By: Mitchell Breuer
In her first season in the ARCA Menards Series West, Gracie Trotter has proven to be impressive.
The driver of the No. 99 Bill McAnally Racing Toyota started the year with a fourthat the season-openerat the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Bullring, following that up with three more top-10’s.
“I think it’s a great start off to the year,” Trotter said in a Zoom press conference Wednesday.“Just finishing in the top-five’s, top-threes, it really leads you on to get those wins at the end of the year and, I really feel like me and the team can go get those wins at the end of the year, especially going to some of these short tracks.”
In the most recent West race at Irwindale Speedway, she scored a season-best third. After the success at that short track, Trotter is confident she can find more as the upcoming schedule for the series features similar venues.
“I’m looking forward to racing Roseville. We went and tested there last year, so I really liked that place and even Evergreen and Douglas County,” Trotter said.“So, I’m really looking forward to that and I think we can maybe grab some couple of wins there.”
However, before a return to the West, she will shift her focus to the ARCA Menards Series this weekend at Iowa Speedway, making her second start of the year in her first trip to the 7/8-mile oval. Trotter will look to have a better day than her debut at Phoenix Raceway, where she finished 22nd after suffering an engine failure.
“I’m nervous and excited,” Trotter said. “I don’t really know what to expect going into a track like this. The biggest track I’ve been to was Phoenix, and before that it was just a half mile. So, I’ve heard a lot of different things from different people but, I’m taking all their ideas and advice into consideration on what I need to do, what’s best for me when I go in there.”
Trotter realizes she will not have a lot of time to get used to the track, with only hour of practice before the race. Knowing this, she expects a weekend of learning.
“I’m going to have to mess around with the bottom line, the middle line, the top groove, and try to go around some other cars to kind of feel some air,” Trotter said.“I’ll start the weekend out confused and then probably figure out why I was frustrated all day, just because I’m going to be learning so much, but I’m going to try to take it all in with all I can and go there with an open mind and do the best I can do.”