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Patrick Sheltra Wins Ansell Protective Gloves 150
Joey Coulter Takes Prestigious Bill France Four Crown Award
Patrick Sheltra #60 claimed his second consecutive race in the ARCA Racing Series, winning the Ansell Protective Gloves 150 by 1.669 seconds over Steve Arpin. With his win at Chicagoland Speedway - his first on a speedway and the third of his 82-race career - Sheltra became the second driver with multiple and back-to-back victories this season, joining Arpin.
The 24-year-old Sheltra led 85 of 100 laps to back up his winning performance from just five days earlier, when he won the Allen Crowe 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. Sheltra maintained his position as the only driver in the series with top-10 finishes in each of the seven speedway races to date.
The Start Of the Race… The #76 AARP of Jerick Johnson Car spins on the Green Flag
And heads for the Grass... No Caution The Race was on...
"I cannot thank everyone at Sheltra Motorsports enough," said Sheltra, who used the services of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Gilliland as a driver coach. "We had a great car. We opted not to come out and test here (last week) and obviously, it did not hold us back. I can't thank everyone enough. We're on fire right now and we don't plan to let the flame die anytime soon."
Craig Goess (No. 81 Greenville Toyota of N.C. Toyota) started on the Menards Pole for the second time this season. Goess faced a stiff challenge from the start from Sheltra.
Sheltra, whose win Sunday came after a daring move to the outside on a late restart, used the outside line at first to drive next to Goess, but eventually passed the ARCA Racing Series points leader on the inside in the first turn of the fifth lap.
Sheltra opened a lead of more than one second after a Lap 15 restart, and immediately found himself under hot pursuit from Justin Marks (No. 32 Construct Corps Toyota), Arpin, and Grant Enfinger (No. 09 BeasleyAllen.com Ford). Enfinger battled Arpin along the low line for third place and passed him in the fourth turn on Lap 23 for the position. With only Marks between Enfinger and Sheltra's lead, the second and third positions were occupied by drivers who had changed their engines before qualifying. Enfinger then moved around Marks on Lap 25 and found himself 1.921 seconds behind Sheltra.
Chad Finley (No. 29 Bumper to Bumper Certified Service Centers Chevrolet), who had started third on Lap 15 and fallen back to sixth, moved along the top of the track and back into third place. Meanwhile, Enfinger was closing the gap on Sheltra, closing within 0.139 second on Lap 29.
Chad Hackenbracht (No. 58 Tastee Apples Chevrolet) hit the turn 2 wall on Lap 33, and Robb Brent (No. 36 Orchard Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Dodge) temporarily assumed the lead within the ensuing caution, the race's second, on Lap 35. Brent eventually had to pit, and Finley took the point on Lap 42.
Sheltra moved away on Lap 47, and just four laps later held a lead of more than one second over Finley. By leading the race's 50th lap, Sheltra took the Messina Halfway Leader Award, a fitting supplement to his Aaron's Lap Leader Award, earned for leading more laps than any other driver.
Ali Owens spins coming off turn two…no contact with the wall and she continued on
Arpin moved past Tim George Jr. a Richard Childress Racing Development driver and Marks to take third place, and it was soon his Toyota that was battling Finley for the second position. The side-by-side racing between Arpin and Finley allowed Sheltra to advance his lead to more than two seconds, and his lead only grew before Alli Owens (No. 15) spun on Lap 60 to bring out the race's third caution.
The race's final caution came out when Finley's car went up in smoke and had to leave the track. Sheltra's pursuers had a chance on the Lap 91 restart, but Sheltra pulled away over the final 10 laps to win his second consecutive event in the series and move into third place and within 10 points of Goess in the series standings.
Arpin and Enfinger battled tightly in the waning laps, with Arpin taking the second position. Kimmel and Goess followed to close the top five, and Marks held off Tom Hessert (No. 77 Cherry Hill Classic Cars Dodge) for sixth place. Hessert currently stands fourth, 25 points behind Goess's lead.
