Following a 10-month ARCA hiatus, Michael Lira strapped in behind the wheel of the No. 36 MOMO Motorsport/NexGen Fuel/ Ford Performance Ford Fusion for his 2016 season debut in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards during the Menards 200 at Toledo Speedway.
Lira had one of the fastest machines of the weekend. He ran in the top-5 during final practice, and he also qualified in the sixth position. His confidence heading into the race was high. He felt he had a top-3 car for Sunday’s race; however, fate didn’t fall that way.
“We had a little mishap on pit road, but I felt like the guys made really good adjustments on the car all day,” Lira said. “They took it from a 10th place car to a fifth or third place car just with the great adjustments that they made. That part has me feeling very positive about it. I’m happy with our finish and the gains we made.”
Despite the pit road troubles, Lira was able clinch a 12th place finish in Toledo.
Coming into the race, Lira was anxious about how the weekend would go considering he hasn’t been in an ARCA since Iowa last July, where he unfortunately couldn’t finish the race due to an on-track incident.
Lira Motorsports driver, Sheldon Creed, driver of the No. 38 Safecraft Ford Fusion, secured a hard fought top-15 on Sunday, finishing in the 13th position in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards’ Menards 200 at Toledo Speedway.
Creed was involved in an on-track incident while maneuvering lapped traffic on lap 16 that caused him to spin out in turn two, but he was thrilled to see how the team bounced back to get him a top-15 finish.
“We had a great car, but caught up in an incident that put us behind. The team really came together and did what they needed to do to get us caught up. We fought hard to get back up to the front,” Creed said.
After posting top-5 times in practice and qualifying in the ninth position, Creed was expected to have one of the fastest cars of the weekend. He believes that if the on-track incident didn’t occur, he would have had one of the top contending cars of the race.
Kyle Weatherman, driver of the No. 58 St. Charles Glass/MOMO Motorsport/Safecraft Ford Fusion, is happy with the team’s performance in the Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care at Toledo Speedway for the ARCA Racing Series following his third place finish.
Weatherman overcame adversity in Sunday’s race after a left front tire went flat in the first 16 laps of the race. He came to pit road during the lap-16 caution and changed tires, but had to restart at the tail end of the field.
“It was unfortunate that our LF tire went down” Weatherman said. “At least we caught it before we went back green. Starting at the tail of the lead lap, cars made it hard to move to the front, but everyone stayed calm and did what we had to do. We made gains all the way through the race and were able to rally for a third place finish.”
All in all, Weatherman says that it was a good weekend. He’s happy with his second place qualifying position and where he finished the race despite the early troubles.
Lira Motorsports announces that Michael Lira will be behind the wheel of the No. 36 Ford Fusion in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards at Toledo Speedway for the Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care.
Lira, 18-year-old Port Orange, FL native, is excited and thankful to get behind the wheel once again. His last ARCA Racing Series start was at Iowa last July where he was unable to complete the race due to an on-track incident. Following a tough 2015 season, Lira wants to be able to move on and start this season fresh.
“Last year, we were consistently really fast, but had a lot of bad luck. That was the story of my entire season. I hope that I have shook that bad luck monkey off my back.”
While hoping that the bad luck has dissipated, Lira is more than happy to be able to take to the track this weekend in Toledo. Last season, Lira was credited with a 17th place finish at Toledo, and he hopes to be able to improve on that finish this weekend.
“I am so excited to be here. This is my first start since last season, Lira said. “I’ve had some runs in the late model this year that have been going well, but I’ve also been doing a lot of work from the other side of the driver window. I’ve been working with drivers, coaching them, spotting here and there, and I’ve been helping out with the business. It’s not fun to be out of the car for so long, but I think it’s helped me be a better driver. I hope that the benefits of that show this weekend.”
He will be taking over the No, 36 in place of Brandon Lynn. Lynn will not be running the full season like previously stated, but still plans on competing with the team part-time throughout the season.
“Thank you to Lira Motorsports, NexGen Fuels, Safecraft, MOMO Motorsport, TraqGear, RevMark, and Ford Performance for letting me have this opportunity. I also can’t thank my mom and dad enough.”
About Lira Motorsports: Lira Motorsports is a multi-car, multi series race team owned by Carlos and Amanda Lira. The team competes in the ARCA Racing Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, NASCAR Whelen All- American Late Model, and IMSA Sportscar events nationwide. Lira Motorsports’ ARCA and NASCAR Truck programs are operated from an 18,000 square foot shop in Mooresville, North Carolina and the late model team operates from a 12,000 square foot facility in Port Orange, Florida, just minutes from Daytona International Speedway.
Lira Motorsports announces today that they will be testing at Michigan International Speedway in preparation for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards event in two weeks with drivers Morgen Baird and Brandon Lynn.
Baird, a Lira Motorsports pro-late model driver out of Grass Lake, Michigan, has tested an ARCA car with the team at Nashville Fairgrounds; however, he doesn’t have experience on a track configured like Michigan. He has a strong background in local short track racing, which means he has experience in half mile tracks and shorter, but nothing compared to the great lengths of the two-mile track in the Irish Hills.
