BROOKLYN, Mich. -- When it comes to making the transition from short tracks to speedway-length tracks, stock car drivers have different methods of figuring out how to handle each venue.
Driving on longer tracks relies more on straightaway speed, while driving on shorter tracks relies more on precision driving and maneuvering a vehicle.
When they can't be inside a car and on a track, drivers resort to certain simulation tactics. Brennan Poole, who will race in today's ARCA Racing Series RainEater Wiper Blades 200 at the Michigan International Speedway, utilizes technology. Specifically, video games.
"I play a lot of Xbox," Poole said of preparing for the two-mile oval, his second speedway race in as many weeks. "But everybody has to deal with that, going from bigger tracks to smaller tracks, and going from driving 200 miles per hour to 90 miles per hour."
Poole will have to concentrate on speed instead of maneuvers. After winning the Pocono ARCA 200 last weekend at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa., Poole aims for his third consecutive win today when he takes to the two-mile oval that was repaved after last season.
"We came from a track that was recently paved to another track that's recently been paved," Poole said. "What I learned from last weekend, that's going to carry over here."
The 21-year-old from The Woodlands, Texas, has won the last two ARCA races and enters today's RainEater Wiper Blades 200 as the series' points leader with 1660, ahead of Chris Buescher (1605) and Chad Hackenbracht (1585).
"Any time you're on a streak, you're motivated," said Poole, who also won the Akona 200 on June 2 in Elko, Minn.
"You're motivated, your crew's motivated, your team's motivated."
During Thursday's ARCA practice at MIS, Poole registered an average lap speed of 187.071 miles per hour, seventh among the drivers who practiced.
Kevin Swindell had the fastest average lap speed of 193.143.
Ryan Reed, Poole's teammate with Venturini Motorsports, agreed on the track assessment, but believes it's important to take the same mindset from track to track. Psychologically, size may not necessarily matter.
"The biggest thing here is handling the speeds," said Reed, who is eighth in ARCA points standings with 1460. "At a big track like this, going 200 miles an hour, the smallest thing can end your day. It's about being smart and being smooth on the track."
FORD TOUGH: Reed is bucking a 30-year trend for Venturini Motorsports, the ownership team he drives for, by driving a Ford this weekend at the ARCA race at MIS. It's the first Ford that Venturini Motorsports will field.
Sam Bass designed the Ryan's Mission Ford, which highlights JDRF, as Reed has Type 1 diabetes. The car is powered by RoushYates engines.
"Ford's going to give us a competitive edge, and having a strong motor and solid aerodynamics is huge," Reed said. Driving a Ford in the backyard of Detroit, what better way to go?"
Reed drove a Chevrolet and a Toyota in the first seven races of the season.
FOUR OF A KIND: Today's ARCA race launches the four-race schedule for the Bill France Four Crown Award, which honors the highest finisher at four different tracks: today's two-mile oval at MIS, a road course at the ARCA 150 presented by Global Barter July 1 at the New Jersey Motorsports Park's Thunderbolt Raceway, a dirt track Aug. 19 at the Allen Crowe 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, and a short track Sept. 15 at the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers Fall Classic by Federated Car Care at Salem (Ky.) Speedway.