Cody Coughlin and Daniel Suarez with Career Days; Justin Boston Makes Statement with Strong Double Duty Effort
Concord, NC (September 22, 2014) – Venturini Motorsports (VMS) and its drivers put together an impressive collective effort Friday night under the lights at Kentucky Speedway in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards (ARCA) ZLOOP 150.
Highlighted by Brennan Poole’s sixth career ARCA victory, most ever for a VMS development driver, the team put on a dominant performance earning three top-5 finishes with Cody Coughlin (fourth) and Daniel Suarez (fifth) to go along with Justin Boston’s fifth career Menard’s Pole award and solid ninth place finish. Powered by Joe Gibbs Engines, VMS drivers led a combined 72 of 100 laps during the event – Suarez (39), Poole (27) and Boston (6).
Poole who started the week as an unlikely winner wasn’t expected to race Friday, but when VMS driver John Wes Townley had a scheduling conflict, he stepped in the seat of the No.15 Zaxby’s Toyota and the rest is history.
“Everything just unfolded for me,” a jubilant Poole said. “I love it when that happens. I’m so happy to get to victory lane for Venturini and Zaxby’s. It feels really, really nice. It’s just so special to win here. I can’t believe we won at Kentucky!”
This was Poole’s seventh start of the season and the third race this year he’s substituted for Townley. Substituting for Townley, Poole finished third at Berlin Raceway and sixth last one week ago at Salem Speedway.
“I can’t thank Zaxby’s and the Townley family enough for believing in me and giving me the chance to race!”
Poole considered one of the top un-signed drivers in the country without a full time ride continues to increase his stock value. Since winning the UARA-Stars Championship in 2011 he’s driven for VMS in hopes of attracting sponsorship and an opportunity to bring his talent to the NASCAR level. At 23-years old, Poole has 35 ARCA career starts with (6) victories, (18) Top-5’s and (27) Top-10 finishes. In his only full season (2012) Poole finished third in the championship point standings and earned the coveted Hoosier Superspeedway Championship.
18-year old Cody Coughlin driving his No.55 JEGS Toyota posted his best finish of his young career in the ARCA Series on Friday night with a fourth place finish in the ZLOOP 150 at Kentucky Speedway. In ten starts Coughlin has earned (2) Top-5’s and (7) Top-10’s. As he continues to improve Coughlin will likely be a strong contender at Kansas Speedway in the series finale on October 3rd.
“I am very happy with our run because we qualified well and it showed we had the speed when it counted,” Coughlin said after the race. “When the green flag dropped, we weren’t handling as well as we hoped, plus I am still a little green on these 1.5-mile ovals. But we showed we could fight through adversities and made real good adjustments in the pits. I am just really pleased with how the night went overall.”
Coughlin highly praised his VMS crew for their hard work on the JEGS Toyota Camry.
“We took an OK racecar and turned it into a top-five racecar,” Coughlin exclaimed. “I am really proud of Dave (Leiner, Crew Chief) and the guys for their hard work. Scott Wimmer (spotter) helped me a ton on the radio. I really appreciate their efforts.”
Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) development driver Daniel Suarez lived up to the hype surrounding his ARCA debut with a strong fifth place finish behind the wheel of his No.66 ARRIS backed Toyota in Friday’s ZLOOP 150.
“We were one of the cars to beat during the first half of the race but we just missed something there at the end and finished fifth,” said Suarez. “I have no complaints! We learned a lot and had a very strong day of racing. I just want to thank Venturini, Gibbs and ARRIS for giving me the opportunity.”
Suarez, a native of Monterrey, Mexico made blockbuster headlines last month when JGR announced he’d be piloting the No.18 ARRIS NASCAR Nationwide (XFINITY) Series car fulltime in 2015.
Although a rookie making his first competitive laps in ARCA, Suarez was quickly deemed a race favorite after posting the fastest practice speed of the day with a blistering lap time of 31.265 around the 1.5 mile Kentucky oval. Qualifying third for the main event Suarez quickly flexed his JGR horsepower muscle passing teammate Justin Boston on lap-9 for the race lead. Suarez would lead the next 39-laps in dominating fashion before relinquishing the top spot to driver Ben Rhodes during a yellow-flag pit stop on lap-49.
Suarez’s pit stop shuffled him back in the field allowing him to gain valuable experience racing back up through the field. Unfortunately the laps winded down and he was unable to overcome his competition and settled for a fifth place finish. Nonetheless, it was an impressive performance by the 22-year old driver.
Justin Boston, carrying the race sponsor colors started the night from the pole and spent much of the early stages of Friday’s ZLOOP 150 near the front of the field, but a mid-race pit stop for adjustments cost him track position that eventually left the No. 25 ZLOOP Toyota Camry ninth at the finish.
“We started off the night really good,” Boston said. “We led some laps and I felt like we probably had a car we could have finished in the top five with. But we’re here to win, and when we came down pit road for our second stop, we felt like we weren’t quite able to beat the 41 (Ben Rhodes) and 66 (Daniel Suarez) so Billy (Venturini) took a pretty big swing at it. We put a rubber in the rear and we knew that would take a little bit of time. Unfortunately it took a little bit longer than we expected and it cost us a lot of track position. Once we were back in traffic dirty air just killed us. It was like we had a totally different racecar; it was just way too tight.”
The weekend wasn’t over for Boston as he stayed behind at Kentucky Speedway to make his NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) debut for JGR on Saturday evening. Driving the JGR No. 20 ZLOOP Toyota Camry Boston qualified strong and impressively drove his way to a ninth place finish in his NNS debut during the VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300.
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, John Wes Townley and Erik Jones. Over the years the Venturini name has become synonymous with modern-day racing in America. In 2012, the Venturini family was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame (www.NIASHF.org) and now find themselves enshrined with such sports icons as Joe DiMaggio, Mario Andretti, Vince Lombardi, Tommy Lasorda and Rocky Marciano.
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