“I want to get as comfortable as possible and learn as much as I possibly can. I want to improve every time I hit the track and give good information back to the team on how the car acts so we can figure out what we need to do to make the car as fast it can be,” said Baird.
Baird hopped in the No. 69 Lira Motorsports Ford Fusion Pro-late model at New Smyrna Speedway during the World Series of Asphalt in February, marking his first start with this team. He qualified seventh in day one and ninth in day two. While night one ended early for him, he was able to clinch a top-15 in the second night of competition.
He is a multi-time Great Lakes Super Mini-Cup champion and the 2010 Springport Motor Speedway track champion.
“This opportunity means everything to me, especially being at MIS,” Baird said. “I’ve always wanted to run there, and now thanks to Carlos, I get the opportunity. Plus, being able to test at the fastest speedway on the NASCAR circuit is pretty exciting too. We had a successful test down in Nashville with Lira and I hope we can have an even better test at MIS. I can’t thank Carlos enough for giving me this opportunity to advance my racing career and believing in me enough to have me back behind the wheel of one of his cars.
Brandon Lynn, full-time rookie in the No. 36 Cribs Creek Outfitters Ford Fusion, will be joining the Michigan test as well. Lynn, who has only 7 career ARCA Racing starts under his belt, has never seen the intermediate track.
Not only will this be Lynn’s first time tackling the infamous speedway, but it will also be the first time the composite bodied car hits an intermediate track.
“It’ll definitely be a good experience,” Lynn said. “The track seems pretty smooth and it’s definitely going to be fast. Testing is always a good prep for the race. It’ll be a great test to learn about what we have for the intermediate tracks with the new composite cars. Aerodynamically, it’s important to figure out the differences between the composite and steel bodied cars, so it’s going to be a big learning lesson.”
Alongside Baird and Lynn, Kyle Weatherman and Sheldon Creed will also be joining the team at Michigan to test. It will be Creed’s first time at an intermediate track, and this will be Weatherman’s first trip to Michigan International Speedway.
About Lira Motorsport: Lira Motorsports is a multi-car, multi series race team owned by Carlos and Amanda Lira. The team competes in the ARCA Racing Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, NASCAR Whelen All- American Late Model, and IMSA Sportscar events nationwide. Lira Motorsports’ ARCA and NASCAR Truck programs are operated from an 18,000 square foot shop in Mooresville, North Carolina and the late model team operates from a 12,000 square foot facility in Port Orange, Florida, just minutes from Daytona International Speedway.
Despite a late incident that led to a 22nd place finish, Lira Motorsports driver Korbin Forrister, driver of the No. 59 Far From Stock Ford Fusion, was excited to be in contention for a good finish in the General Tire 200 on Friday at Talladega Superspeedway.
Forrister was running well inside the top-20 at the time of the final restart when he was caught up in the race-ending multi-car incident. The 23-year-old said he saw nothing but smoke and crashing cars in front of him and that he had nowhere to go.
The damage destroyed his Ford, and he was unable to cross the finish line when ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards officials called the race due to approaching weather. (more…)
Kyle Weatherman, driver of the Lira Motorsports No. 58 St. Charles Glass Ford Fusion, avoided several multi-car crashes and survived to a top-15 finish on Friday in the General Tire 200 at Talladega Superspeedway in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards.
Running inside the top-10 on the final restart, Weatherman pulled out to the outside line with teammate Sheldon Creed. They received no help on the top line and it cost them several positions, but Weatherman was pleased with the result.
Lira Motorsports driver, Sheldon Creed, driver of the No. 38 Safecraft Ford Fusion, secured a hard fought top-15 in his superspeedway debut, finishing in the 14th position on Friday in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards’ General Tire 200 at Talladega Superspeedway.
“The day went by slow because we didn’t have a great pack to work with in practice or qualifying, but once the race came along, I really just tried to stay out of trouble and play around with some air to see how you could run up on people and make a pass happen, so when the later laps of the race came, I could move forward,” Creed said.
After sitting in the top-15 for most of the day, Creed made his first trip down pit road, but was penalized for pitting too soon. (more…)
Brandon Lynn, driver of the No. 36 Cribs Creek Outfitters/MOMO Motorsport Ford Fusion, appeared well on the way to a top-10 finish on Friday in the General Tire 200 at Talladega Superspeedway, but a transmission issue ended his day 31 laps from the finish.
Despite how practice and qualifying went for the team, Lynn was satisfied with the car they had for the race. After qualifying 25th, he drove his way all the way up to the top-10, pushing for a place in the top five.
In typical Talladega fashion, Lynn was then pushed out of the pack by a competitor and fell back through the field. (more…)
Lira Motorsports announces today that Korbin Forrister will be behind the wheel of the No. 59 ARCA Racing Series entry at Talladega Superspeedway for this weekend’s General Tire 200.
Ever since he was able to walk, Korbin had the need for speed. He knew at a young age that motorsports was where he wanted to be. He can typically be found at the dirt track because that’s where he got his racing start, but his passion truly lies within asphalt stock car racing.
Forrister, who has years worth of experience in both the ARCA Racing Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, is excited to be tackling the high banks of Talladega. This will be his second career ARCA start at the track following his 13th place finish there in 2013. (more…)