Painesville, Ohio (June 2nd, 2012) — At 64 years young, some people are ready to retire, take it easy, travel to far away lands! For Ft. Wayne, Indiana resident Steve Christman, that thought hasn’t even crossed his mind! And it was evident as he held off the strong ARCA Truck Series mounts of Shawn Szep and Danny Jackson at Randy Holbrooks Jr’s. Lake County Speedway for his first series win since 2009! “Oh no, I enjoy working on cars, I work full-time,” said the soft-spoken driver of the yellow #99 Blaine Miller owned Chevy! “It was a tough race, but this was fun right here!”

It could almost be deemed the perfect weekend for the ARCA Truck Series, from the close field of loyal competitors, to the almost picture perfect cool breezes and sunshine and colorful wispy clouds, and Danny Jackson won his season leading third straight Gunr4sr.com – iRacing Pole Award in front of the tremendous crowd that always greets the truckers when they come to northeastern Ohio! His lap was Series record of 12.955 — only two tenths of a second off the all-time track record — but his inversion was 10 so Chad Poorman started on the inside front row and led from the outset, leaving the battle behind him for runner-up between Ash Hawkins, Chris Bailey, Cody Quarrick, Shawn Szep, Christman, Jackson, Marcus Jones and Mansfield, stretching out his lead to almost a straightaway at one point in the race!

 

With Lake County’s tight quarters, beating and banging happen quite often, and getting down toward the finish it was happening here, but sheet metal gets loose when that happens and comes off, and on lap 61, the yellow was out for debris (caution laps do not count in the ARCA Truck Series) and Szep pitted when officials told him his exhaust pipe was hanging loose. The green flag waved and Jackson was now second, followed by Hawkins. On lap 67, Christman went under Hawkins and got by and Bailey tried to follow but he and Hawkins got together and the caution was out again for the resulting spin.

As racing resumed, Christman was on Poorman’s tail with Quarrick and Mansfield right behind. In the pack, Jones, who lost a lap earlier in the race, and Hawkins, got together and Jones went through the turn two grass momentarily but kept going and quickly came back on the track and no caution was needed. On lap 91, Christman saw his opportunity — as the pack was catching lapped traffic, Poorman slipped up the track slightly and Christman dove underneath. Quarrick attempted the same move but Poorman came down and again, the caution was out for the spin. When Mike Bridge’s green flag restarted the event, Christman looked like a rocket up off the corner but the other truck gaining attention and moving forward was Szep, who moved into second, holding off Jackson, Bailey and Jones and would finish that way, proving no match for Christman, who took his fifth series checkered flag!

“The high side just wasn’t working tonight. So we had to use that bottom. Chad — it was great racing with him and he’s going to win more races, and I’d have been ok with finishing second to him, but he slipped up just a little bit and I was able to get by! But his time is coming!” It appears Steve Christman’s time isn’t finished yet either!

Szep, Marysville, Ohio: “It’s hard to pass here and you have to be a little aggressive. Maybe there are some guys who thought I was too aggressive, but we’ll take a second place, especially to a guy like Christman and congratulations to him! We’ve had a rough year so far, but I’m just happy with the result and would like to thank THIKtees.com, Pro Star Designs, NAPA, AMSOIL and EA Schaffer Oil Company and also my crew chief Craig Herron deserves a lot of the credit for the great run!”

Danny Jackson, Batavia, Ohio (#5 Widow Wax/Red Bank Transport/Lykins Companies/Hart’s Machines Service Chevy): “I don’t know where that 81 truck (Szep) came from! Kind of a rough race, we had a truck capable of winning and got it to third. Got yelled at for being a little rough, but you can ask anybody – if I got into anybody, they’ll tell you we all got it gathered back out, and kept racing. I started points racing when I fell back there but I don’t think we missed it (the set-up) but we did get a little loose up off (the turns).”

