Concord, NC (June 12, 2013) – Chad Boat visited Michigan International Speedway as a child to watch his father race, and Venturini Motorsports is giving the second-generation driver an opportunity for his own success in the Irish Hills this week.
Boat, who has made four prior ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards starts, is teaming with Venturini for the first time in Friday’s Michigan ARCA 200, as he’ll drive the No. 55 Corvette Online Toyota in his second start this year.
Boat raced in the season opener at Daytona, finishing 10th as a follow-up to three races in his first ARCA season. He ended an impressive third in his career debut at Iowa last July, led six laps before finishing eighth at Lucas Oil Raceway soon after that, and also competed at Kansas Speedway.
Though the mile-and-a-half experience at Kansas may help Boat for Michigan’s two-mile oval, his first real look at the speedway came over a decade ago, when he attended an IndyCar race to support his father, Billy. The elder Boat, who continues to support his son’s racing efforts, finished 14th at the Brooklyn, Mich. track in 2002.
Now, Chad Boat joins Venturini for what he hopes will be the next step in his speedway development.
“Obviously, their record speaks for itself, especially on the mile-and-a-half and larger tracks,” said the 21-year-old Charlotte resident and Univ. of North Carolina-Charlotte junior.
“They have the equipment. Brennan (Poole) was able to win and Kevin (Swindell) won for them last year, and they’re always up there on the speed charts. (Team general manager) Billy (Venturini) called a couple weeks ago and we were able to put together a deal. It’s pretty cool, and I’m looking forward to it.”
Boat spent some time at the Venturini shop in Concord Monday, getting fitted and learning more about the people he’ll work with Friday.
“I’ve been getting acquainted with the guys at the shop, just trying to get to know them,” he said. “Dan Deeringhoff’s going to be the crew chief this weekend so I’ve been talking to him about where they’ve got the car. I’m trying to get a feel for it so when we get to the track, we’re ready to move forward with the wheels rolling and, hopefully, get to the top of the board.”
A fresh pavement job at Michigan last year led to a new ARCA qualifying record, and Boat knows that speed will continue to be the name of the game.
“From everything I’ve looked at in videos, it seems like the line you run entering the corner is very important, especially with keeping your momentum with the tapered spacer (new for ARCA teams at Michigan in 2012). It’s going to be about staying in the gas as much as you can and keeping the speed up in the car.
“With a Joe Gibbs engine and an old JGR car, we should be right there. With no mechanical issues or anything like that, I think we can contend for a win.”
Looking forward, Boat plans to run five more televised races – at Chicago, Pocono, Iowa, Kentucky, and Kansas – for his family’s team, Billy Boat Motorsports. This weekend, though, his efforts are all for his first outing with the Venturini group.
“I’m excited about what we have going on our front at Billy Boat Motorsports, but this weekend, I’m really focused and giving it my all in the 55.”
The garage will open for the 32nd ARCA Racing Series event at Michigan International Speedway at 8 a.m. Thursday, with a single practice scheduled that afternoon from 1:05-3:30. Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell will begin at 10 a.m. Friday, hours before the Michigan ARCA 200 at 5:15 p.m.
SPEED’s live television coverage from the Irish Hills will begin at 5 p.m. ARCARacing.com will carry live timing and scoring coverage for all on-track activity.
About Venturini Motorsports
Venturini Motorsports (VMS), fielding cars for over 30-years in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, is one of the premier NASCAR driver development programs in the country. Multiple team championships and consistent on-track success, VMS has evolved into one of the most recognizable names in motorsports. Since 2007, VMS has assisted in the career development of notable NASCAR drivers such as Joey Logano, Justin Allgaier, Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Brian Scott, Kevin Swindell, Miguel Paludo, John Wes Townley, Josh Richards and Johanna Long.
In 2012, VMS and the Venturini family was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame and now find themselves enshrined with such sports icons as Joe DiMaggio, Mario Andretti, Vince Lombardi, Tommy Lasorda and Rocky Marciano, among others.
After nearly two decades away from NASCAR, 2013 marks VMS’s modern day return to the series with John Wes Townley driving the team’s familiar No.25 in selective NASCAR Nationwide Series events.
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