Column By: BILLY HODGES / RPW – SELKIRK, NY – The 2022 season was an amazing one for Michael Arnold and the #76 racing team.
Arnold came up just 29 points behind Chris Crane Jr. for the Albany-Saratoga Speedway Limited Sportsman Championship to go along with his first career victory in the division on April 29th.
During this past season of open wheel competition, at Malta, Fonda and Accord, the Selkirk, NY driver was lights out in every event he entered. He scored 16 top 5’s and 21 top 10’s to go along with his victory at “The Great Race Place.”
The team finished all but one event during the year. However, it’s that one DNF that haunts Arnold.
“I really think we would have won the championship at Albany-Saratoga if not for that race,” Arnold said. But, those are the breaks.”
For the 2023 season, the team is headed back to the Malta, NY oval.
“We’ve got some unfinished business,” he said. “We need to finish what we started. We are going for that championship.”
Michael has had a passion for racing since he was a young child and that led him to the driver’s seat. In 2015, he raced in the Street Stocks class and won Rookie of the Year at Albany-Saratoga. After a few seasons there, he moved to the Fonda Speedway where he repeated the feat in 2018.
The Arnold Motorsports 76 team is not a big group, but they are dedicated to winning and running well. Arnold’s wife, Kelly, is probably his biggest supporter to go along with his father, Charlie and Michael Jr., the crew chief.
Michael’s uncle, Pete Leclair, his motor guy, Tommy Kreeber, and brother-in-law, Tom Greathouse are core components of the team. Can’t forget about his cousin, Lance Maxon, who helps out but also works on Mike Mahaney’s Big Block team. Maxon is the one who’s pushed Arnold to travel more and has helped the 76 team prepare whatever they have needed to go on the road.
This season won’t be possible if it wasn’t for Dave Zimmerman with Roberts Towing, the team’s primary sponsor, as well as their associate partners. They include Radley Enterprise, Felicano Body Works, Ashline Painting, Dave Prime Mac Tools, BPI Piping, J. Hunzinker Paving, First Responders, TK Performance, G&J Auto, Theile Carting, Ferras Automotive, Advance Auto Parts, DW Masonry, Milton Cat & JK Signworks.
“I really feel that 2023 should be a very good year for the 76 team,” he said. “The group at DKM Fabrication has step in and really helped us. I can’t thank Eric Mack and Dave Constantino from DKM enough for their support.”
Arnold also had some kind words to say about Malta’s promoter.
“I really have to thank Lyle Devore for giving us all an awesome race track ever week,” he said. “He and his team keep the track consistent every week. Lyle’s a great promoter and packs the stands with fans every race.”
Last season was a great one for Michael Arnold. He’s a winner and very nearly became a champion. Now, he’s on a mission to finish the job and that might just happen in 2023.