MDM Motorsports ARCA Teams finished first and second at the Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care last weekend at Toledo Speedway in Toledo, Ohio. Now they’re preparing for a “home game” on a short week as the organization sends four drives down the road from their Mooresville, North Carolina shop to Charlotte Motor Speedway for Thursday night’s General Tire 200.
The MDM Motorsports lineup for Charlotte includes Sheldon Creed (second in series points) three-time 2018 race winner Zane Smith (now the points leader), series rookie Chase Purdy (third in points) and Brandon Jones, who returns to the ARCA Series for his 22nd start to compete in the No. 12 Toyota that has been raced on a part-time basis this season by Harrison Burton.
Smith has won his last two ARCA starts (Talladega and Toledo) after picking up a win earlier in the season at Nashville. He has been consistently fast with his La Paz Margarita Mix, Icon Vehicle Dynamics, Speed Vegas Motorsports Toyota No. 41. He is looking forward to working with crew chief Mardy Lindley to make it three straight wins when the green flag drops at Charlotte.
“Charlotte is the race I want to win the most. Winning that race would be awesome. That would mean we have won three in a row, and it would be a home win for us. But we need to think big picture because we would obviously like to win the championship, so I need to be smart and make sure that if we don’t win we get the best finish we can. After being so close so often last year but not winning, having three wins this year is amazing.
Purdy is still searching for that first series win in his Bama Buggies, Polaris Toyota No. 8. He took the lead last weekend at Toledo with 25 laps left in the race only to get caught behind a slower car and give up the win to teammate Smith.
The youngster from Meridian, Mississippi, who will be a Freshman at Alabama in the fall, has confidence that Charlotte can be the week his team takes its turn to celebrate in victory lane.
“We had a really strong test there,” he said. “We just have to keep doing what we’ve been doing over the past couple of weeks. We’ve really started to hit our stride as a group. If we do that then we should be able to find that one spot that we missed out on last week. This race is one that I think all of us want to win because it’s a home race.”
Creed has been the series points leader in his United Rentals, A.M Ortega, RTL Toyota No. 28 led by crew chief Jeff Stankiewicz but is now second behind teammate Smith. He is also looking for his first win of the season, and he knows that his team has what it takes to make that happen on Thursday.
“I’m looking forward to Charlotte. We were super strong on all the 1.5-mile tracks last year. I feel like we can pick up where we left off. I’ve learned a lot as a driver since last season and I believe we’re ready to “park it” in victory lane on Thursday.”
Jones is a veteran of the ARCA Series, with four wins, three poles and 14 top fives in his 21 career starts in the series. He finished third in last Friday night’s North Carolina Education Lottery NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Charlotte, so he’ll be gunning for a victory this Thursday.
“I’m looking forward to coming back to race for MDM Motorsports in Thursday’s ARCA race,” Jones nodded. “I always enjoy racing with ARCA, and MDM is a championship-caliber team that always brings winning equipment to the track. It’s the first time back at Charlotte for the ARCA series in a while so everyone will be gunning extra hard for a win.”
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