Poorman, Montpelier, Ohio (#3 Gearhart Timber Management Chevy): “Little rough out there, but the #99 got under me — I screwed up a little bit coming off of four and Steve got by me and then the #25 got in there a little deep and spun us. You can be mad about but I’m not mad! Then we had a right front going flat, but at least we had a truck we could race with, compared to the last couple of weeks! It was fun, it was a good race!”

Quarrick, Uniontown, PA (#25 Quarrick Racing S347JR Ford V8): “Kept all the fenders on it, finished ninth, but had a bit of a learning experience not knowing all the series rules (with the contact with Poorman and being sent back for it), and we won’t let that happen again! We’re there in site of the leaders, and now we just got to finish the job to get that first win! We’re close, the competition is so close, one little slip and they’re there, but one little slip and we’re there (in victory lane)!”

Jones (#55 Best One Tire/Jones and Sons S347JR V-8 Ford): “Our first top five! It was a lot of fun, and we hope from now on to do a lot better but this one we’ll take it! And just got the payoff for it, so maybe I’ll go copy that check and frame it!”

Race Notes: runner-up Szep celebrated his birthday the day before the race and said with a sly smile, “I just turned 29″! Also, his Chevy finished its first event of the year after suffering through two straight DNF’s at Toledo and Flat Rock, and it also matches his career best finish from Columbus last year; with his fifth place, Wheatland, Indiana’s Jones proves that you should “never give up” – his S347JR V-8 Ford and Hawkins got together late in the race and drove through the grass, and as late as the last caution, he was a lap down, but Jones got the free pass and recorded his “best”; Carter gave away a broken piece of sheet metal of his step-dad Mike Szoka’s #18 Ken’s Auto Body Chevy to a Lake County fan after the event.

Qualifying Notes: Jackson won his third straight Gunr4sr-iRacing.com Pole Award with a track record of 12.955 over Quarrick’s 13.147 seconds! The point leader had praise for the facility! “I actually like (this track)! It’s a tight little paper clip but it’s a lot of fun! Tom (Cumbow, Series General Manager) and Robbin (Slaughter, Series Operations Manager) do a great job and I just wish there were more trucks here, but this is a great series and we’re having a great time!” He then rolled two on the dice, but if a driver rolls anything under a six they must roll again, so Jackson rolled again and had a three and five and was inverted to 10th! Third fastest was Christman, Bailey, Szep, Poorman, Carter, Hawkins, Huff, Mansfield, Jones and Yunker. After qualifying, Mansfield and Carter made post-time trial changes and were forced to the rear of the starting line, moving everyone else up two spaces. Jackson also led Quarrick in practice with a lap of 13.061 to 13.087 seconds.




Toledo, Ohio (November 12th, 2011) –
The ARCA Truck Series celebrated the completion of its 13th season and crowned its first four time champion at the Park Inn Hotel in downtown Toledo Ohio Saturday night November12th. 2011 was the second season under the guidance of the Phoenix Management Group. ARCA Truck Series PR manager Kevin Schwarze was at the mic as the evening started with “The Tradition Lives On In Us…The ARCA Truck Series, a rousing slide show put together by Series GM Tom Cumbow.
Over 120 people were expected to fill the 6000 square foot Grand Ballroom at the Park Inn Hotel this year, with special guests which included ARCA President Ron Drager, CGS Imaging’s Chuck and Carol Stranc, Arctic Racing Air’s John Hoffman and James Hart, Ed & Jackie Yoak of Ed & Co. Racing Supplies, Scorpion Racing Engines Mark Pritula and Ron Rap, Fire Tiger Fire Suppression Systems partners Mike Fridley and Keith Wyss, THIKtees.com president Shawn Szep, as well as series officials and veteran’s in attendance with it being one day after Veteran’s Day.

