A rough month and a half racing stretch continued last weekend at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway where Balcaen showcased her skills at the tough and demanding 2.5-mile triangle.
Unfortunately, while racing competitively inside the top 10, she was spun by another competitor and collected in a massive four-car accident that abruptly ended her day and confidence.
But, with reassurance from her Rette Jones Racing team owners Terry Jones and Mark Rette, Balcaen returns to short track racing where she hopes the smaller tracks will this time be in her favor and she can deliver her fourth top-10 finish of the season aboard No. 30 ICON Direct Ford Fusion.
“The last few races have been pretty frustrating, especially last weekend at Pocono Raceway, there’s no hiding behind that,” offered Balcaen. “Everyone is working hard. Extremely hard and it just seemed silly for another driver to be so aggressive early in the race that ultimately changed the outcome of the race for several drivers and teams.
“I’m trying to stay positive and focus forward but I just feel bad for my team and all my partners who deserve a lot better than what we have been able to produce lately.
“I hope Friday night’s race changes our luck.”
Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park is another new track for Balcaen in 2022. Still, she has been taking the new challenges in stride and is eager to continue to learn and improve throughout the 200 lapses that await her on Friday night.
“I think Pocono was a great example of how much I improved in a single race weekend,” added Balcaen. “My lap times picked up with every lap on the track and by the end of practice on Friday afternoon, we were knocking on the door of the top-10.
“We only continued to get stronger and raced our way competitively inside the top-10 before we got wrecked. Even with the negative result, there were some positives to come from the weekend.
“At Lucas Oil Raceway this weekend though, the goal is to keep making gains from practice to qualifying and the race and to bring home a finish that can carry us to Michigan International Speedway next weekend.”
A top-10 finish would be exactly what the doctor ordered for the Mooresville, NC-based team.
“We need a top-10 finish to put our season back on track. I know there is still plenty of racing left in 2022, but a top-10 run would certainly give us a boost that we would welcome with open arms.”
For crew chief and co-team owner Mark Rette, he is confident that his rookie driver will continue to adapt and rebound at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park.
“Amber is not going to give up and when our luck turns for the better, she is going to deliver the finishes I know we are capable of,” offered Rette. “Everything that has happened over the last several races has been a learning experience and will help the program for the long term.
“We’ll take our battle wounds, including last weekend at Pocono and press forward with a positive attitude and focus on making the most out of our Lucas Oil Raceway this weekend.”
ICON Direct will continue to adorn the primary positions on Balcaen’s race car in their 11th of 20 races this season.
ICON Direct is a manufacturer of high-quality plastic component parts for the RV industry, located in Manitoba, Canada. ICON aftermarket replacement parts are available through RV Dealers and Distributors across North America and directly through their website IconDirect.com.
The Winnipeger’s new endeavor at Rette Jones Racing will also be supported by Glenn McLeod and Sons – cementing a full Canadian roster of partners for her ARCA Menards Series rookie season.
Longtime RJR partners Ford Performance, Goodridge Fluid Transfer Systems, Jones Group Demolition and Abatement and JRi Shocks will continue their relationship with the team in 2022 and serve as associate partners on Balcaen’s No. 30 ICON Direct Ford Fusion.
RJR is co-owned by Canadian entrepreneur and former race car driver Terry Jones.
Entering Indianapolis, Balcaen sits sixth in the ARCA Menards Series championship standings, 24 points out of fourth and 88 markers in the arrears to championship leader Rajah Caruth.
For more on Amber Balcaen, please visit amberbalcaenracing.com, like her on Facebook (AmberBalcaenRacing) and follow her on Instagram (@amberbalcaen10) and Twitter (@amberbalcaen10).
For more on Rette Jones Racing, please visit RetteJonesRacing.com, like them on Facebook (Rette Jones Racing) or follow them on Instagram (@RetteJones30) and Twitter (@RetteJones30).
The Reese’s 200 (200 laps | 137 miles) is the 11th of 20 races on the 2022 ARCA Menards Series schedule. Practice begins on Friday, July 29, 2022, from 12:30 pm to 1:15 pm General Tire pole qualifying kicks off at 2:15 pm The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) and the FOX Sports App beginning at 6:00 pm ARCARacing.com will also stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities. All times are local (ET).