By Christian Koelle, Staff Writer
Donald Theetge and Visconti Motorsports have some unfinished business to tend to Saturday at 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Flordia. Finishing second in 2021 with Mason Diaz, Visconti Motorsports wants more heading south with Boischatel, Quebec, Canada native Donald Theetge.
After a successful ARCA Menards Series East debut at New Smyrna, Theetge now has some track time under his belt. Heading into his second career East Series race, he feels like he’ll be a bit more prepared than he was with New Smyrna.
“I was very nervous at New Smyrna because I had never driven an ARCA car before and we didn’t have very much practice,” said Theetge. “After that race and our results, I feel like I will be more prepared for sure. Visconti Motorsports gave me a very good car and they were very well prepared despite my lack of experience. We qualified third and finished inside the top-five so after that, I feel way more prepared.”
In his first ARCA Menards Series East start, Theetge tallied his first top-five finish here in a United States-based series. Theetge has 17 top-five finishes in the Canadian-based NASCAR Pinty’s Series and has one top-five finish in that series in the United States. Theetge finished third at New Hampshire in the Pinty’s Series first, and so far, only United States race in 2018.
As noted above, Visconti Motorsports has some business left to tend to with Sammy Smith and Taylor Gray. Battling with the two most of 2021, the No. 74 is looking to state its dominance against the big money teams of David Gilliland Racing and Kyle Busch Motorsports.
“If it wasn’t for a bad alternator after the pit stop we definitely had a top 3 car at New Smyrna,” said John Visconti. “I feel as though our equipment is capable of winning with Donald in the car. No one has really ever pressured the 18 or the 17. They just run their own race. I think if we pressure them as a third car in the mix, Donald’s experience will rattle them a bit and give us a great shot at a win.”
Visconti Motorsports was really the only team to stand up to the goliaths in the ARCA Menards Series East last season and as the season gets rolling, John Visconti feels his team can pressure the No. 17 and 18 and have a shot at earning their first victory in the ARCA Menards Series East since New Hampshire in 2018.
“We had a great car last year,” said Visconti. “I think we had a shot at the win but need caution. It took us a long time to get around the 17, and the 18 ran away. A restart would have given us a shot to win it. As for Pensacola, I think we have a really good shot with the notebook from last year’s race. I have to thank our sponsors; Groupe Theetge, XPN Nutrition, Bomber Eyewear, Mechanix Wear, and Lucas Oil.”
Photo: Brandon Zumbach – Overbey/CCK Photography