Ricky Carmichael, No. 4 Monster Energy Chevrolet Silverado, UNOH 225 Preview

Ricky Carmichael

No. 4 Monster Energy Chevrolet Silverado

Event Preview Fact Sheet

CarParts.com
American Muscle

Event/Date: UNOH 225 – July 7, 2011

Venue: Kentucky Speedway – Sparta, Ky.

. 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 Thursday night’s UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway. Built new for 2011, this is the same Monster Energy Chevy Carmichael raced to a sixth-place finish last month at Texas Motor Speedway and to a 12th-place finish in May at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

. Kentucky Count . Carmichael has a pair NCWTS starts to his credit at Kentucky Speedway and calls a fifth-place finish a career-best at the 14-degree banked, mile-and-a-half tri-oval. The Tallahassee, Fla., resident has logged an impressive 6.0 starting and finishing average, completed 100 percent of the laps run over those two races and earned just over $40,000 in purse money.

. Staying Busy . While most of his NCWTS counterparts had almost a month off, Carmichael stayed busy by racing the No. 30 Monster Energy Chevrolet Impala in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The 15-time AMA National Champion turned in an impressive performance two weekends ago at Road America where he started 15th and brought home a rock-solid ninth-place showing. He also competed at Daytona International Speedway last weekend but the end result wasn’t nearly as kind after a left-rear tire went down on the Monster Energy Chevy just 34 laps into the 100-lap event, leaving Carmichael 39th in the final rundown.

. A Look Back at Texas . Carmichael started ninth and finished sixth in the NCWTS last race, nearly a month ago, at Texas Motor Speedway. He raced in the top 15 for most of the night and when the money was on the line, the Clearwater, Fla., native was able to earn his best finish of the season and career-best effort at the high-banked 1.5-mile Fort Worth oval.

. 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 52 races ago, the father of twins has gone on to earn three top-five and 14 top-10 finishes. Over those same 52 races, the motocross legend has logged a 14.9 average start, a 16.9 average finish, led 38 laps and completed 91 percent of the laps run, earning just over $685,000 in purse money.

. Make it a Mike’s . For the second time this season, Canadian-born Steve Arpin will get behind the wheel of the No. 32 Chevy Silverado with Mike’s Hard Lemonade serving as the team’s primary sponsor. Arpin will race the No. 32 machine four more times this season. In addition to this Thursday’s 225-mile race, Arpin will steer the Mike’s Hard Lemonade Silverado three more times this season with stops at Iowa Speedway (7/16), Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis (7/29) and Chicagoland Speedway (9/16).

. Get to the Point(s) . Carmichael is currently 12th in the NCWTS driver point standings and sits just six points outside the top 10. He is 15 markers behind ninth-place Joey Coulter and only 31 points behind Parker Kligerman in eighth. Carmichael’s TMS teammate James Buescher is seventh in the standings and trails fifth-place Matt Crafton by a mere six-point margin. While Arpin is 39th in points after his lone start of 2011 in Texas, the No. 32 entry is safely locked in to the starting field in Kentucky by virtue of being 25th in the NCWTS owner’s point standings.

. There’s a New Truck Chief in Town . Tommy Ellis has joined the TMS Truck Series operation and will serve as Carmichael’s Truck Chief beginning this weekend in Kentucky. Ellis comes to Turner Motorsports from Joe Dennette Motorsports where he was a suspension mechanic. The 25-year-old Dartmouth, Mass., native spent part of 2010 as the Truck Chief for the No. 4 team before leaving to pursue an opportunity with RAB Racing. Ellis replaces Dan Bormann.

. Welcome Aboard . ValuMarket and Thorntons will be featured on the lower-rear quarter panels of the No. 4 Monster Energy Silverado this weekend in Kentucky. ValuMarket has been serving the Louisville, Ky., area grocery needs since 1978 with locations in Hurstbourne Plaza, Outer Loop Plaza, Mid City Mall, Iroquois Manor and Mt. Washington, Ky. Thorntons Inc. is a leading, independent gasoline/convenience-chain retailer, marketing throughout the Midwest under the brand name Thorntons. Thorntons Inc. ranks No. 250 among Forbes magazine’s 500 largest privately held companies. Headquartered in Louisville, Ky., Thorntons operates over 160 gasoline and convenience stores including one travel plaza, eight car washes and ranks as one of Kentucky’s largest privately held companies with over $1.4 billion in annual revenue.

