Article by Jeff Hood www.RacinToday.com
Mikey Kile had plenty of reasons to be ecstatic on Wednesday at Talladega Superspeedway.
The 27-year-old Louisiana native set fast time during the morning session of the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards test at the mammoth 2.66-mile tri-oval.
“I’m pretty excited about it,” said Kile, who will pilot Braun Racing’s No. 10 Toyota Camry in Music City. “I’ve been racing all my life to get an opportunity like that, especially at Braun Racing in the kind of equipment they have.
“I’m just looking to go out there and make a solid run and earn respect from a bunch of them guys. Hopefully, I’ll have a real good finish and can build toward the future.”
Kile has never set foot on the property of Nashville Superspeedway. But he’s confident he’ll come up to speed quickly after receiving advice from fellow drivers.
“I’m sure some of the teammates at Braun will give me a lot of pointers,” Kile said. “(ARCA team owner) Billy (Venturini) has been around Nashville in his ARCA car. And I’ve talked to a few friends I know that have been around it.
“Mainly, I’m going to try to get with some of my Braun teammates at the race track and try to get some pointers on it. I think some of the ARCA tracks we go to are pretty similar, so it shouldn’t be too big of a deal. I hear it’s pretty easy. It’s concrete and has a lot of grip.”
As for Wednesday’s ARCA test, Kile was one of five Venturini Motorsports cars that stayed at the top of the leaderboard during the two-day session which began on Tuesday.
Kile and his Venturini teammates, Alli Owens, John Wes Townley, Steve Arpin and Mark Thompson will be among the favorites to win next month’s ARCA race at the world fast superspeedway.
“This just speaks for itself with the kind of equipment they have, especially around these places,” Kile said during a break in testing. “You just basically hold it wide open and ride.
“It just goes to show when you have all five cars in the top five and you separate yourself from the field like we have, it shows you the kind of equipment and people behind and the motors that TRD gives us. It’s really an awesome situation for all of us.”
Kile, who is also scheduled to make Nationwide Series starts later this season at O’Reilly Raceway Park, Dover, Kansas and Gateway, hopes driving Venturini’s No. 25 car this season in ARCA will be the springboard to a career in NASCAR.
“It’s a huge honor to drive this car,” Kile said. “I talked to Billy at the end of last year and he was wanting me to get in his No. 25 car, which they call their house car.
“It’s their legendary number they’ve raced with their whole life. For him to ask me to drive the No. 25 car is a huge honor, with the people that’s been in it and the success it’s had. I knew it was an easy decision to do it. It was a no brainer.”
Jeff Hood wrote for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution from Oct. 2003 through March 2009. He covered NASCAR for the AJC from 2005 through 2008 and had a weekly NASCAR-theme radio show on WMOQ 92.3 FM in Monroe, Ga. from 1999 through 2005. In addition, Jeff wrote press releases and handled the P.A. for Lanier National Speedway in Braselton, Ga. from 1998 through 2004.Jeff can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org