"Shawn Szep calls his racing an “addiction, and at the Banquet, alluded to it again, saying, “I just can’t stay away from it!” His #81 THIKtees.com/Optima Batteries Chevy placed sixth in the standings with 2025. “I’d like to thank the ARCA Truck Series officials, my sponsors, and my team — Craig, Jerry, Jim, Jeff and John! We had a phenomenal time! I’d like to thank my family, my girlfriend Tammy. I think we can come back and run even better next year!"

From www.arcatruckracing.com






Affordable Advertising Opprotunities Available With a Very Competitive Team In The Arca Truck Series. Many Different Packages To Fit Your Needs, Boost Sales, and Get Your Company the Exposure It Deserves. Contact Me To Find Out How And Details...
 szepmotorsports@gmail.com


SZEP Motorsports announced sponsor THIKtees.com will continue their support of the ARCA Truck Series and driver, Shawn Szep through the 2011 season!  A deal has been made to enter a second SZEP Motorsports ARCA Truck at select events in 2011 and are currently in negotiations to add a second full-time driver for 2012. 
 
So far in 2011, Szep is leading the DJ Safety Rookie of the Year chase and currently sits 4th in Championship points.  Shawn has rattled off 3 straight TOP 5 finishes over the past few weeks...3rd at KilKare, 2nd at Columbus, and a 4th place at Flat Rock.  The driver of the #81 THIKtees.com Chevy Colorado is headed to Newport TN on August 13th to try and extend that TOP 5 streak.  
 
"We've run well the last few races.  Our team is continuously looking for ways to make the truck better for me on race day." said Szep after his 4th place finish at Flat Rock MI.  "I have to thank THIKtees.com and my awesome crew for everything they have done this year.  My Crew Chief has made some great calls and changes during practice to get all we can out of the race truck" continued Szep.
 
Szep Motorsports also announced that sponsor, Pro Star Designs (www.prostardesigns.com) will be on board for the remainder of the 2011 season.  "It's great to have Pro Star Designs on the truck this year!  We look forward to running well the remainder of the season and with Pro Star Designs support, we can do just that!" stated Szep. Make sure to check out our new website at www.szepmotorsports.com and visit www.THIKtees.com for the latest racing info and apparel. 
 
Other SZEP Motorsports news...Russell Henderson will be driving the #51, RaceDaySponsor.com/Ignite Energy Drink/Race for the Cure/Pro Star Designs Colorado at Newport TN for SZEP Motorsports this weekend as well.  Russell and SZEP Motorsports worked out a one race deal and will continue to look for future races together for 2011.  "We are happy to have Russell on board for Newport.  I was surprised when I heard he was not driving the #9 Kentucky Buildings truck anymore.  Russell called me and expressed interest to run some of the remaining races for 2011 so we were eager to work out a deal and here we are.  I am sure Russell is excited for this new opportunity" said Szep.  Check out Russell's new website at www.russellhendersonracing.com, created by Pro Star Designs.

 


Adventure defined: “A bold, usually risky, undertaking; participation in an exciting or very unusual experience; hazardous action of uncertain outcome”. The first few minutes you listen to Shawn Szep, he uses that phrase, “this adventure”, more than once in describing his life behind the wheel of a race car! But, dig a little deeper, and the first ARCA Truck Series competitor to declare his intent to run for the 2011 DJ Safety Rookie of the Year honor, paints an even more “exciting” portrait of life experiences that you certainly stop and listen to!

“I was in the Air Force for ten years and got to see the world — Europe, Japan, Korea — and, well the best way to describe my job there was, you remember the Bugs Bunny cartoon where they’re tapping the top of the bomb with the little hammer? Well, that was me,” laughs the Columbus, OH resident. “I could tell you more, but — how did Tom Cruise say it in the movie ‘Top Gun’? He could tell them more but then he’d have to kill them?”

