Behind the Wheel with GRC Driver, Steve Arpin
After missing a win by .071 seconds to Sebastian Eriksson in Louisville, Steve Arpin will be back chasing after points leaders Scott Speed and Tanner Foust in Rounds 3 and 4 of the Red Bull Global Rallycross championship this weekend in Thompson, Connecticut. Currently, Arpin is in third place in the driver’s championship but is only trailing 17 points after two races. The first doubleheader of the season is a key opportunity for the young Canadian driver of the Loenbro Motorsports No. 00 Ford Fiesta ST to secure his position among the leaders or lose a lot of ground if his race luck runs low on the New England track.
A native of Fort Frances, Ontario, Steve Arpin is at home on everything from snow to dirt to asphalt courses. As a seven-time snowmobile champion, a UMP DIRTcar champion, and experience learned racing the NASCAR Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series, the Canuck is well suited for the action of GRC competition. 2017 is Steve’s fifth season competing full-time in GRC and his third year with Chip Ganassi Racing.
Currently, the 33-year-old racer resides in Huntersville, North Carolina with his wife, Jen. When he is not immersed in a race weekend, Arpin dedicates his time towards training and building his fitness. Part of the regimen is sticking to a strict diet and working with an MMA fighter as his trainer.
Driver development and building a winning team are top of mind for Steve every day of the week. Undoubtedly, Steve spends a lot of time at Ganassi’s NASCAR shop in Concord leveraging off of Ganassi’s winning record and world-class race organization.
“Kyle Larson is at the shop all the time, Jamie McMurray, and even Rico Abreu, their development driver,” he explained. “We’re all back and forth talking about things, talking about little things that I struggle with. I talk a lot with the NASCAR crew chiefs and the engineers over there just about little things we’re struggling with.
Steve is definitely a fast driver and a smart driver, but he is also has a humbleness about him. In fact, he’ll tell you that he is too nice of a guy.
“For the last couple of years, my only chance was survival. We weren’t in a car that was capable of winning and being up front, so my only chance was staying out of trouble and just being cautious and finishing races. Well, what that did is it took my aggression level way down and almost made me too nice,” he laughed. “So I’m having to work on getting a lot more aggressive on those starts and getting a lot more aggressive on those first couple laps to really capitalize on getting track position. In these things, everyone is so close and competition level is so high that if you lose time, you can’t make it back, because people are so good.”
Now that Steve has been with the Ganassi GRC team for a couple years, he has the knowledge, experience, and skills to give veterans like Speed and Foust a run for their money on race day. Off the track, Steve is still the same grounded person that everyone loves but don’t expect Mr. Nice Guy when the green flag drops at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park this weekend.