Balcaen Charges to Third in ARCA Points Standings with P8 Finish at Kansas

May 7, 2024

Shift Up Now Athlete Amber Balcaen earned a P8 finish under unusual circumstances in the ARCA Menards Tide 150 race at Kansas Speedway on Saturday, May 4, 2024.

Driving the No. 22 ICON Direct Toyota for Venturini Motorsports, Balcaen completed all sessions - practice, qualifying and race - driving with a broken left foot.

While competing in the General Tire 150 at Dover Motor Speedway on April 26th, she was forced to take evasive action to avoid hitting a competing car that had crashed just ahead of her. This caused her car to spin and hit the inside wall. Despite breaking her foot in the incident, she was cleared to drive at Kansas with a carbon insert in her race boot to keep the foot protected.

Undeterred, the Canadian driver powered through to run P8 in Friday’s practice, and qualify her car P6 on Saturday morning.

The 100-lap competition on the 1.5-mile, banked oval began at 2:00 p.m. ET on Saturday. Overcast skies improved racing conditions after the sunny and warm practice and qualifying sessions the field had run in earlier.

The green flag flew and Balcaen got a good start. Shortly afterward, a car ahead checked up, holding up the No. 22 Toyota and dropping her back a couple spots. But within just a few laps, she regained her P8 position, and stayed within the top ten through the first half of the race, which ran caution-free.

At the halfway point, the planned competition caution flag flew, bringing the entire field to pit lane for fuel and four new General Tires.

On the restart, Balcaen held her position and remained in the top ten. She continued to run fast, clean laps.

With 20 laps remaining, a full-course yellow was thrown. The Venturini Motorsports team elected to have Balcaen take the waive-around to get back on the lead lap for the finish. Despite running on worn tires against most of the field - who had opted for fresh ones - she was able to hold on to P8. She finished on the lead lap and moved herself into third place in the ARCA Menards Championship point standings.

“My foot is throbbing right now,” said Balcaen as she got out of her race car. “I didn’t really notice it during the race, other than on the restarts. I had to use the left foot to keep a little pressure on the brake and make sure we kept the RPMs up. But it was a decent day for coming back with a broken foot. Top ten isn’t bad; I really wanted that top five today but we had some tough competition. We made the right changes during the pit-stop, and are heading the right way. So now I just need to let my foot heal and keep getting better.”

Next up, Balcaen and the ARCA Menards Series will head to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the General Tire 150 on May 24, 2024.

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