@ARCA_Racing • @LucasOilRacing • DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (February 11, 2015) – – The vision of Rette Jones Racing (RJR) will become a reality this weekend when the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards kicks off their 2015 season from Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in Saturday’s Lucas Oil 200 presented by AutoZone.
Co-owner and crew chief Mark Rette has spent the last 45 days building a race team from scratch, including the car armor the Rette Jones Racing team will bring to the “World Center of Racing” in hopes of hoisting the trophy in ARCA’s most prestigious event of the season.
Last month, driver and co-owner Terry Jones tested his No. 30 Toyota Camry during the one-day open test session at the 2.5-mile speedway on January 16 with solid results. Placing 17th overall for a team that didn’t exist less than a month before the test is something to be proud of, but anyone that knows the work ethic of Rette knew the results weren’t good enough.
“We were okay during the test,” said Rette. “We weren’t fantastic, but we weren’t off-base either. To be able to take the steps we did in a short amount of time didn’t come without hard work and dedication from the Rette Jones Racing team, but we’re coming back to Daytona this week much better than we were last month.”
The changes made to their No. 30 Jones Group International / J-AAR Excavating Toyota Camry in the weeks following the test should pay dividends when practice beings for the ARCA Racing Series Thursday. With traditional single-car qualifying now a blast from the past, Jones and Rette have emphasized the importance of making sure their car drafts as group qualifying Friday afternoon will determine the 40-car field for Saturday’s race.
“This new qualifying format should play into our hands this year,” said Jones. “We spent time making sure the car could draft during the test. It did, but there were changes we could make that we felt like it would make it draft better. We’re eager to see if those changes worked and how our No. 30 Jones Group International / J-AAR Excavating Toyota Camry will maneuver in traffic.”
Of course, while Jones is set for a limited schedule in the ARCA Racing Series, the focus on Rette Jones Racing is to build a solid foundation that will take the team from a limited schedule to a more frequent competitor on the tour.
For Rette Jones Racing, Saturday’s race is more than just about winning, it’s an audition.
“We take a lot of pride in our equipment and the way our team presents itself,” added Rette. “While we’re in Daytona, our shop in Mooresville has plenty of race cars ready to go. We know that a good performance in Daytona will help prove that we have the capabilities of running up front and building a good foundation for anyone who’s interested.”
Jones, a native of Amherstburg, Ontario is poised to make his eighth career Daytona start this weekend. Last February, he scored a career-best finish of eighth, after starting a track best of 10th.
“Daytona is one of Terry’s favorite tracks and our mission is to go out this week and see if we can’t beat our finish from last year,” added Rette. “We have a good car, our ARCA Ilmor 396 engine should be stout, we just need to let the cars unfold and hope when the checkered flag nears, we’re chasing it.”
In addition to Jones Group International and J-AAR Excavating, Rette Jones Racing welcomes Sprecher Hard Root Beer and Goodridge Fluid Transfer Systems as associate marketing partners for the first of 20 races this season.
“We’re thankful for the support we have for Daytona,” Rette mentioned. “It’s because of Jones Group International, J-AAR Excavating, Sprecher Hard Root Beer and Goodridge Fluid Transfer Systems that we’re heading to Daytona this weekend smiling and ready to do work. We know without them, this race would not be possible.”
The Lucas Oil 200 presented by AutoZone (80 Laps / 200 Miles) is the first of 20 races on the 2015 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins for the three-day show on Thursday, February 12 from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Final practice is slated for Friday, February 13 from 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m., before Menards pole group qualifying presented by Ansell takes place later in the day at 3:30 p.m. The preamble for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ “Sprint Unlimited” is set to take the green flag on Saturday, February 14 at 4:15 p.m. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 while MRN Radio will also broadcast the race online and through its affiliates. ARCARacing.com will steam live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities.
From Mark Rette