run up front. When James and I finished second and fourth at Dover last year, Mr. Turner was on Cloud Nine. For me, as long as we run the way we’re capable and figure some things out, we should be able to run inside the top five. Obviously, with James’ ability, he should be able to as well. Arpin has won an ARCA race at Texas before so, as a whole, we should be able to produce this weekend. For us to do well as a team, for Mr. Turner in his home state where he conducts his business, would be outstanding. Mr. Turner has placed a lot of faith in me and given me a great opportunity so I’d really like to reward him with a good finish.”

You’re back for another Prelude – do you have any expectations this year? “I’d just like to be better than I was last year. My goal this year is to qualify the best I can and just be really, really consistent in the feature. If I can do that, we’ll have a decent finish and it will give my team a decent shot at winning. Last year, I got caught in a wreck on the first lap and messed up my left front. From that point on, it was just miserable. I just want to be super, super consistent and be there at the end.”

What other drivers helped you out last year in explaining the car, the nuances of dirt racing and getting around Eldora? “Austin Dillon and Clint Bowyer helped me the most. They were both very instrumental in my learning process and still are. Those guys are experts at it so I’ve got two great guys helping me. At the end of the day, it’s tough to go there and expect to keep up with the guys who have been doing it a long time.”

Follow Ricky Carmichael at: Rickycarmichael.com Twitter.com/RickyCarmichael Facebook.com/RickyCarmichael http://www.facebook.com/TurnerMotorsports http://twitter.com/TurnerMotorspts

About Turner Motorsports: Turner Motorsports, LLC, established in 1999, is in the midst of its sophomore season of NASCAR competition. Owned by Texas businessman Steve Turner, the organization has expanded in 2011 from a two-truck operation in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) to become the largest stand-alone multi-series team in NASCAR’s top-tier touring series. Turner Motorsports operates out of an 110,000 square-foot state-of-the art facility in Mooresville, N.C., and will compete with three entries in the Camping World Truck Series and four entries in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.  The team boasts an all-star driver line-up that includes Kasey Kahne, Mark Martin, Jason Leffler, Reed Sorenson, Justin Allgaier, Ricky Carmichael, James Buescher, Brad Sweet and Brandon McReynolds. The Chevrolet-backed team has created alliances with General Motors’ powerhouse teams Hendrick Motorsports, which will provide engine support for both its NNS and NCWTS programs, Kevin Harvick Inc. for body and aero support, and Earnhardt Technology Group for drive train and suspension technology assistance. Turner Motorsports’ marketing partners include Dollar General, Great Clips, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Monster Energy, BRANDT, Rexall, Exide, AccuDoc Solutions, Wolfpack Rentals, Fraternal Order of Eagles and ABF Freight. For more information on Turner Motorsports, visit www.turnermotorsportsllc.com.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.


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