TOLEDO, Ohio — Thad Moffitt thought Lucas Oil Raceway was awesome on the iRacing simulator. The Trinity, N.C. rookie likes it even more now that he’s had the chance to test on the renowned short track on the west side of Indianapolis.
“The track itself is awesome…I’m just so excited I finally get to run on it,” said the 16-year-old fourth-generation stock car racer. “It took me a bit to figure it out…the corners are deceiving. It feels like you need to be down low like most other short tracks. I tried to run the bottom but with no banking down there, it’s harder to come out the other side. It’s easier to go faster up top where there’s more banking. It helps coming off the corner too.”
Moffitt (No. 46 Empire Racing Group Ford) was one of several drivers who tested Sunday in preparation for the Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200 coming this Friday night, July 21.
Moffitt, the grandson of “The King” Richard Petty, will be making his third ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards start of his young career at Lucas Oil.
“The test didn’t start well for us…we had a brake problem; but once we got through that, our situation really improved. We have really good long-run speed…we didn’t fall off as much in race trim as some of the other cars did. We need to find some more short-run speed, but I think we’re good on the longer runs.”
Moffitt tested in both late afternoon and in the evening.
“I felt my car tighten up toward the evening, like most other tracks. Actually, it’s not as bad as some of the tracks I’ve raced on, but I did notice that the track definitely changed. It was good we got to test later because the race is at night.”
Moffitt, in a field of 34 cars, finished 16th in his ARCA debut at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville in early April. A mechanical issue prevented him from taking the checkered flag at Toledo Speedway in mid-May.
“Well, at Nashville, I got all the butterflies out. I went to Toledo determined to do my job. We had a better car and I felt like I was more prepared than I was at Nashville. Thought we had a top-10 car (at Toledo) but we had a piece of aluminum go through the radiator…but I learned a lot at Toledo and that helps me going into Lucas Oil.”
After just two starts, it didn’t take Moffitt long to figure out how stiff the competition is in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards.
“It’s a lot steeper than I ever imagined, but that’s the best way to learn…when you’re racing against really good drivers in good equipment. It’s a lot steeper than the late model series I’ve run.”
Moffitt is one of 29 ARCA Racing Series entries for Friday’s 200-lap race. Teams that have tested at Lucas Oil Raceway in preparation for the race include Ken Schrader Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, Venturini Motorsports, MDM Racing, Cunningham Motorsports, Mason Mitchell Motorsports, RFMS Racing and Empire Racing Group.
Discounted tickets for the Sioux Chief PowerPEX® 200 at Lucas Oil Raceway are on sale now at several Menards stores in Indiana. The tickets are being offered at $10 off the gate price, and can be purchased up through July 20. Kids, 11 and under, are free.
The Sioux Chief PowerPEX® 200 marks the 13th ARCA appearance at Lucas Oil Raceway since its debut there in 1971. Former ARCA winners at LOR include Ramo Stott, Bob Schacht, Davey Allison, Ty Dillon, Frank Kimmel, Brandon Jones, Travis Braden and Chase Briscoe.
ARCA Racing Series practice is from 12 – 2 p.m., followed by General Tire pole qualifying at 5. Pre-race ceremonies and driver introductions begin at 8:30 with the green flag waving just after 9. The 100-lap ARCA/CRA Super Series late model race precedes the 200-lap ARCA national tour event.
The Sioux Chief PowerPEX® 200 is live on FS1 at 9 p.m. ET. ARCAracing.com will feature live timing and scoring and live chat of all ARCA Racing Series on-track activities.