Aleks Gregory Claims Career-Best ARCA Finish in First Race with Coulter Motorsports TeamPublished on August 5, 2012
When the right team, with the right driver and the right circumstances all come together the outcome is success, and for Aleks Gregory that is exactly what happened in the Pennsylvania ARCA 125. In his first start with Coulter Motorsports and his fifth ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards start, Gregory drove his No. 61 The Mosquito Patch Chevrolet to an ARCA Racing Series career-best 14th-place finish at Pocono Raceway Saturday afternoon.
"I'm really happy," said Gregory. "To get this finish at Pocono- it just couldn't be any better. The car and the team were great today. Pocono is so tricky because you are going to be good in two corners and a little bit off in the third corner. I feel like we kind of sacrificed turn one a little bit but the car was great in turns two and three. It just kept getting better and better as the race went on. The name of the game today was survival and finishing the race; we accomplished that mission. I'm going to remember this finish for a long time."
Gregory came to Pocono Raceway with thoughts of redemption after car troubles plagued him from even taking the green flag in the spring event, but that redemption didn't come easy after contact with the wall early in Friday's lone practice session caused the team to pull out the backup car. Working feverishly to get some laps in the backup car before the short 90 minute practice session was complete, the Coulter Motorsports team was able to get Gregory back out on track with about five minutes remaining to shake down the car before making a conservative 19th-place qualifying effort later in the afternoon.
The green flag dropped on Saturday for the start of the 50 lap, 125-mile sprint to the checkered, and Gregory exercised patience for the first few laps taking care of his No. 61 The Mosquito Patch machine. As he got a feel for his Chevrolet, the rookie driver began to make up some track position climbing to 17th before the first and only caution flag of the afternoon came out on lap 6.
During the yellow Gregory radioed to his Coulter Motorsports team that his car was a little loose from the center off of turn one. Crew Chief Skip Eyler responded with what would end up being a great strategy call bringing the No. 61 machine to pit road for fuel and a track bar adjustment. While sacrificing track position and returning to the track in 27th, it ended up being a key move and the only pit stop of the day for Gregory.
Green flag racing resumed on lap 12 and Gregory carefully bided his time methodically climbing back up through the field. With the final 38 laps of the race going green, the leaders began making their way to pit road for green-flag stops with about 15 laps remaining. Gregory and his The Mosquito Patch Chevrolet were able to stay on the track, conserving fuel and climbing into the top-15. When the checkered flag waved Gregory crossed the start/finish line 14th, marking the best finish of his short ARCA Racing Series career, a successful debut with his new Coulter Motorsports team and the redemption he was looking for at Pocono's 2.5-mile triangle.
"I really can't even say enough about the guys on this Coulter Motorsports team; I'm baffled," said Gregory. "The way that these guys run the operation is just awesome- well orchestrated, very professional. Everybody is knowledgeable. They know what they are doing, have a game plan and are very efficient. It is just excellent to be a part of this team. I really enjoyed working with my crew chief (Skip Eyler). He's a great guy and just taught me a lot all weekend. I am really looking forward to working with him for the rest of the races on my schedule this year. As a whole Coulter Motorsports did a heck of a job this weekend. I really couldn't be happier right now."
Gregory and his No. 61 The Mosquito Patch team will take a few weeks off before returning to ARCA Racing Series competition in the Herr's Live Life with Flavor 200 at Madison International Speedway on Sunday, August 26th.
Based out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, The Mosquito Patch is an all-natural, deet free mosquito bite protection patch. The transdermal, water-proof patch attaches to the skin and provides up to 36 hours of mosquito bite protection. Because the spray-free, odor-free patch is all-natural, it is safe to use on children and adults of all ages.
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The Darrell Gwynn Foundation (DGF) is a certified non-profit 501(c) 3 agency. DGF exists to prevent, provide for and ultimately cure spinal cord injuries and other debilitating illnesses. To expedite specific cures, the Foundation assists in the funding of targeted research. DGF is also dedicated to injury prevention, with special emphasis on programs targeting children. The Foundation helps improve the quality of life for those already afflicted with injury or illness, by providing necessary equipment or special services. DGF is an official charity of the Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction, National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and has a close affiliation with NASCAR and the NASCAR Foundation.
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