@scornettching • MILLVILLE, New Jersey (May 22, 2015) – – Feeling refreshed, SCOTT Rookie of the Year candidate Sarah Cornett-Ching heads to Millville, New Jersey site of Sunday’s ARCA 150 presented by Unique Pretzels ready for the first time to make left and right turns at New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP).
Despite her inexperience with road racing, the rookie ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards driver is taking her latest challenge in stride and setting realistic goals for the seventh race of the season.
The RACE 101 driver also hopes to use the lone road course race of the season to steer her No. 2 RACE 101 Chevrolet back on course, as an electrical malfunction detoured her path last Sunday at Toledo Speedway.
The electrical failure caused several components including her air conditioning unit to stop working. Forced to park her No. 2 RACE 101 Chevrolet because of the issue, Cornett-Ching as a precaution was evaluated by track personnel and later transported to a local hospital.
Released later that night after being treated for dehydration and elevated carbon monoxide levels, the rising star quickly put her Toledo troubles in the rear-view mirror and began focusing on Sunday’s match with the Thunderbolt race course.
“Toledo is behind us and I’m feeling great,” said Cornett-Ching. “We had a really fast No. 2 RACE 101 Chevrolet, but sometimes things happen that we can’t control. The team diagnosed the issue and set a game plan moving forward to make sure we don’t incur the same issue again.
“As for this weekend at New Jersey, I’m ready. Well, as best as I can be,” she chuckled. “I’ve never been to a road course, so I have very little experience turning left and right, so this weekend will be another new experience for me and the RACE 101 team, but we’re keeping our objectives simple.”
Cornett-Ching has quickly sharpened her skills in her first full season of ARCA competition. While the 24-year old has shown that she can get up to speed quickly at a variety of oval tracks, including short tracks and superspeedways, she is hoping she can continue that path with road racing.
“I think it’s fair to say that one of my strengths this season has been being able to adapt quickly to new surroundings,” added Cornett-Ching, who sits seventh in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards championship standings. “While we were quick to set goals and expectations for all the races this season thus far, this weekend our approach is a little different.”
With the blessing of RACE 101 founder and owner, driver coach and friend Tony Blanchard, the team’s goal for Sunday’s race is simple. Finish.
“Every race we strive for a top-10 finish,” sounded Cornett-Ching, a former certified welder by trade. “This weekend our goal is still to finish there, but with the track being a road course, we’ll be satisfied with just staying on the track and finishing all the laps. If we’re able to accomplish that, we should leave New Jersey with a respectable finish.”
Despite the relatively short race, Cornett-Ching knows that a lot could happen within that race pace, so it will be important to utilize practice and group qualifying to make sure she can shift her attention solely on the race.
“When it comes to road racing, I’ve learned there’s so much more that matters,” offered the Summerland, British Columbia native. “From the brakes, to the gear, transmission and more, everything has to be in order to make sure we have a shot at our second top-10 finish of the year Sunday. We’ll utilize the practice time to our fullest and hope when qualifying and the race rolls around, my lap times improve and we can continue to make gains that will allow us to be competitive in the race.”
Blanchard has little doubt that his development driver can continue to turn heads Sunday at New Jersey, despite the challenges she may face.
“Sarah takes challenges in stride,” he said. “She has been focused ever since we left Toledo on doing whatever she can to learn more about the track. From videos to simulations and everything in-between, she is determined to put our No. 2 RACE 101 Chevrolet in contention as best as she can. I know if we can have a relatively clean race, we’ll leave New Jersey exceeding all expectations.”
The ARCA 150 presented by Unique Pretzels (150 Laps / 67 Miles) is the seventh of 20 races on the 2015 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins for the two-day show on Saturday, May 23 from 10:55 a.m. – 11:55 a.m. A second practice session has been etched in from 12:55 p.m. – 2:25 p.m. Later, Menards pole group qualifying presented by Ansell takes place at 4:15 p.m. The event will take the green flag the next day just after 1:30 p.m. The event will not be televised. However, ARCARacing.com will stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities and carry a race broadcast on Sunday. All times are local (Eastern).
Follow Sarah Cornett-Ching on Twitter @scornettching.
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Contact: Tony Blanchard