Mooresville, N.C. – February 7, 2016 – Known for years as a premier ARCA Racing Series driver development team, Cunningham Motorsports is returning to Daytona International Speedway this season with two rookies, Chase Briscoe and Kevin Thomas Jr. (KTJ). The Lucas Oil 200 on February 13, 2016, is the 2016 season opener for the ARCA Series.
Both of the Cunningham organization’s drivers will be competing for the ARCA Series rookie of the year honors, as well as the championship. Briscoe has made two previous ARCA Series starts…both in 2015, at Lucas Oil Raceway and Salem Speedway, where he finished 5th. His third start will be in the No. 77 Dodge. Thomas, Jr. will be making his ARCA Series debut at the 2.5-mile high-banked speedway in the No. 22 Bakken Concrete/KT Construction Services Dodge. Both teams participated in open January test at Daytona. KTJ got limited practice during the test because he was also running the Chili Bowl Nationals in a Kevin Swindell Midget.
As Thomas looked forward to his debut, he said, “I am excited to get the season started. We have a good car and the team is working well with one another. Daytona is going to be a great experience. Hopefully, we can make the right moves, at the right time. We are hoping to accomplish our goals and come out with a good finish.”
A big change for both drivers will be competing with a teammate. The drivers have known and competed against each other for the past six years. Now that they are teammates, they can learn a lot from each other as Briscoe commented, “It’s going to be really nice working with KTJ all year. It will be great to be able to talk about what the car is doing with someone who has the same background as I do.”
As many young drivers do, Briscoe can hardly believe that his dreams are coming true. “Getting to race at Daytona is an honor. Growing up, it’s one of those tracks, just like Indianapolis, where every racecar driver dreams of racing. A win there would be unbelievable. Cunningham Motorsports always brings fantastic racecars. We have a really good shot at this one!”
Practice is scheduled on Thursday from 4:00-6:00 pm EST, with a final one-hour practice session on Friday beginning at 9:30. Menards Pole Qualifying will take on the group qualifying format at 3:30. On Saturday, fans will have the opportunity to meet drivers in the garage area from 12:30-2:00. As a preliminary to NASCAR’s Sprint Unlimited, the green flag for the Lucas Oil 200 will drop at 4:20. Fox Sports 1 will carry live coverage of the ARCA race beginning at 4:00. All on-track activities will be covered on Cunningham Motorsports’ twitter @cunningham_race and on arcaracing.com.