After his discharge, Szep settled in Las Vegas at the infamous Las Vegas Motor Speedway “Bull Ring”, competing in Legends cars, graduating to them after, as, he explains it, “too many broken bones in California motocross races!” Part of the Szep adventure was witnessing the beginning of a now well-known career in current NASCAR star Kyle Busch. The 39-year-old explained, “(Kyle’s older brother) Kurt had just moved on to NASCAR with Jack Roush, but Kyle was just getting going. And he drove pretty much the same way — start at the back, running guys over, and pretty soon either is at the front, or crashed out. I feel when learns to calm down, he’ll be a NASCAR Cup champion”.                                            

It wasn’t long, though, and he soon heard his native Midwest calling, and returned to his roots in 2004, welcomed home by his three children Shane, Seth and Marissa. Explained Shawn, “no doubt the place to race is out west and it’s huge in Vegas, but the Midwest is the best and I missed my family so much, so I came back.” He then started competing at legendary Columbus Motor Speedway in among, all things, their modified division! Gathering a reputation as a tough competitor, Szep caught the eye of winning ARCA Truck crew chief Tom Cumbow when he and his partner/driver, former two-time champion Robbin Slaughter, was unable to continue their program due to lack of funds, which Szep could now offer.                             

“I leased  the truck but had never been in one before, so Tom wanted to see how I’d do, so we tested at Columbus, and after a few laps, Tom was satisfied we would be fine. So we headed for Toledo but got in a wreck at the start when everyone checked up in front of me, but we still finished 14th.” Szep and Cumbow then towed to Mansfield, but after a few hot laps, lost the brakes and spent the rest of the day rebuilding them, and even though they didn’t get a chance to qualify, they started in the back but again mechanical bugs bit and they again placed 14th. Iowa, however, was a different story!

“I had obviously never seen the place before. But the truck felt good and we started in the back and before long, we were sixth, then fifth and pretty soon I got to fourth but then the race was over. (Winner) Paul Hahn had us all covered, but I feel if we had more time, we might have got up to maybe third or second.” Now bolstered with a top five, Szep made plans to go to Salem, but Cumbow parked the truck and started making plans to become General Manager of the Phoenix Management Group and the ARCA Truck Series. Before the 2010 season Cumbow sold his truck to former two-time champion Bill Withers.  When Withers hung up his goggles in the middle of last season, Szep bought the truck and is now eyeing this campaign with two Trucks! And, of course, like others, is looking for dollars to be able to step up his efforts.

“I work for ADT Security as an operations manager at large companies and construction sites, places like that,” said Shawn. “It’s a good job but by no means can I do this on my own. I’ve got some guys looking and got some little programs put together here and there, and am open to other opportunities, but nothing is 100% yet. But, I do have all the guys from when I drove for Tom returning – I call them the ‘Three J’s’; Jeff, John and Jim Long. And also, Tim Devers. And, my former, I guess you could call him my teammate when I drove at Columbus, my crew chief Jerry Harlan.”

Also, Szep thinks he can run another truck, which of course, is dependent on dollars. “We’ve got the second truck and I’ve talked to a few people, and so far, nothing is solid, but we’ve got the word out there and had some bites. I have even offered it to Withers, in case, like I told him, ‘you get that urge to drive again’”.

What are his goals for 2011? “The DJ Safety Rookie of the Year Award – that’s it. We want to compete in all the races, make no mistakes and get top fives, and we think we can do that. I’m looking forward to it because I think we’ll run good.” However, ARCA has a rule stating a competitor can only claim one award that of being the championship or the rookie of the year, and Szep was asked if he was in the same position as current champion Chris Bailey was last season, which would he choose? “Of course I’d take the title. But I’ll tell you, I don’t like that rule at all. I think if you earn them both you should win them both! Look at the Bailey’s – they are a great family and they deserved everything they accomplished last year and I think he should have had them both. I mean, Chris is, what, 22 or something? And they said at the banquet he’s won almost 20 championships? I’m highly impressed. And I certainly hope I can be in position to win the title this year!”

Looking ahead to the ARCA Truck Series and Phoenix Management Group’s season, there is little doubt that, indeed, we may see Szep in that position to add to his tails of “unusual, exciting, bold, risky, adventures”!