Friday, October 14, 2011

Live Blogging ARCA/USAC Championship Press Conference

Don't forget, ARCA championship finale this Sunday, live on SPEED at 2 pm ET. I will also be broadcasting the race along with DC Bash on

1:03 pm ET: Chris Buescher - "I really don't know what I will be doing next year right now. What I do know is it will be something. It all comes down to what we have funding to do. Right now RoushFenway has two Cup cars to sell and all of it's Nationwide program to sell, so they have their hands full. But it is really comforting to me to know I am still on the radar and they want me in a car somewhere."

12:58 pm ET: Ty Dillon - "The deal with Frank here in the spring should be over, I hope. I had a lot faster car at the time and he was definitely coming back to me. It's my job to come here and win and I didn't want to not win when we had the fastest car. But it was definitely a learning experience, which is exactly what we're here to do. I think if I am in the situation again in the near future I'll be a lot more patient. It's a real honor to come up here and lock up the ARCA championship. It's something I'll be able to hold over Austin's head, that's for sure, being the first Dillon to win a major championship."

12:29 pm ET: "We'll have the motorsports spotlight shining on Toledo on Sunday. We're proud of what we're doing here. We're dug in and we're going to be here long term. We're happy we can shine the spotlight on the city. We'll have 85 race teams here this weekend, none of which are local. We'll have thousands of race fans in to see these two national championship events this weekend bringing revenue into the city. We're proud we're able to do that."

12:23 pm ET: Toledo Speedway was built in 1960. Drager and partner Roy Mott purchased the track in 1999 and has made numerous capital improvement projects in the ensuing 12 years. The next project on the radar will happen over the winter as the original wooden and steel-scaffolding grandstands will be replaced. The speedway has been repaved, had a new catchfence installed, has moved the pits to the outside of the track to improve sightlines for the spectators, installed a pit road inside turns one and two, replaced the track's lighting system, added six suites, put in a 3,000 square foot inspection station in the pit area and now will be replacing the 50-year-old grandstand system. The closed-deck steel and aluminum grandstands will match what spectators use at nearby Michigan International Speedway.

12:21 pm ET: ARCA President Ron Drager now on stage. "We're proud of Ty and Chris and we are proud of the role we played in their development. We'll be seeing them race in much bigger venues for years to come."

12:20 pm ET: "I dont know where we're going. We have some things on the table but a lot of them are based on funding. We've had a lot of great sponsors this year but we're going to need more to move forward. We'll see what comes up. One thing is for sure we'll be racing somewhere."

12:19 pm ET: "I've raced a lot of different things and worked my way up through several different series. Learning how to adapt and getting wins on different types of racetracks is really big. You need all the pieces to fall in to place at any of these racetracks. Thankfully we've had a pretty consistent and smooth year. ARCA is a lot of fun because you do get to go to all these different tracks. Places like Salem, every stock car driver should have to go race there. It's so rough and so fast and it's a lot of fun."

12:18 pm ET: "I've always worked on the cars myself growing up. I really want to learn more of the chassis stuff on these cars. It's about learning the mechanics of the cars and getting laps behind the wheel."

12:17 pm ET: Chris Buescher - "We were only scheduled to do the speedway races so we've been taking it one by one all year. We didn't know what we were doing week to week sometimes. We ended up in some interesting points battles so it's been a really fun year for us. Toledo was really hard on us the first year but we came back with a new car last year and Gary Roulo has put on a setup that really works here. This is a great racetrack, you can race two and three wide here and it's a lot of fun."

12:16 pm ET: Next on stage is Chris Buescher. Although Buescher is behind Dillon in the season championship standings, he is a virtual lock to earn the 2011 ARCA rookie of the year award.

12:14 pm ET: "Our plans are to go full-time NCWTS racing next year. We'll have the same team working on my ARCA car move up with us."

12:12 pm ET: I love racing at Toledo. It's a cool track. It's got a great surface and enough banking to put on a great race. I had a ball the last time here and I think we'll have another great race this weekend."

12:11 pm ET: Ty Dillon - "Winning seven races in any series is very special. To win a championship in a series where you know everyone and have so much fun and respect with is really cool."

12:09 pm ET: Ty Dillon now takes the stage. As soon as he rolls off the grid on Sunday he will clinch the series championship.

12:05 pm ET: Press conference kicks off. Toledo Speedway welcomes both USAC Traxxas Silver Crown and ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards national championship events. USAC points battle comes down to Levi Jones and Jerry Coons, Jr. Jones leads by 12 points, with Kyle Larson in third 46 points behind and Tracy Hines in fourth 61 points out. Last year's event was the first for the Silver Crown cars and it was one of the most exciting USAC events of the entire season with points leader Bud Kaeding getting involved in a late-race crash and losing the title to Jones. The race is named after local Toledo USAC legend Rollie Beale.

11:57 am ET: ARCA champion-to-be Ty Dillon has arrived, as has second-place Chris Buescher. Dillon won here at Toledo in the spring and Buescher swept both races in 2010.

11:44 am ET: We've gathered here at the Toledo Speedway Bar and Grille for the pre-championship event press conference for the USAC Traxxas Silver Crown Series and ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards. The USAC finale is tomorrow afternoon while the ARCA season ender is Sunday and will be televised live on SPEED.

Ty Dillon will speak of his 2011 season and answer questions from the media, and the speedway will also announce a significant capital improvement project for 2012.