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Toledo’s Bailey returns to home track

09/17/2016, 12:00am EDT
By By MATT THOMPSON BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Driver hopes to finish his 8-year ARCA career on a high note


Toledo native Nick Bailey, center, signed an autograph for Max Karnik, 3 before the start of last year’s race at Toledo Speedway. The 32-year-old will drive in his final race Sunday. THE BLADE

Toledo driver Nick Bailey will make his final laps over 100 mph during Sunday’s Glass City 200 at Toledo Speedway.

The 32-year-old said it’s time to focus on his family business, but he’d like to go out on top after an eight-year career with the ARCA CRA Super Series racing. In the last four Glass City 200s, Bailey has finished in the top five each year.

“It’s a little bittersweet, but I’ll keep a good spirit,” Bailey said about finishing on his hometown track.

He grew up in Point Place only five miles from the track and won his first heat there at 16 years old. Sixteen years later he looks to finish his career in a high note.

Engines will start and the green flag will wave at 6 p.m. Saturday at Toledo Speedway.

“I tend to always be in there at end of Glass City,” Bailey said. “It’s an endurance race, the longest one for our series.”

He said the Toledo Speedway is the fastest track the drivers race in the region. Most of the Super Series tracks are shorter and don’t have high banks for the turns. Bailey expects to get up to 130-135 mph in the straightaways and 90 mph in the corners.

Other local drivers in the race will be Tom Cronenwett and Jimmie Ward, Jr., both of Temperance. Kevin Stahl, Jr., from Genoa and Nick Grodi of Oak Harbor are also in the race.

Bailey’s top goal is to finish his races. That is especially true for Sunday because on top of it being his last race he wants to sell the car. A good finish would help him sell it at the $40,000 asking price.

He has one more shot at glory. On Monday morning, he will be back to work at PB Fabrication and Mechanical Contractor.

“Racing is a hobby and it costs a lot of money,” he said. “We tested [the car] on Tuesday and took it eight hours on the racetrack to make adjustments and got it to go at a good speed — it was encouraging, I’m feeling good about the race.”

Contact Matt Thompson at: mthompson@theblade.com, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.

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