It goes without saying that racing can become a very expensive habit. For Carter-2-Motorsports (C2M) car owners Roger and Dana Carter, they have shown within the past year how to take a penny and turn it into a dollar – all towards streaming towards the finish line in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards.
After a brief sabbatical from racing, Carter-2-Motorsports returned to the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) last year running a limited schedule with car owner Roger Carter stepping up to the role as the pilot of the No. 40 Dodge Charger. Amazingly through some diversity and setbacks, the team on a below-average budget was able to make three ARCA Racing Series starts at Michigan International Speedway, Iowa Speedway and Madison (Wisc.) International Speedway respectively.
While Michigan, where the team just had one car, one motor and a slim volunteer crew and Iowa didn’t exactly go as planned – C2M still was enjoying the scenes of the ARCA Racing Series circuit – knowing that they had a place to call home.
A gratifying 16th place finish at Madison, a career-best for Carter in the ARCA Racing Series had the team building momentum back in North Carolina at the team’s race shop where they poured long hours in hopes of raising their previous standards. For the season finale at Toledo Speedway, the team opted to bring two cars with Carter at the helm of his No. 40 and avid racecar driver Nick Tucker in a second entry, the No.04 Dodge Charger. Despite limited sponsorship for the event, the team managed to post respectable lap times in practice which led to optimism for qualifying. Ultimately, a cost-saving method for the team but a technicality from series’ officials regarding the use of tires bumped both drivers from the starting field after easily asserting themselves a berth into the 35-car field.
Ultimately unhappy with the eventual outcome at the Northern Ohio-race track, the team used the experience to sail into the off-season to step-up their operation and prepare for a much larger presence in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards which begins with the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (DIS) on Saturday, February 18, 2012.
To prepare for the 60th year of competition for ARCA, the team under the guidance and leadership of Tucker participated in the open test at the 2.5-mile superspeedway in December with a variety of drivers. Based on the outcome of the three-day operation, C2M has casted it’s lineup for next Saturday afternoon’s anticipated thriller.
Leading the team in the No. 40 Ron Paul for President / El Caribe Dodge Charger will be veteran driver Donnie Neuenberger. Despite over 60 starts in three of NASCAR’s divisions, the Brandywine, Maryland native will look to make his inaugural ARCA Racing Series start at the “World Center of Speed.”
Carrying backing from Mariner Bank and Trauma Doc, veteran Late Model driver Larry Barford Jr. will lead the second entry for the Mooresville, North Carolina-based team. The Denton, Maryland native will also make his first start on the high-banks of Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The ARCA rookie who tested for the team in December will run a limited schedule for C2M in 2012.
The third and final entry for Carter-2-Motorsports in Central Florida will be piloted by Charlotte, North Carolina resident Michael Bockler. The word piloted is fitted for ARCA’s newest face as the driver of the No. 67 Ambucs Dodge Charger retired from a successful career as a pilot to build a presence on the race track. Bockler also tackled DIS two months ago to better equip him towards making the starting grid for the 43-car field.
“Obviously, we’ve made some major gains since Michigan last year,” said Carter who himself had planned to race in the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 but opted to heed the role as car owner instead. “We could not be more proud of the three drivers we’re bringing to the track. Everyone knows Donnie; he’s a racecar driver whose passion speaks for itself. Larry and Michael are newcomers to the ARCA scene but they will fit in nicely.
With our team and the help of Del and Rich Markle, we’re antsy to get to Daytona and see what we can accomplish. It looks like there’s going to be a strong field of cars, but I feel we’re going to be able to comfortably get all of our Dodge Chargers into the show. That’s how hard we’ve worked.”
Carter, who’s been a fixture in the Motorsports community for nearly two decades continued, “We love being a part of the ARCA Series. We’ve faced some turmoil along the way, but it only gives you the motivation to get back on your feet and make everyone take you seriously. That’s our goal this season.
We’ll have our regulars and we’ll have some new faces too, but that is what C2M strives on; giving chances and trying to do a lot with the resources we have to work with. I think when we unload our cars in Daytona; everyone will see just how devoted this team really is for 2012.”
Danny Esposito, a native of Loxahatchee, Florida will forgo his Daytona attempt to concentrate on future ARCA Racing Series events at Salem (Ind.) Speedway and Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in April and May. He, will however be on-sight next week to support and gain priceless experience towards the fundamentals of not only C2M but restrictor plate racing as a whole.
The Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona (80 laps / 200 miles) is the first of 20 events on the 2012 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. The 49th ARCA race held at Daytona is a three-day show. Practice begins Thursday, February 16 with a four hour practice session planned from 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Menards pole qualifying presented by Ansell is set for Friday, February 17 slated to begin at 2:00 p.m. A forty-five minute final practice session is etched in on Saturday, February 18th from 10:00 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. The event will take the green flag later that day shortly after 4:30 p.m. The race will be televised live on SPEED with additional race coverage including live timing and scoring and radio broadcast through the ARCA Racing Network (ARN) online at arcaracing.com. All times are local. ARCA, celebrating its 60th season in 2012 is the preamble for the highly anticipated Budweiser Shootout for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) set to ignite under the lights later that night.
The official website of Carter-2-Motorsports is in the process of a complete makeover for the official kickoff of the new season, but for the latest on the team, drivers and sponsors, please log onto RogerCarter2Racing.com.