Arpin pumped on rallycross racing

Lucas Punkari

The experience of racing in something completely different than what he’s used to so far has excited Fort Frances native Steve Arpin.
“It’s really been quite incredible,” the 29-year-old enthused as he prepared to kick off the second half of the 2013 Global Rallycross season.
“First off, to be back in a race car again is a pure joy,” he noted.
“And in another aspect, I never thought that I would be able to go from racing go-karts back in Rainy River to racing in the X Games in Brazil,” he added.
“This past year alone, I have been to Belgium, Brazil, Germany, Barcelona, and Paris, and I’ve had a chance to experience everything.”
Heading into this Sunday’s event at the X Games in Los Angeles, Arpin finds himself in seventh place in the driver standings with 47 points, two ahead of his teammate and current Sprint Cup driver, Scott Speed.
“Racing these cars is completely different from anything I have ever driven before, especially when it comes to the beginning of the races as you start from a standstill,” Arpin remarked.
“I actually have a checklist that I have to go through myself before the start of each race as there are a lot of things that I have to do that are completely different for a simple-minded dirt racer like myself,” he explained.
“The biggest thing for me is to make everything natural as opposed to thinking about it a lot, as getting off to a good start is important in these races,” he stressed.
After starting the season with a fourth-place finish at the X Games in Brazil back in April, Arpin missed out on making the main event in the first half of a doubleheader in Munich, Germany.
But he did nab a second-place result in the second event of the weekend last month.
A mechanical failure in Loudon, N.H. forced Arpin to again miss the main event on July 11, but he turned in an impressive showing in the feature race in Bristol, Tenn. on July 20.
“Bristol was a really high-speed track that had a lot of different elements to it,” Arpin recalled.
“The car was very competitive and we were running in second place,” he added. “But we had a right rear tire that went flat, which forced us out of the race.
“However, we made a real statement in that race and we showed to everyone in the series that we are here to compete.”
Away from the track, Arpin had an exciting event happen last Wednesday—becoming engaged to his girlfriend, Jennifer Yoger.
“She is the girl of my dreams and I am super-excited about it,” he enthused.
“She is coming with us to Los Angeles for the X Games this weekend, and I’m really looking forward to having her out there with me.”
Although Arpin is excited to compete in the X Games in L.A., the event he’s looking forward to most will occur on Sept. 22 when he competes at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“It’s pretty much like a home event for me, and it will be nice to have a number of people coming out to support my efforts,” he said.
“It will be a really cool deal to share that with him.”
With only four races left in the Global Rallycross season, Arpin is looking to make the most of his opportunity in the #32 Royal Purple Ford Fiesta before his campaign comes to an end in November in Las Vegas.
“My team owner has reminded me that I’m going against guys here that have been doing this their entire lives,” noted Arpin.
“And although that gives you a better appreciation of where you are at, it also wants to make you go out there and kick the other guys’ butts.
“This year, though, I’m going about things a little bit differently,” he admitted. “I’m just trying to do my best each every time out, and to also have as much fun as possible.
“Regardless of what happens on the track, life could still be worst,” he reasoned.