(DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – December 18, 2013) – Andy Hillenburg has been a championship driver, car owner and recently was named director of competition for the United States Automobile Club. He’s also a driving coach. And, this week, Hillenburg will coach a couple of ARCA “Road to Daytona” drivers behind the wheel at one of the greatest venue’s in all of racing – Daytona International Speedway.
“I am really looking forward to it,” Hillenburg said. “I love to work with ARCA and I look forward to the Daytona test every year.”
Reigning ARCA Midwest Tour champion Dan Frederickson and ARCA/CRA Super Series champion Travis Braden, are scheduled to take part in a test at Daytona International Speedway this week through the “Road to Daytona” program.
ARCA is a stock car racing sanctioning body which has for years provided racers with the opportunity to test their skills and advance their careers. ARCA’s flagship property, the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, is a development series for drivers aspiring to someday race in NASCAR. The series has helped develop the careers of some of the biggest names in racing.
Roush Yates Engines, the North Carolina high performance manufacturer which supplies the powerplants for many of today top NASCAR stars, will supply a legal restrictor plate engine lease for the weekend, to be run by the drivers participating in this year’s Road to Daytona. Other supporters of the ARCA Road to Daytona include Hoosier Racing Tire, Sunoco, and Hillenberg’s Fast Track Driving School.
Braden, a Wheeling, West Va. native, also participated in the Daytona test in December, 2012, after winning the series rookie of the year.
Frederickson, of Lakeville, Minn., secured his test spot in Daytona with his steady ARCA Midwest Tour campaign.
Hillenburg, a two-time Daytona winner and the 1995 ARCA champion, will assist each Road to Daytona driver in the test session. His Fast Track High Performance Driving School, ARCA’s Official Driving School, will provide the cars and support for the test.
“A lot of effort goes into preparing these cars,” Hillenburg said. “We spend a good three to four weeks getting it set up properly and trying to make it as comfortable as we can for the drivers.”
Hillenburg said that Braden and Frederickson both have a lot of experience behind the wheel of a race car, which will help them immensely when they take the seat in car at Daytona’s 2.5-mile superspeedway.
“It’s not like these are guys off the street,” he said. “It won’t take them that long to get up to speed, maybe a lap or two. The goal is for us to get the drivers to a point where we are 100 percent confident with them driving on Daytona with 40 other cars and to make them comfortable with doing that. This is a great opportunity for them to learn.”
Hillenburg, who will supply a crew of about five people for each car, will spend time coaching each driver on his experience, going over details of the race car and race track. The drivers also have to attend a mandatory drivers meeting.
Braden participated last year, which should help ease his transition from the short tracks of the ARCA/CRA Super Series to the restrictor-plate speeds of Daytona.
“There is big wow factor,” Hillenburg said. “When you first get to Daytona or drive inside the tunnel, there’s definitely a sense of wonder.”