ARCA News

ARCA: Title Hopes Gone, Kyle Weatherman Looks to Build with Weatherman Motorsports

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Currently third in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards championship standings, Kyle Weatherman will not be competing in Friday night’s Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200 at Lucas Oil Raceway, Rubbings Racing has confirmed. The missed race comes after what has been a very stressful month for the Wentzville, Missouri native as Weatherman has competed for three different teams in pursuit of the championship.

Last season, Weatherman went to victory lane at New Jersey Motorsports Park for his first career ARCA victory and earned 10 top-five results en route to capturing the SCOTT Rookie of the Year title. Piloting the No. 22 for Cunningham Motorsports, Weatherman also took the Calypso Lemonade Short Track Championship and the Bill France Four Crown title.

The success of 2015 led Weatherman to sign a deal with Lira Motorsports for 2016 to compete for the ARCA Racing Series championship behind the wheel of the team’s No. 58 Ford. Despite the fact that the Lira organization ran as many as five cars at one point during 2016, the team effectively closed their doors after the eighth race of the season at Michigan International Raceway, leaving title contender Weatherman without a ride.

“The day of I found out,” Weatherman told Rubbings Racing earlier this month at Iowa Speedway regarding the amount of notice given from the Lira organization. “It’s been a very stressful past month with everything going on.”

Weatherman was able to compete for Mason Mitchell Motorsports in the team’s No. 98 entry at the series’ next two races at Madison and Winchester, recording top-three results at both short tracks.

“I’ve always had a relationship with Mason. So we put that deal together and I’m glad we did. We ran really good and could have won both of them. I loved working with Mason Mitchell Motorsports and nothing against them, but we had to do our own deal and get our feet back under us and get a good base to build on top of that.”

For the 11th race of the season, Weatherman competed with his family-owned operation in the No. 10 St. Charles Glass-Fast Track High Performance Ford at Iowa Speedway. Weatherman had a strong car and was leading the race when he cut a tire and made contact with the wall, resulting in a ninth-place finish.weater

“It just went,” Weatherman said when asked if there was any indication the tire was going down. “It was unfortunate because we were fast. Just one of those deals. Unfortunate, but part of it I guess,” said a clearly dejected Weatherman.

After making repairs on pit road, Weatherman was able to continue, but didn’t have a competitive car.

“After that, we were just riding around. We did what we could and still finished ninth. Not terrible, but we come here to win and that’s what it’s all about.”

Despite being third in the championship standings, the Weatherman Motorsports organization did not make the trip to Lucas Oil Raceway for the twelfth race of the 2016 season this weekend.

The 18-year-old driver was clear that despite the stressful season-to-date, there is something to build on for the future.

“I’ve told guys a million times I want to be with one team and I want to build on it. I want to build relationships with who we’re working with and unfortunately we haven’t been able to do that this year. We’ve been bouncing around between teams and that’s just not how I agreed to do it. It’s kind of what the curve balls have thrown at us and we’ve got a good base with what we’ve got going on here.”

Greg Purkey, who has worked with the likes of Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle, serves as fabricator and car chief.

“Greg’s been affiliated with Roush Fenway and Gary Ruolo and he’s built race cars for them forever, kind of going back to the Matt Kenseth days,” Weatherman said. “He’s been around fabricating and hanging bodies and stuff like that so he helps in the shop with that side of things and at the race track he serves as the car chief to help make changes and get us closer.

“I’ve had a relationship with Greg for a while now. He hung a few of our bodies earlier in our stages in ARCA when we had our own team (in 2013). I’ve known Greg for a while, even before then. So to finally get to work with him at the race track is really cool.”

Tony Furr, who has worked with several NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams, including the No. 5 and No. 25 cars at Hendrick Motorsports from 1997 – 2003, serves as Weatherman’s crew chief. Furr, along with Purkey and Weatherman, were the three individuals getting the team’s No. 10 car ready to compete at Iowa.

“Tony’s very knowledgeable and a very smart guy so to have those two in the shop every day and obviously myself, between us three, it was just us three getting the car ready. So we were definitely thrashing to get ready.”

While Weatherman’s chance at winning the ARCA championship this season is gone, the team does have a plan in place to compete in several more races.

“We’re going to run four more races for sure and then we are going to try to fill in the gaps,” Weatherman said of the team’s plan. “We are going to run Pocono, Chicago, Kentucky and Kansas.

“Aside from that, we are going to try to fill in the gaps as much as we can. We’ve got to find some money and some support and that’s what everyone is fighting for and that’s what we are fighting too.”

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About Brian Eberly

Brian Eberly (@beberly18) is a Certified Public Accountant and Manager of Field Accounting at a transportation company, but when he isn’t at the office you can most likely find him at a racetrack, watching a race on television, or following the action on social media. Eberly became interested in NASCAR in the nineties when Jeff Gordon was dominating the scene, and became hooked when he attended his first race with his dad in 1999 at Michigan International Speedway. Eberly has been writing about NASCAR since 2012 for various websites. An Illinois native and Northern Illinois University graduate, Eberly travels throughout the Midwest covering racing events in multiple series. When not following racing, he can be found on the golf course (usually trying to find his golf ball) and following the Bears, Blackhawks, Cubs, Bulls, and of course the NIU Huskies.

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