DGR-Crosley – ARCA Menards Series Advance: Talladega Superspeedway

Track: Talladega Superspeedway, 2.66-mile oval
Race: 3 of 20
Event: General Tire 200 (202.16 miles, 76 laps)

Saturday, June 20
11:00 a.m………..Practice
2:00 p.m……….Race (FS1)
(all times ET)

Hailie Deegan, No. 4 Toter Ford Fusion

After over a three-month hiatus in racing, Hailie Deegan is ready to get back on track in her No. 4 Toter Ford Fusion. She sits second in the ARCA Menards Series point standings after finishing second in the season-opening race at Daytona, and seventh in the series’ last race at Phoenix in March.

Since then Deegan’s only racing has been on a simulator and she has spent her time working out and playing with her new Rottweiler puppy, Trigger. She returned to North Carolina to the DGR-Crosley shop this week for the first time since mid-March before she quarantined with her family at home in California.

This will be Deegan’s first race at Talladega, but if her superspeedway debut at Daytona is any indication, there is a good chance she could score her first ARCA win this weekend. She ran with the lead draft much of the race, and finished second. She was also able to spend some time on the Ford Performance simulator earlier this week to prepare for the biggest track of her career.

Deegan on Talladega: “After Daytona, I didn’t realize how much fun superspeedway racing was going to be. I really loved it. Everyone always talks about how not fun and boring it is, but I had so much fun. It think having a good car made it a lot more fun too. Racing is always better when you have a good car! The guys at DGR-Crosley gave me a really good Ford Fusion to work with, so that always makes it a lot easier, a lot more fun and creates a lot of positive energy. They’ve been giving me really good stuff and I think that we can just go out there and hopefully expect to have another good run. I’ve been waiting to race for way too long, so hopefully we can get back to racing, have some good finishes and get the season back on track.”

Tanner Gray, No. 17 Ford Performance Fusion

Tanner Gray returns to the ARCA Menards Series (AMS) at Talladega Superspeedway while there is a break in the action in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series (NGROTS) where he competes full time. This will be the third of Gray’s four scheduled starts in the ARCA Series. He plans to race at Pocono Raceway next weekend as well.

The New Mexico native ran eight ARCA races last season with one top-five, five top-10 finishes and one pole. He also ran a combined 15 races between the ARCA Menards Series East and West in 2019 with one win (South Boston, Va.) nine top-five, 12 top-10 finishes and three poles. Gray finished 16th in the ARCA Menards Series season opener at Daytona last month after an oil leak took him out of contention, but rallied with a fourth-place finish at Phoenix in March.

This will be Gray’s first start at Talladega in any series, and only his third overall start on a superspeedway. He competed in the ARCA and NGROTS events at Daytona in February. An oil leak took him out of contention in the ARCA race after running up front most of the race, and an accident ended his night early in the Truck Series race. He’s looking to change that luck Saturday at Talladega.

Gray on Talladega: “I’m excited to be back in the ARCA car and working with Blake (Bainbridge, crew chief) and the 17 team again this weekend. We have a weekend off on the truck side, so it’s always nice to be able to stay in the car and get some experience at tracks that we will be visiting later in the season. I learned a lot at Daytona in February, so I’m looking forward to another superspeedway race. I’ve never been to Talladega, but I’ve been watching film with my spotter (Kevin Hamlin) and listening to his advice. Thad (Moffitt) ran there in the ARCA race last year, so he will be a good resource too. Hopefully the three of us (teammates Moffitt and Hailie Deegan) can work together throughout the race and all end up fighting for the lead at the end.”

Thad Moffitt, No. 46 Richard Petty Performance Plus Motor Oil Ford Fusion

Thad Moffitt cannot wait to get back in his race car after earning his best career ARCA Menards Series finish (fifth) at Daytona International Speedway in February. Then he drove his No. 46 Richard Petty Performance Plus Motor Oil Ford Fusion into the top 10 at Phoenix, until a cut left-front tire ended his night with only 25 laps to go. It has been a long three months waiting to get back to what he loves – racing.

This will be Moffitt’s second ARCA start at Talladega. Last year he finished 25th after a broken oil line ended his race prematurely, but this year Moffitt has renewed momentum after a top-five finish at Daytona in February. The DGR-Crosley team is taking the same Ford Fusion he raced at Daytona.

During the over three-month break, Moffitt has spent his time doing some iRacing and working at his grandfather’s (Richard Petty) famous Petty’s Garage in Level Cross, N.C. He also completed his sophomore year virtually, as most students did, at the University of North Carolina Charlotte (UNCC).

Moffitt on Talladega: “I’m really excited to get back to racing. I felt like we had a lot of positive momentum after the first two races and then everything kind of stalled out with the Coronavirus. I think that we can still carry that momentum and confidence into Talladega. I like the fact that we are taking three cars again and I think we (DGR-Crosley teammates Hailie Deegan & Tanner Gray) will work very well together. I think we have shot for sure to win this race, and if not, run in the top five, or top 10.”

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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