Amber Balcaen; Rette Jones Racing Stay Positive Heading to The Milwaukee Mile
WEST ALLIS, Wisc.: Praying for some luck.
After a continuous stretch of misfortune and heartbreak, ARCA Menards Series rookie Amber Balcaen and Rette Jones Racing invade The Milwaukee (Wisc.) Mile this weekend using every trick known to man hoping their luck will change in Sunday afternoon’s Sprecher 150.
The historic oval nestled in a suburb of Milwaukee completes a stretch of three races in seven days for the ARCA Menards Series tour and Balcaen hopes the 15th race of the season yields a finish that brings some much-welcomed momentum for the popular driver and team.
Last weekend at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International Raceway and the Illinois State Fairgrounds (Springfield) saw two opportunities for Balcaen to take the checkered flag. However, an erroneously attempted pass by a competitor landed Balcaen into the barrier wall.
Two days later in her return to dirt, the No. 30 ICON Direct Ford Fusion team was plagued by overheating woes that prematurely ended their day.
With six races remaining in her freshman ARCA Menards Series season, Balcaen has more than enough paid her dues in the heartbreak department and hopes the Sprecher 150 offers an opportunity to contend for her fourth top-10 of the 2022 season.
“I am excited about racing at The Milwaukee Mile this weekend,” said Balcaen. “It looks like a fun track and I know that my Rette Jones Racing team is going to bring me a fast No. 30 ICON Direct Ford Fusion.”
Even with her frustrating finishes, Balcaen has continuously been able to display speed including in the most recent races at Watkins Glen and Springfield – and this weekend on the one-mile track of The Milwaukee Mile, she expects no different.
“To showcase speed despite our bad luck has been really important for both me and our team to show that we are capable of top-10 finishes and having solid competitive runs,” added Balcaen.
“My goal this year has always been to improve and develop my skills as a driver and I know I have accomplished that despite what the results show. I know I continue to show more speed and ability as the races progress.”
As for the continued support around her, Balcaen has used the positive vibes from friends, family and fans to continue to hammer down behind the wheel and stay upbeat despite the continued forks in the road.
The support from my friends, family and fans has been incredible,” she mentioned. “It feels amazing to have so many positive and uplifting messages and support from everyone. They all know I can do it; we just need things to go our way.”
This weekend’s race in Wisconsin will again be a combined series race – with the ARCA Menards Series East division set to compete with the premier ARCA Menards Series.
Knowing that Sunday’s race can bring even stiffer competition to the race track, Balcaen doesn’t mind the challenge and is determined to use the knowledge of her team and resilience from the cockpit to deliver a competitive finish.
“We know we have to ability to be a top-five to a top-10 car; we just need luck on our side and things to fall into place. This weekend’s race will be a challenge, but like the challenges we’ve embraced all year, we accept it with open arms.
“I’m learning with every lap on the track and competing against some of ARCA’s best in both divisions opens the door for me to improve my craft even more and I’d like to showcase that in a big way on Sunday afternoon.
“I would be happy with a top-10 finish on Sunday.”
For crew chief and co-team owner Mark Rette, he is confident that his rookie driver’s positive outlook will pay dividends soon.
“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 this ongoing stretch of races has been a learning experience and will help the program for the long term.
“It’s not been easy. It’s been a lot of work on our Rette Jones Racing team, but a lot of it hasn’t been her fault. We stand behind Amber and we’ll continue to take our battle wounds and press on.
“She did exactly what she needed to do at Watkins Glen and got cleaned out. A lot of teams, including ours, battled overheating woes at Springfield. We’ll reset once again and march on.”
ICON Direct will continue to adorn the primary positions on Balcaen’s race car in their 15th 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 Milwaukee, Balcaen sits sixth in the ARCA Menards Series championship standings, 42 points out of fourth and 137 markers in the arrears to championship leader Nick Sanchez.
“I want to still put together some top 10’s and hopefully even some top-fives by the end of the season,” sounded Balcaen. “I know we have it in us. I think our bad luck streak must be over by now and I am focusing on the positives of the speed and progression we have shown.”
The Sprecher 150 (150 laps | 150 miles) is the 15th of 20 races on the 2022 ARCA Menards Series schedule. Practice begins on Sunday, August 28, 2022, from 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. A timed General Tire pole session kicks off at 12:00 p.m. The event will be televised live on MAVTV and FloRacing beginning at 2:00 p.m. CT | 3:00 p.m. ET. 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.