The ARCA Menards Series hosted nearly 1500 local school children Friday afternoon after practice for the VizCom 200 at Michigan International Speedway. The children, from Tecumseh, Onstead, Blissfield, Clinton, and Prairie, were all on a field trip to learn about science, technology, engineering, and math in the sport of auto racing.
The children were treated to presentations by four young Bandolero drivers, Liz Smith from General Tire, Dr. Jason Cormier from Motorsports Safety Group, and drivers Michael Self (No. 25 Sinclair Lubricants Toyota) and Travis Braden (No. 27 MatrixCare/Consonus Health Care/Liberty Village Ford). The children learned about the safety equipment that drivers use on their body and inside the racecar, how tires are made and how race teams use them and their difference from street tires, how racing engines are designed and developed, what drivers and crew members need to do to stay healthy and hydrated leading up to and during a summertime race event, and learned from Self and Braden how drivers keep cool in the racecar and how they learn to use aerodynamics to their advantage.
The children, brought in to the track’s Acceleration Club after practice, were also able to stay through General Tire Pole Qualifying.
Myatt Snider (No. 20 Cometic Gasket Toyota) led the way in the morning’s 90-minute practice session with a lap at 37.280 seconds/193.133 miles per hour, which exceeds the existing track record. Self was second at 37.373 seconds/192.652 miles per hour, Joe Graf, Jr. (No. 77 EAT SLEEP RACE Ford) was third at 37.455 seconds/192.231 miles per hour, Christian Eckes (No. 15 JBL Audio Toyota) was fourth at 37.459 seconds/192.210 miles per hour, and Ty Majeski (No. 22 Crestliner Boats Toyota), who comes into Michigan with a two-race win streak, rounded out the top five at 37.500 seconds/192.000 miles per hour.
Graf scuffed the wall about 40 minutes into the session, doing light damage to the right side of his Chad Bryant Racing-prepared Ford. He returned to the track quickly after crew chief Paul Andrews and the team made repairs.
Tanner Gray (No. 54 Gray Motorsports/Valvoline/Durst Inc. Toyota) was sixth, Riley Herbst (No. 18 Monster Energy/ORCA Coolers/Terrible Herbst/Advance Auto Parts Toyota) was seventh, Bret Holmes (No. 23 Holmes II Excavation/Champion Power Equipment Chevrolet), Braden, and Brandon McReynolds (No. 28 KBR Development Chevrolet) rounded out the top ten.
The VizCom 200 is slated to go green shortly after 6 pm ET. The race will be televised live on FS1. ARCA for Me members can access free live timing & scoring, live track updates, and live chat for all on-track sessions at ARCARacing.com. New users can register for free with a valid email address at ARCARacing.com/login. For ticket information log on to MISpeedway.com or call 888-905-7223.