One of the most exciting young drivers in ARCA RE/MAX Series stock car racing, Christi Passmore and her #91 G.A.P. Roofing-Royal Trading Ford team head to the fast 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., this week for Saturday?s 200.

The Chicagoland race marks the culmination of a busy week-plus of racing. Passmore and her team ran two one-day ARCA shows over a three-day period through the Labor Day weekend ? a 200-lap race is Saturday night, Aug. 30, at the paved, half-mile Winchester (Ind.) Speedway, and then a 100-mile race on the one-mile dirt track at DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds on Labor Day Monday, Sept. 1. The two speedways are located approximately 300 miles apart.

Holding a spot in the top 10 of the national ARCA standings, as she has virtually all season, and locked in a tight battle in rookie of the year points, the 21-year-old phenom from Pryor, Okla., is in her first full season in the ARCA series. She began her career on the dirt tracks of the Midwest, running Sprints and Midgets before moving into the national stock car racing series for 2003.

The thoughts of G.A.P. Roofing-Royal Trading Ford driver Christi Passmore heading into Chicagoland:

?It?s hard not to be excited going into the Chicago race. It?s a big race at a fast track with a lot of people, and everybody is bringing out their best stuff. I think it?s going to be a really good race, and I like our chances in it.

?We tested there a couple of weeks ago and had a really good test. We were very pleased with what we were able to do with the race track, and how much more we were able to learn. I ran there last year, and we had a really good car for that race, and that certainly helps everybody?s frame of mind.

?I like going fast. The faster we race the better I like it. Tracks like Chicagoland, Daytona, Talladega, Atlanta . . . those are the tracks I like the best. I like the sensation of speed, and I like the way the car feels.

?Chicagoland is fast, no doubt about that. Obviously, that makes horsepower crucial. You need a lot of it to get down the straightaways but, at speeds like that, every little bit - not just every tenth of a second but every hundredth of a second - can mean so much. So your handling has to be right on the money. Your car has to be really good getting into the turns, and you have to be able to hold that bottom line but still be able to breathe it out and get right back into the gas in the turns. If you have to wait for the car to set, you?ve waited too long. Setup is all about getting the car to set and be able to go quickly.

?It puts extra pressure on the drivers too, I believe. You have to hit your marks. You can?t go in too deep but you can?t go in too easy either. You have to be right every time, and you have to be right every lap. Miss a little bit and you can lose a couple of positions pretty quickly. Miss a lot and you are way behind. But that is the challenge - being able to do that not just by yourself on a qualifying lap but also with another 40-some cars out there with you.

?We?re pretty excited about the Chicagoland race. We think we have a chance to really do some good things there, and we?re going to work hard to do just that. This G.A.P. Roofing/Royal Trading Ford team is ready to go.?

Click here for information about the September 5-7 ARCA/IRL weekend.

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