It was an up and down weekend of racing at New Jersey Motorsports Park for Michael Lira in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards. The soon-to-be high-school graduate from Port Orange, Florida, showcased his impressive road course driving abilities in final practice and qualifying, but suspension issues shortened his race day to just 22 of the 67 laps in the ARCA 150 presented by Unique Pretzels.
“I though we had something for them when we put down the third fastest time right at the end of final practice.” Lira said. “We had an engine issue that kept me from getting up to full speed during the first practice session and for most of final practice. My Lira Motorsports team had that worked out at the end of final practice, then we backed it up by qualifying 4th.”
With more road course experience than many of the other drivers in the ARCA Racing starting field, Michael and his TraqGear / Momo / Ford Performance Ford Fusion seemed poised for a top five finish. Unfortunately, after pitting for fuel during the first caution period of the race on lap 9, Michael’s car returned to the track with a severe handling issue that was quickly diagnosed as a broken track bar.
Although the team made repairs in the garage area, and Michael returned to the track for several more laps, he eventually retired from the race early with additional suspension issues.
He was credited with a 19th place finish.
“It was really disappointing. We had a top-five car easy,” Lira said. “I’m excited to be headed to Pocono next, though. I qualified well there last year, and raced to a top ten finish. I think we’ll be able to get this Lira Motorsports Ford back into top ten form there.”
The Pocono ARCA 200 at Pocono Raceway is scheduled for June 6th. Race time is 1:00pm EDT, with live coverage on Fox Sports 2.
Connect with Michael online… follow Michael Lira on Twitter at @1MichaelLira and explore his official website at www.MichaelLiraRacing.com. You can also find him on Facebook at /MichaelLiraRacingOfficial. Learn more about Lira Motorsports at www.LiraMotorsports.com.