Chad Hackenbracht; CGH Motorsports’ Hardcore Shell Roasted At Madison
Topics: Chad Hackenbracht, Herr’s Live Life With Flavor! 200
Knight Motorsports Management/CGH Motorsports
August 27, 2011
OREGON, Wisconsin (August 27, 2011) - - Not many knew what to expect when the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards made their first trip back to Madison International Speedway for the first time in 37 years Friday night. For Chad Hackenbracht and his CGH Motorsports team, the Herr’s Live Life With Flavor! 200 is one race they aren’t afraid to leave in the rearview mirror.
For the 13th consecutive race, Hackenbracht under the guidance of crew chief Kevin Reed unloaded with a fast and competitive No. 58 Hampton Farms / Copps Market Chevrolet Impala. Despite never seeing the half-mile oval before arriving at the Oregon, Wisconsin-based race track on Thursday afternoon, the New Philadelphia, Ohio native entered the 15th race of the season with optimism and realistic goals.
During the short hour-and-half practice session Friday afternoon, the 19-year old impressively racked up the sixth quickest time overall which was inspiring since the Mooresville, North Carolina-based team opted not to test. After Hackenbracht and Reed consulted, the only massive change done to their automobile leading into qualifying was a gear change hoping it would dish out even more speed.
In time trials, Hackenbracht maneuvered a lap of 18.564 seconds at 96.962 miles per hour landing the freshman organization ninth overall and a tick quicker than their fastest lap in practice two hours prior.
After conferring with spotter and former ARCA driver Rich Woodland before the start of the Herr’s Live Life With Flavor! 200, Hackenbracht participated in a one-hour autograph session before strapping into his No. 58 Hampton Farms / Copps Market Chevrolet Impala armed for combat.
It was evident from the drop of the green flag that not only track position would be crucial but patience would be vital to a successful night at one of the most demanding short tracks on the ARCA schedule.
By lap six, Hackenbracht had climbed to eighth in the footsteps of Grant Enfinger and Joey Miller. Several yellow flags within the event’s first 30 circuits would keep No. 58 Hampton Farms / Copps Market Chevrolet Impala at bay but holding steady inside the top-10.
Electing to utilize some pit strategy, Reed brought his driver to pit road for their required stop just after the one quarter mark where tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment were on deck for the rising star.
Slipping from eighth to 14th for the restart, it didn’t take long for the Cornelius, North Carolina resident to thunder his way back into the top-10. By lap 60, Hackenbracht had reeled himself back into eighth while continuing to gain on the cars ahead of him.
Trapped in-between a heavy wad of cars and nowhere to go, Hackenbracht would wait for another yellow flag on lap 87 in order to make a significant climb on the leaderboard as the other lead-lap vehicles in front of him chose to make their mandated pit stop.
The green flag returned on lap 91 with the No. 58 Hampton Farms / Copps Market Chevrolet Impala in second and on the heels of Springfield winner Chad McCumbee. Hackenbracht would remain in the runner-up position until a prearranged slam from the No. 31 of Tim George Jr. sent Hackenbracht to the high line in turn two and slipping back to fourth.
By lap 100, the former Legends Car champion remained inside the top-five. Eight laps later though, Hackenbracht would be gobbled up by his other competitors on fresh rubber shuffling him back to the eighth position.
Settling in, Hackenbracht was prepared to “ride out the storm” before working out a plan with Reed for a late-race surge. Unfortunately, the team’s night took a dramatic turn beginning on lap 114 when contact from the No. 32 of Joey Miller just after a restart sent the No. 58 around into turn one which resulted in right side damage which required immediate attention by the CGH posse.
A gallant effort to completely repair the car under the yellow flag would come up short as the field quickly returned to action. When the popular driver returning to the racecourse one lap in the arrears, the team was hoping to become the beneficiary of the “Lucky Dog”, which would put the team back on the lead lap and back in contention.
Unbeknownst to the team, they didn’t expect to be the next caution as eight laps after the restart, Hackenbracht’s motor seized entering turn one forcing the driver to abruptly make a left hand turn towards pit road where his car came to rest upon the access road.
Ultimately, the yellow flag would have to be waived in order to tow the No. 58 Hampton Farms / Copps Market Chevrolet Impala into the infield. Obviously, a dejected Hackenbracht climbed out of his Chevrolet bowtie and put a period to his night at Madison International Speedway.
When the checkered flag was thrown, the team would be credited with a disheartening 23rd place finish.
“Our No. 58 Hampton Farms / Copps Market Chevrolet Impala was good,” offered Hackenbracht after the race in the garage area. “It changed a little from practice in the day, I wasn’t expecting that – but Kevin (Reed) made a call and it seemed to be coming back around to the way it was before our night took that drastic turn.
We all were bunched up there on the restart and the No. 31 just stopped and I got hit from behind which sent me around. The spin could have easily been prevented; I guess that’s just the way it goes. The guys fixed the car and I thought we were going to be okay but then the motor blew, ultimately because of it being spun backwards in the initial spin. I hate it for Hampton Farms, Copps Markets, our guests and everyone on the CGH Motorsports team. I was hoping to have just a good solid night, but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.”
Reed offered his thoughts on his driver’s debut at Madison. “As always, Chad did his job behind the wheel. The car was good and we were going to be contending for a top-five but it just didn’t work out that way. We can’t dwell on here, we just need to pick up the pieces and head to DuQuoin.”
The team’s worst finish in nine races and only the second time the organization has finished outside the top-20 in 2011 keeps Hackenbracht unofficially eighth in the championship standings after 15 races. The team’s goal of finishing inside the top-five is still obtainable with just four races remaining.
Next up for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards is the second and final installment on the dirt when the sanctioning body makes their annual trip to the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds for the running of the Southern Illinois 100 presented by Federated Auto Parts on Labor Day, Monday, September 5. In his ARCA dirt debut earlier this month at the Illinois State Fairgrounds (Springfield), Hackenbracht reeled in a 10th place finish outing.
For more information on Chad Hackenbracht and CGH Motorsports, please visit ChadHackenbracht.com and CGHMotorsports.com.
To purchase the popular “What’s A Chad Hacken-Something” tee-shirt, please log on to store.cghmotorsports.com or CGHMotorsports.com.
Connect with Chad Hackenbracht and CGH Motorsports through Facebook by clicking here.
Tweet with Chad Hackenbracht through Twitter at @ChadH58 or CGH Motorsports @CGH5858.
About CGH Motorsports:
CGH Motorsports (CGHMotorsports.com), established in 2007 by Ohio entrepreneur Greg Hackenbracht is located in a 10,000 sq. foot facility located in Concord, North Carolina. CGH Motorsports is home of rising sensation Chad Hackenbracht, who competed in nine ARCA Racing Series races in 2010 after an aggressive ARCA testing schedule in 2009. Chad Hackenbracht is the 2008 National Asphalt Legends champion, winning 33 percent of his races and finishing in the top-10, 85 percent of the events he competed in. The team will step up their commitment from a partial schedule and prepare for a hopeful full-season ARCA championship assault beginning in February 2011.
TEAM COMMUNICATIONS CONTACT:
NAME: Chris Knight, Knight Motorsports Management
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