Amber Balcaen & Rette Jones Racing Remain Focused Despite Rough Patch

ARCA Menards Series rookie driver Amber Balcaen and her Rette Jones Racing team hustle to Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park remaining focused that there is light at the end of the tunnel and it could come with Friday night’s Reese’s 200.

A rough month and a half racing stretch continued last weekend at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway where Balcaen showcased her skills at the tough and demanding 2.5-mile triangle.

Unfortunately, while racing competitively inside the top 10, she was spun by another competitor and collected in a massive four-car accident that abruptly ended her day and confidence.

But, with reassurance from her Rette Jones Racing team owners Terry Jones and Mark Rette, Balcaen returns to short track racing where she hopes the smaller tracks will this time be in her favor and she can deliver her fourth top-10 finish of the season aboard No. 30 ICON Direct Ford Fusion.

“The last few races have been pretty frustrating, especially last weekend at Pocono Raceway, there’s no hiding behind that,” offered Balcaen. “Everyone is working hard. Extremely hard and it just seemed silly for another driver to be so aggressive early in the race that ultimately changed the outcome of the race for several drivers and teams.

“I’m trying to stay positive and focus forward but I just feel bad for my team and all my partners who deserve a lot better than what we have been able to produce lately.

“I hope Friday night’s race changes our luck.”

Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park is another new track for Balcaen in 2022. Still, she has been taking the new challenges in stride and is eager to continue to learn and improve throughout the 200 laps that await her on Friday night.

“I think Pocono was a great example of how much I improved in a single race weekend,” added Balcaen. “My lap times picked up with every lap on the track and by the end of practice on Friday afternoon, we were knocking on the door of the top-10.

“We only continued to get stronger and raced our way competitively inside the top-10 before we got wrecked. Even with the negative result, there were some positives to come from the weekend.

“At Lucas Oil Raceway this weekend though, the goal is to keep making gains from practice to qualifying and the race and to bring home a finish that can carry us to Michigan International Speedway next weekend.”

A top-10 finish would be exactly what the doctor ordered for the Mooresville, N.C.-based team.

“We need a top-10 finish to put our season back on track. I know there is still plenty of racing left in 2022, but a top-10 run would certainly give us a boost that we would welcome with open arms.”

For crew chief and co-team owner Mark Rette, he is confident that his rookie driver will continue to adapt and rebound at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park.

“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 the last several races has been a learning experience and will help the program for the long term.

“We’ll take our battle wounds, including last weekend at Pocono and press forward with a positive attitude and focus on making the most out of our Lucas Oil Raceway this weekend.”  

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