In an unusual occurrence, the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards heads into Saturday’s Primera Plastics 200 at Berlin Raceway with the starting lineup already determined. The race, originally scheduled for July 21, was washed out after practice. As ARCA and track officials tried to dry the track that afternoon, they also canceled qualifying and per the ARCA rule book the field was set. The showers never relented and the event was postponed to August 25.
Carson Hocevar (No. 35 KBR Development Chevrolet) from nearby Portage, Michigan, will start from the pole. Hocevar, a regular at Berlin in the super late model division, is a regular competitor in the ARCA/CRA Super Series. He made his ARCA Racing Series debut at Toledo Speedway in May, coming home eleventh. The Primera Plastics 200 will be only his second career ARCA Racing Series start.
“It’s been nice to take some pressure of me because I know going in we have the pole locked up and we don’t need to worry about it,” Hocevar said. “We can go back on Saturday, work on getting the car good for long runs and start to work on our strategy. Berlin is big on tire management. When I started racing late models there, I would almost take it too easy on my tires so my guys have taught me how to use them up a little better. We’re going to be cautiously aggressive. If someone wants to go out and run really hard we’ll probably let them. Our goal is to go out, run our pace, be good on long green flag runs and be there at the end.”
Current ARCA Racing Series championship leader Sheldon Creed (No. 28 United Rentals Toyota) will start alongside Hocevar on the front row. Creed, from Alpine, California, earned his first career series win in the Wolverine state earlier this season when he won at Michigan International Speedway. He backed up that win with victories at Gateway Motorsports Park and Iowa Speedway. He leads the series standings by 165 points over second place Zane Smith (No. 41 LaPaz Margarita Mix/ICON Vehicle Dynamics Toyota). Smith will start the Primera Plastics 200 from the seventh position as he looks to extend his lead in the Sioux Chief Short Track Challenge. Zane Smith leads Chandler Smith (No. 20 Craftsman Toyota) by 75 points in the SCSTC standings; Chandler Smith will start from the fifth position on Saturday.
There will be a 30-minute practice for the ARCA teams at 3:45 pm ET. With an extended night of racing on tap, local division racing will begin at 5:30 pm ET, with the Primera Plastics 200 set for an 8:30 pm ET green flag. ARCARacing.com will have live timing and scoring for registered users.
Discounted tickets for the Primera Plastics 200 are still available at participating Grand Rapids-area Menards locations. Fans who purchase their tickets at Menards for just $15, meaning fans can save $5 off their admission. Tickets are $20 at the gate.