. See the Monster Energy Silverado . The Monster Energy Chevrolet Silverado show truck will make a pair of stops on Wednesday in Louisville. From 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., the No. 4 machine will be on display at Thorntons Store No. 157, located at 1335 Hurstbourne Lane. From 2 p.m. – 4 p.m., the Monster Energy Silverado will make a pit stop at ValuMarket at 315 Whittington Parkway.

. Nationwide Notes . In 17 NASCAR Nationwide Series races in 2011, TMS-prepared entries have notched three wins, 17 top-five and 38 top-10 finishes. Following his third-place finish in last weekend’s Subway Jalapeno 250 at Daytona International Speedway, Reed Sorenson, driver of the No. 32 Dollar General Chevrolet, reassumed the points lead and currently paces second-place Elliott Sadler by nine points. Jason Leffler knocked down a runner-up finish to maintain the fifth position the Nationwide Series driver point standings while Justin Allgaier, driver of the No. 31 Brandt Chevrolet finished fifth, giving TMS owner Steve Turner three cars in the top five. Allgaier maintained the fourth position in points with only six markers separating him from third place Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

. Up to Speed . The UNOH 225 from Kentucky Speedway will take the green flag Thursday, July 7 at 8 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The race will be televised live on SPEED beginning at 7:30 p.m. EDT and broadcast on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90. Qualifying for Round 10 of the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship will be televised on SPEED the same day at 6 p.m. EDT.

RICKY CARMICHAEL QUOTES

You’ve finished fifth and seventh in two starts at Kentucky Speedway. You’ve been very vocal about how much you enjoy the mile-and-a-half tracks. Why does Kentucky Speedway land right in your wheelhouse?

“I had the opportunity to go test at Kentucky Speedway when I was driving for KHI (Kevin Harvick Inc.) before we raced there back in 2009 so that really helped me. I got a lot of extra time on the track and had a chance to learn some things, like what the truck needs to feel like, so when I raced there for the first time, I was already comfortable. I finished seventh my first time out at Kentucky so having a head start turned out to be key.

I finished fifth last year and we got a little bit of help from a fuel-mileage standpoint but at the same time, we were still really fast all weekend and ran good all night.”

While most of your counterparts have had the last month off, you’ve been staying busy racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. What is your assessment of the last two weeks?

“The last two weeks have been great. Those two Nationwide races gave me an opportunity to be behind the wheel of that type of car, log some laps and feel the car out. Obviously, Road America went really well with a ninth-place finish, there. We were decent in practice and qualifying. I only went off course once and we were solid all day.

Daytona was definitely not what we wanted. We had some bad luck when the left-rear tire went down and there’s not much you can do in that situation. We didn’t get much practice because of the rain and I didn’t get to learn about the tandem-style drafting as much as I would have liked to but it was still great to be behind the wheel while a lot of guys were at home.”

After a long break from Truck Series competition, are you ready to get back in the groove of points racing?

“I’m ready to get back after it. We’re so close to being inside the top 10 in points and that keeps me pumped up. We started out the season really strong at Daytona and were in a great spot with 20 to go at Phoenix and possibly being able to leave there with the points lead but then the wheels kind of fell off. We’ve slowly started to regroup and get the boat turned back. I think we’re knocking at the door of running where we belong, especially after Texas. We need a good weekend at Kentucky which is very much within our grasp. It’s a great track for me so I’m looking forward to some good things to come.”

You finished sixth at Texas but there’s been a long break since then. Does that help you or hurt you coming into Thursday night at Kentucky Speedway?

“I think it might hurt a little bit but everyone has had the same amount of time off to deal with. I’m very optimistic about the gains we made in Texas with my crew chief Mark Rette and the changes we made to the truck. We really hit on the feel I like and I think we’re right where we need to be. I’m a little bummed about all the time off but very optimistic about building on where we left off in Texas.”

Follow Ricky Carmichael at:

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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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