LONG POND, Pennsylvania (June 8, 2011) – – Mark Gibson Racing (MGR), a long-time fixture in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards will return to competition Saturday at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway after a brief sabbatical with a freshman driver behind MGR’s symbolic No. 59 Dodge Charger in the Pocono ARCA 200.
Buster Graham, a former Hydroplane racer will make his inaugural ARCA Racing Series start at one of the sanction’s toughest tracks. Thankfully, the experience of crew chief and car owner Mark Gibson gives the newly turned pavement driver some much welcomed confidence and appreciation heading to the track described as the “Tricky Triangle.”
“It’s completely night and day between boat racing and stock car racing but, I’m having a blast,” said Graham, a native of Lafayette, Louisiana. “Mark (Gibson) has mentally prepared me for Pocono this weekend. I hear its one heck of a track. I’m ready though. I’m going in with an open mind and eager to learn and produce a good finish.”
To prepare for his transition to ARCA, Gibson and Graham have been competing in the ever potent USARacing Pro Cup Series where the duo has competed in three events thus far in 2011. Despite his limited experience behind the wheel of a stock car, Graham has impressed producing three top-15 runs including a top-10 run at Dillon (S.C.) Motor Speedway in his first ever stock car contest.
“Mark forewarned me that the USAR Series is very competitive and boy was he ever right,” the former Supercross competitor explained. “I cannot tell you though the input and experience I’ve learned in just a short amount of time. I wouldn’t be coming to Pocono this weekend if Mark (Gibson) didn’t think I was ready.”
Batter’s Dream will adorn the primary marketing role of Graham’s No. 59 entry in the seventh race of the 2011 ARCA season.
Batter’s Dream is an automated ball feeding system (pitching machine) that allows baseball hitters and softball hitters to maximize time in the batting cage by getting more quality cuts without fixing a tee. One of the key benefits of the Batter’s Dream batting machines is that it allows batters the freedom to focus on rhythm, stance, timing and swing speed without the need for a second person. Simply put, Batter’s Dream is the most effective, simple and easy-to-use soft toss system ever invented to help improve a hitter’s mechanics and increase their batting average.
“I’m thankful to my father in-law Don Mashburn and everyone at Batter’s Dream for jumping aboard for my ARCA debut this weekend. It truly is an amazing product. We’re going to actually bring it to the track and have some fun with it. Hopefully we can bat our way to a good finish.”
When asked of his goal for Saturday afternoon, Graham remained heavily optimistic. “I would be satisfied with a top-20, but be thrilled with a top-15. Mark has the experience at Pocono, so I think it will be good to tell him what I’m feeling and he can help me translate it in the car. Overall, it will be a good weekend if we make gains start to finish and take the checkered flag.”
Gibson, a four time winner in ARCA is looking forward to returning “home” and showing Graham the ropes.
“The ARCA Racing Series has been so good to me and my career over the last couple of decades. It’s nice to be coming back at Pocono. Buster obviously has a lot to learn, but he accepts that and is eager to please. As long as he stays focused and confident in himself, we’ll be fine this weekend.”
The Pocono ARCA 200 (80 laps / 200 miles) is the seventh of 19 events on the 2011 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. The 52nd ARCA race at Pocono Raceway is a two-day show. Practice begins Friday, June 10 with a one hour and fifty minute practice session planned from 10:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m. Menards Pole by Ansell qualifying is slated to begin later in the day at 2:05 p.m. The field will take the green flag shortly after 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 11. The event will be televised same-day delayed on SPEED beginning at 8:00 p.m. EST. Live timing and scoring throughout the 1,319th race for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards since it was formed in 1953 will be available through the ARCA Racing Network (ARN) online at arcaracing.com presented by ARCANation.com. All times are local.
For more on Batter’s Dream, please visit Battersdream.com.