Amber Balcaen and Rette Jones Racing Ready to Take on Talladega Superspeedway
TALLADEGA, Ala.: After more than a month’s sabbatical, Amber Balcaen and Rette Jones Racing’s quest for the 2022 ARCA Menards Series championship leads to Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway for Saturday afternoon’s General Tire 200.
Balcaen in her first full season of driving duties aboard the No. 30 ICON Direct Ford Fusion invades the final superspeedway race of the 2022 season looking to utilize the experience of her Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway debut in February and deliver her first top-10 finish of the season.
“I am super excited to race at Talladega Superspeedway this weekend,” said Balcaen. “This break between Phoenix and Talladega has seemed long, so I’m more than ready to be back in the No. 30 ICON Direct Ford Fusion with the Rette Jones Racing crew.
“I am especially excited for Talladega because after having a race under my belt from Daytona, I now know what to expect for a superspeedway race. I also love the fundamentals of superspeedway racing. I love the rush of going fast and being in the draft.”
Knowing that the same basics apply between Daytona and Talladega, Balcaen believes the experience that she amassed during the 80-lap season-opener earlier this year at Daytona will improve her craft on Saturday.
“After competing at Daytona, I know what it feels like to be in the draft,” she explained. “I learned how to manage the air and speed in the cars whether I was in a small draft of cars or huge draft of cars. I’m planning to showcase and apply everything I learned at Daytona to Talladega, which makes me very optimistic for the race.”
After an early exit in the most recent ARCA Menards Series race at Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway last month, the Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada native is still taking solace knowing she’s moved inside the top-10 in the ARCA championship standings and hopes the third race of the year will help her continue her climb forward.
“I have taken this month’s break to really prepare for this upcoming season,” Balcaen said. “I have been spending a lot of time in the gym, on iRacing and on my mental game. I feel very optimistic about the busy upcoming stretch of races as well as the rest of the ARCA season.”
As far as Talladega is concerned, Balcaen believes her Rette Jones Racing No. 30 ICON Direct Ford Fusion is plenty capable of a top-10 finish.
“I would like a top 10 finish at Talladega which I think is a very manageable goal,” she said. “I want to have fun like I did in Daytona and keep progressing forward as a driver.”
For crew chief and co-team owner Rette, he is confident that his rookie driver will adapt and find her groove and continue a solid pace in her ARCA Menards Series quest.
“Amber really did a good job at Daytona,” added Rette. “She learned a lot, kept our No. 30 ICON Direct Ford Fusion out of trouble and delivered a solid finish. She is more than capable of improving on Daytona at Talladega on Saturday.
“With no qualifying before the race, we’ll have to make sure we get her comfortable in the draft because she’ll be likely starting in the eye of the storm and it’s going to be important to get her in a position where she can quickly and decisively move forward and ride a lot of the race until she’s in a position to make a move at the end of the race.
“She’d like a top-10 on Saturday and that would be a good boost for our Rette Jones Racing team and give us some great momentum for Kansas Speedway next month.”
ICON Direct will continue to adorn the primary positions on Balcaen’s race car in their third 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.
The General Tire 200 (76 laps | 200 miles) is the third of 20 races on the 2022 ARCA Menards Series schedule. Group practice begins on Fri. April 22 from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. The series won’t host qualifying, setting the field by 2021 ARCA car owner standings. The 60th ARCA from Talladega is set to take the green flag on Saturday, April 23 shortly after 12:00 p.m. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) with the Motor Racing Network (MRN) handling the radio waves. ARCARacing.com will also stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities. All times are local (CT).
About Rette Jones Racing:
Headquartered in Mooresville, North Carolina, Rette Jones Racing (RJR) was founded in 2015 with the intent of building a successful racing operation built around the fundamentals of hard work and a never-give-up attitude.
Owned by racers Terry Jones and Mark Rette, RJR plan to field a full-time entry in 2022 in the ARCA Menards Series, while also planning to field vehicles in the ARCA Menards Series East and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) respectively.
The winning ARCA team also offers technical and setup intel as part of its technical alliance partnership program.