Michael Lira got his first taste of road course racing in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards this weekend. While the sixteen-year-old racer out of Port Orange, Florida, has faced road courses before in other series, the Great Railing 150 at New Jersey Motorsports Park was the first time that he has challenged a road course in the ARCA Racing Series, and it proved to be a difficult task for the up-and-coming driver.
“This place is really tough, even if you’re a road course ringer,” Lira said. “The biggest challenge I faced this weekend was the car. It was a lot harder to drive than anything else I had road course experience with. But, we survived the race and I learned a lot as the weekend went on. We will come back next year much better.”
The weekend was a constant learning experience for Lira, from the first practice to the checkered flag, and the talented young Kimmel Racing driver showed steady improvement throughout the weekend. After qualifying his No. 68 Gary Yeomans Ford Fusion in 16th place, he battled hard on Sunday for a solid 12th-place finish. Lira narrowly missed capturing his third Top 10 of the season. He’s already earned two top-10 finishes in four starts this year, the first at Mobile International Speedway and the second at Toledo Speedway.
“Our Kimmel Racing team worked really hard all weekend,” Lira said. “I’m really grateful to Bill (Kimmel) and the guys for the opportunity to race and gain this experience, and I’m looking forward to coming back even stronger next year.”
The next stop on Lira’s ARCA schedule is Elko Speedway in Elko, Minnesota. The Akona 250 presented by Federated Car Care is scheduled for June 21, 2014, at 8:00 p.m. CDT. The race will be televised on CBS Sports Network. For more information, follow Michael on Twitter at @LiraRacing and @1MichaelLira or on Facebook at /MichaelLiraRacingOfficial. Also, be sure to visit www.michaelliraracing.com.