Du Quoin, Ill. (Sept. 8, 2010) – Craig Goess pulled off his career-best finish on a dirt track Monday afternoon at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds for the Southern Illinois 100 presented by Federated Car Care. Goess and the No. 81 Greenville Toyota of N.C. Eddie Sharp Racing Toyota crossed the finish line seventh, grabbing his 12th top-10 in 16 races this season in the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards.
Goess started the one-day show early Monday morning with the lone practice session of the day. He laid down the 11th-quickest time of 34.081 seconds (105.631 mph). He picked up more speed during qualifying with a time of 33.711 seconds (106.790 mph). The lap was good enough for Goess to start seventh.
The green flag waved Monday afternoon, and Goess looked to better his previous dirt track starts. In three previous dirt track races, he finished 26 (Springfield 2009), 34th (Du Quoin 2009) and 11th (Springfield 2010). Goess knew that he had to not only compete against his competitors but also the rough terrain of the dirt track.
Goess rolled off seventh and worked to maintain an incident-free race during the 100-lap event. The No. 81 remained in the top-15 for most of the race and held steady to stay out of trouble. By lap 66, Goess was in the 14th position and looked to make a push to the front of the pack. With 10 laps to go, Goess broke into the top-10 in the ninth position. Arpin crossed the finish line first, racking up his third victory this season, and Goess took the seventh position.
“All in all, it was not a terrible day,” explained Goess. “We worked hard, and we were able to preserve points to be within five points of the leaders. We brought a different car this weekend to Du Quoin. It was actually only my second full dirt track race, seeing that my first two last year were cut short due to on-track incidents. I think that we can attribute our continued progress on the dirt to the No. 81 Greenville Toyota of N.C. team working hard to continually get better. I think that more time on the dirt track has helped me feel more comfortable on that kind of surface. The same goes for Johnny Allen, my crew chief, who hasn’t had a lot of experience on dirt tracks. We are making steps to improve each and every race, and I think that shows from our progress on dirt tracks. Who knows-I may be a professional dirt track racer one day.”
Goess currently sits third in the ARCA Racing Series points standings. He is five points out of first behind Patrick Sheltra and Tom Hessert, who are tied for the lead. Goess has four races left in the ARCA Racing Series schedule this year to make it to the top of the points battle.
The ARCA Racing Series heads back to Toledo Speedway this weekend for the Northwest Ohio Ford Dealers 200 on Sunday, Sept. 12. The green flag drops at 2 p.m. EST for 200 laps of short-track action around the half-mile oval. Keep up with all the action on ARCARacing.com with live scoring, timing and audio broadcast.
About Eddie Sharp Racing
Eddie Sharp set up shop in 2005 in Denver, N.C. after several years of transforming young, talented drivers into ARCA championship contenders. Today, Eddie Sharp Racing has evolved into the rite of passage for any serious upcoming driver with an ambition for professional stock car racing. Located in Denver, North Carolina just north of Charlotte, Eddie Sharp Racing occupies a top-notch facility that closely resembles a five-star NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, both inside and out. The two ESR buildings contain two teams where on any given day, championship contending cars are assembled, engines tuned and teams strategize to score the next race day victory.