ARCA: Lira Motorsports Kicks Off Nashville Testing; Seven Drivers Turn Laps at Iconic Short Track

RaceChaser Staff ARCA, Featured, MidSouth, Stock Cars 0 Comments

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – official series release — ARCA photo —

The gates have officially swung open at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville, where Lira Motorsports — the first of several ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards teams headed to the iconic short track at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds to test — spent Friday and Saturday circling the high-banked oval in preparation for the Nashville ARCA 200 on April 8-9.

Seven drivers, rotating in and out of five composite body Ford Fusions, tested for Lira Motorsports, including series full-timers Kyle Weatherman and Brandon Lynn. Weatherman, along with his brother Clayton, was on hand Saturday for the track’s Media Day, as was Korbin Forrister. Lynn tested Friday along with Travis Swaim, and series newcomers Morgen Baird and Sheldon Creed.

Kyle Weatherman, the 2015 SCOTT Rookie of the Year and ARCA’s defending Short Track Challenge champion, says the car’s good, but he and his crew chief Sam Schram will compare notes and try to make it better.

“All in all, we’re definitely in the ballpark, but we still have some work to do,” Weatherman said.  “The most important thing was that we left with a good game plan. We’re not exactly where we need to be, but I think we’re close. Between what I think and what Sam thinks, I think we can come up with the right package.”

“Our longest was probably a 10-lap run and there wasn’t much fall off. I think we can come back and run as well as anyone else or better than anyone else.”

Weatherman mentioned the weather was much cooler than they may have anticipated.

“It was chilly today — maybe 45 to 50 (degrees). Last year during the race, it was in the 60s and 70s, so we have to factor all that in there. We started off too tight, but we’re still close. We need to make some changes but that’s what these tests are for. We got better as the runs went on.”

“Clayton went real well — he’s right in there where I am. Travis (Swaim), Brandon (Lynn) … they all made a really good showing. We’ll be good (as a team).”

Lynn tested Friday ahead of Weatherman. Unlike Weatherman, who won the pole last year at Nashville, Lynn had not turned a lap there before Friday.

“Track’s a lot of fun,” Lynn said. “It’s really challenging but that’s what makes it so fun. That bump coming off (turn) two is a little different. I had to get used to that. But, overall, I’d say I caught on pretty quick. It was a good test.”

“Turns one and two were a little more sweeping that three and four. You don’t have to abuse the brakes as much in one and two and you can let the car roll through there. That’s quite a bump coming off two though — I’d say comparable to the hump on the frontstretch at Salem.”

Lynn, along with crew chief Bryan Quanz, also learned they need to get the nose of the car off the ground more for the race.

“We know we have to pick the car up off the ground a bit to get through the corners better. After we got longer into the run, the car wanted to skate up the track, and that was from bottoming out. Once we get the nose off the ground, we’re going to be pretty good.”

“Fifteen laps was probably our longest run on sticker tires, which gave us an idea of what the car’s going to do on fresh tires, and what the car feels like when it starts falling off. We put plenty of laps on older tires too before we switched to stickers. Overall, I think we found a good balance for the race. The car’s stable. I think we’re going to be very competitive.”

In addition to the Nashville ARCA 200 on race weekend, top Super Late Model teams from all across the country will be battling for ARCA/CRA Super Series and Southern Super Series points on April 8, leading up to the North-South Super Late Model challenge on April 9 as a show-opener for the ARCA 200.

CREDIT: ARCA Racing Series

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