ROCHESTER, Minn. (Jan. 30) — He may be from Canada, but Steve Arpin has a soft spot for the Sunshine State.
“The weather is always nice, but winning at Speedweeks against that level of competition is always nicer,” Arpin said.
The 23-year-old Modified racer from Fort Frances, Ont., Canada (now residing in Rochester, Minn.), embarked Monday on a 21-hour, 1,400-mile trek to Lake City, Fla., where he will open the 2007 season with a three-day event at the North Florida Speedway — the first of 15 events in 17 days for the second-generation pilot.
The inaugural North Florida Winternationals at the 3/8-mile clay oval includes an open practice on Thursday night, Feb. 1, followed by racing on Friday night with an $800-to win-preliminary feature. On Saturday, the finale is worth $1,000 to the winner plus bonuses that could push one driver’s winnings to $2,500 for the weekend.
Arpin’s fourth straight year of chasing checkered flags in Florida will continue at the Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla., as the Modifieds will battle for eight consecutive nights from Feb. 6-13. Modified action has been lighting up Volusia Speedway Park in February for more than a decade and another huge field of Modified teams will converge on Volusia from all across the country to enjoy eight grueling nights of action. The first seven evenings will be topped by 20-lap features, with a 30-lap Championship event bringing the meet to an end on Tues., Feb. 13.
The Speedweeks saga continues Feb. 14-17 at the East Bay Raceway Park in Gibsonton, Fla., where big money is the lure for Arpin and dozens of other Modified racers from across the United States. On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, the main event winner will pocket $1,500 while Saturday’s victor will pocket a cool $8,000.
Arpin has tasted success during past Speedweeks events, including numerous feature wins at Volusia. Last season, Arpin claimed a Carolina Clash Series win at Brunswick, Ga., as well as topping the Young Guns Shootout in Savannah, Ga.
Upon his return home, Arpin will get ready for 1st Annual Race Wise Chassis Seminar with Mark Bush in Rochester, Minn., March 2-4.
For 2007, Arpin will pilot a pair of brand new Larry Shaw chassis as he seeks to pad his ever-glowing resumé. Both Modifieds will adorn the familiar No. 00 with power provided by Action Engineering of Rochester, Minn. Other sponsors helping to put Arpin into victory lane in 2007 include New Vision Graphics, BSB Manufacturing, Bassett Racing Wheels, Fast Shafts, Cornwell Tools (dealer Tyler Rubin of Rochester, Minn.), Hess Technology, Pinewood Sports and Reich Concrete. Arpin is also welcoming aboard new sponsors for this year’s campaign, including Comp Cams, Valvoline, Dyers Rods and Schoenfeld Headers.
Beginning March 9-10 at the Junction Motor Speedway in McCool Junction, Neb., Arpin will begin his quest for the O’Reilly Auto Parts United States Modified Series national championship. More than 60 dates are expected on this year’s O’Reilly USMTS calendar. In September, 2006, Arpin captured his career-first O’Reilly USMTS main event win with a thrilling victory at the 8th Annual Featherlite Fall Jamboree at the Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn.
For more information about Steve Arpin, visit his website at www.stevearpinracing.com.