LONG POND, Pennsylvania (June 13, 2011) – – Sean Corr and his Empire Racing team continue to build momentum in what has become a very respectable season. That trend continued on Saturday for Corr and his family-owned team in the Pocono ARCA 200 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.
With Corr’s experience at the 2.5-mile track and the knowledge of his crew chief Howard Bixman, Corr felt that this was an opportunity to propel his Empire Racing team into the spotlight.
The weekend started off solid for the Goshen, New York native after the team produced the ninth quickest lap in practice. Comfortable with their car, the team was optimistic leaning into Menards Pole by Ansell qualifying.
Corr was the fourth of 33 cars to make his qualifications run at the track nicknamed the “Tricky Triangle.” During his one lap run, Corr in his No. 82 TransTech / Roush Yates Engines / Roush Yates Performance Ford Fusion maneuvered a lap of 55.933 seconds at 160.907 miles per hour landing the team 10th on the starting grid, a season best for the Empire Racing team in 2011.
The team was anxious to turn their first top-10 qualifying run into their first career top-10 finish in Corr’s fifth Pocono start.
Mother Nature has played havoc with the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards for much of the season and Saturday proved to be no different. With a light mist in the air, the drop of the green flag for the seventh race of the season would waive shortly before 2:00 p.m.
Corr immediately found himself battling the No. 1 of Chad McCumbee and No. 6 of Bryan Silas for a position in the top-12. Early on, Corr reported to Bixman that his car was aero tight. Despite the handling woes, Corr in the No. 82 TransTech / Roush Yates Engines / Roush Yates Performance Ford Fusion would continue to fight Silas for the 11th position.
When the first caution flag waived on lap 17, Corr was able to catch his breath and communicate with Bixman on what changes were to be made to their automobile. When pit road opened on lap 19, Corr joined the rest of the lead lap competitors down pit lane where four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment were in store for the blue oval.
With light rain falling and fog present, the caution period extended over the next 12 laps, and initially, ARCA officials decided to drop the green flag on Lap 32. After restarts to begin laps 32 and 33 were aborted, officials instructed drivers to drive down pit road to close Lap 35 where the red flag would be issued as everyone waited for the fog to lift.
A short time later, the cars would be re-fired and moved from pit road. The green flag would fly on lap 38. Corr would resume the race from the 10th position.
Over the next 12 laps, Corr would maintain that spot in the 10th position until the caution flag waived again on lap 50 which allowed the leaders to make their final trip to pit road.
Bixman would again call for four tires, fuel and a minor chassis adjustment hoping to give Corr a much needed boost to maneuver his way through the pack. Corr would leave pit road in the 11th position after several competitors ahead of the Empire Racing team elected to utilize different pit strategy.
Restarting the event on lap 57, Corr would give a gallant charge to pass the 10th place competitor of Matt Merrell but would be stalled by a caution flag that waived two laps later for dense fog again around the facility. Red flag conditions would again adorn the field but ultimately the fog would force ARCA officials to consider the race complete on lap 59 with Corr locked in the 11th position.
“I cannot say enough about this team,” said Corr. “They never give up. We were so close to a top-10, we just needed another lap. It was a tricky race for sure. The conditions were something like I had never experienced. We made it through though. We badly wanted a top-10 for TransTech, Roush Yates Engines and Roush Yates Performance but we’ll take the 11th and solider on to Michigan and finish what we started here.”
Corr added, “the car was really good all weekend. We made some adjustments and the car responded. I think on that final restart if we just could have settled into some green flag racing we would been good. I’m grateful to all my guys and our supporters for everything they’ve done. I’m looking forward to Michigan.”
Before the 27 year old’s career best 11th place run on Saturday, his best ARCA finish also occurred at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway last June where he guided his Ford Fusion to a solid 12th place finish. Corr maintains ninth in the championship standings with 12 races remaining.
Next up for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards is round eight of 19 on the 2011 schedule. The RainEater Wiper Blades 200 from the two-mile oval of Michigan International Speedway is set for Friday, June 17th at 5:00 p.m. Eastern live on SPEED. Corr will make his second career start in the “Irish Hills” and look to improve on his 18th place finish from last June.
For more on Sean Corr, Empire Racing and marketing partnership opportunities for the 2011 racing season, please visit empireracingllc.com.
Are you FORD tough? Connect with Roush Yates Performance Products and Roush Yates Engines through their official web site at roushyatesparts.com.
Connect with Sean Corr and Empire Racing through Facebook by clicking here.
Tweet with Sean Corr through Twitter @EmpireRacingLLC.
About Empire Racing:
Established in 2009, Empire Racing LLC. (empireracingllc.com) is a two-tier professional Motorsports organization consisting of dirt and asphalt competition. Sean Corr, a 26-year old hailing from Goshen, New York pilots the team’s automobiles in the DIRTcar Series and Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA). In 2011, the team will attempt to run for a championship in the ARCA Racing Series with aspirations of moving into the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR). The team is headquartered in Goshen, New York with an additional operation in Mooresville, North Carolina.