McCumbee Ready For Pocono
June 9, 2011 | 11:40 A.M. EST
Chad McCumbee is riding positive momentum to Pocono. (Photo: Getty Images)
Take a look inside the numbers on Chad McCumbee's 57 starts to date in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, and one track sticks out as a hotbed of success for the 26-year-old driver of the No. 1 ModSpace Ford. That track is Pocono Raceway, and the 2.5-mile "Tricky Triangle" in the hills of eastern Pennsylvania is where McCumbee and Andy Belmont Racing will travel next - and with a mountain of momentum, no less.
Currently tied for third place in the driver standings with Grant Enfinger, McCumbee has finished in the top-five in each of the series' last two races, at New Jersey on May 22 and Chicagoland last Saturday. Now, McCumbee heads to a track where he has more ARCA experience and success than any other venue, as his six starts at Pocono have yielded four top-five finishes.
McCumbee opened his Pocono career in 2005 with finishes of fourth and second, and followed the next year with a third-place run, all for owner Andy Hillenburg. In 2007, driving a car featuring Andy Belmont's No. 62, McCumbee passed Dexter Bean with five laps remaining to win for the second time in the ARCA Racing Series. That weekend, McCumbee made his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut.
For all of McCumbee's success between 2004 and 2007, top-five finishes weren't so easy to find in the recent past - until the last two races.
Since his Pocono win nearly four years ago, McCumbee made 22 ARCA starts with zero top-five finishes, but then followed that drought with sharp improvement: a third-place run at New Jersey was followed by fourth place at Chicagoland. Now, he's in prime position to improve his standing in the series even more with a strong run at Pocono.
"Pocono's pretty much the race track that launched my career," McCumbee said recently. "We're going to some tracks that are good for us. We've got such good equipment at each and every track we've been going to so far."
Momentum is on Andy Belmont Racing's side after a strong performance at Chicagoland, says the team's owner.
"Our pit stops were good," Belmont said . "(Chicagoland) was overall a very good weekend for the ABR team. The boys are working well together. I am very pleased with our team's progress this season."
McCumbee and Belmont, each seasoned racing veterans with knowledge of the ebb and flow of a long racing season, both know that eyes will be fixed on the No. 1 ModSpace Ford's performance this weekend.
Just 95 miles from Pocono Raceway's home in Long Pond, Pa. is the Berwyn, Pa. epicenter of the Modular Space Corporation, which will send 200 guests to Pocono Raceway for a day of corporate hospitality and cheering on McCumbee.
"I've got to thank ModSpace for helping out," McCumbee said. "It's great to have a partner that is that involved in racing and that involved in seeing you succeed."
If McCumbee is able to combine his early career magic at Pocono with the upward trend he's recently found in the ARCA standings, it's likely that plenty of ModSpace guests will do just that: See their driver succeed.
The 80-lap, 200-mile Pocono ARCA 200 begins at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, June 11, with live timing and scoring coverage presented by ARCA Nation at ARCARacing.com. SPEED will air same-day delay coverage of the race at 8 p.m. Practice for ARCA Racing Series teams begins at 10 a.m. Friday, and will last for one hour and 50 minutes. Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell takes place at 2:05 p.m.