Joey Coulter's eighth-place finish, coupled with Sheltra's win, gave him a wire-to-wire win in the Bill France Four Crown Award. Coulter (No. 16 Rip It Energy Fuel/Darrell Gwynn Foundation Chevrolet) defeated Sheltra by a mere 10 points, 745-735, to win the season-within-a-season contest which awards drivers for success on a diverse slate of tracks.
Bobby Gerhart finished ninth to take his first top-10 since the June race at Pocono, and Bryan Silas finished 10th.
At one hour, 21 minutes, and 35 seconds (110.317 mph), the race was 31 seconds short of matching last season's record-setting race, won by eventual series champion Justin Lofton at a speed of 111.020 mph. The five caution periods delayed the race for 30 laps
Danica Patrick in Makes her Debut in ARCA Testing at Daytona
Earnhardt Jr Takes a Hands off Approach to Danica Patrick's ARCA Racing Series Debut
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. says that he is refraining from giving driver Danica Patrick too much advice heading into her stock car debut in Saturday's Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards race, allowing the IZOD INDY Car Series veteran to make her own race day game plan.
"I really don't have the urge to give her a bunch of advice," said Earnhardt, Jr. "I'm just curious as to how she is enjoying her experience and what she thinks about her opportunity today and how things have went as far as the chemistry goes and when today is over what we can do differently to make it smoother and to make it a more consistent weekend. And to find out if there are any speed bumps or whatever that she saw but otherwise she doesn't need too many people barking in her ear about what she needs to do. She's a smart racecar driver and probably has a great game plan already built up in her head. She doesn't need to have people telling her what to do so that she starts second-guessing herself."
The comments were made during a Hot Wheels Press Conference in the Daytona Int'l Speedway Infield Media Center on Saturday afternoon, just hours before the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 ARCA season-opener at Daytona. Earnhardt, Jr., Patrick and JR Motorsports Team Owner/General Manager Kelly Earnhardt were among the participants in the press conference.
Patrick starts 12th in Saturday's Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 ARCA race, live on SPEED beginning at 4:30 p.m. Eastern.
Milka Duno to make Arca Debut in Testing
Photo By Dan Peters
Milka Duno will make her stock car debut during the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards open test at Daytona International Speedway December 18, 19 and 20, 2009. Duno will participate in the test behind the wheel of Braun Racing's No. 90 Toyota.
While no stranger to the Daytona Beach, FL-based track, this will be Duno's first opportunity to go around the 2.5-mile tri-oval in a metal-skinned stock car. Her No. 90 Camry will have less downforce than either the IndyCar Series cars she's driven the past three seasons, or the Rolex Series Daytona Prototypes that she competed in for the three seasons before that.
"This will be a new challenge for me and one that I've been looking forward to," said Duno. "I know it won't be easy - it will be hard work - but work that I'm ready to take on."
With a second-place finish in 2007, Duno holds the record for the highest finish ever by a female driver in the 45-year history of the 24 Hours of Daytona at Daytona International Speedway.The highest finish by a female driver in ARCA competition at Daytona is second, posted by Shawna Robinson in 2001.
Starting with her four-win season in the American Le Mans Series in 2001 and continuing through her thee-win Rolex Series years, Milka has been offered opportunities to compete in stock cars and in the NASCAR Series virtually every season since.
"My goal was to reach open-wheel racing in the United States and the Indy 500," said Duno, "I just completed my third season in IndyCar and this year I decided not to once again pass on an opportunity to get behind the wheel of a stock car."
The most successful independent team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Braun Racing began as an ARCA Racing Series team in 2002. Team owner, Todd Braun, found immediate success in the series, capturing an impressive four wins in his first season. The following year, he moved into the Nationwide Series and has since grown into a four-car operation. Still, Braun keeps an eye on drivers coming through the series in which he got his start.
"When Milka and I met, I expressed an interest in testing her in a stock car," said Braun. "The interest was mutual and we were more than happy to make it a reality. We discussed that in order to compete in NASCAR a driver must first participate in an ARCA Racing Series test. She is a very talented driver and has experienced success in both sportscar and open-wheel racing. The natural progression would be for her to drive a stock car. I have always enjoyed working with drivers new to stock car racing and I look forward to the ARCA Racing Series test with Milka."
For more information, visit http://www.arcaracing.com.
The Art of the Restart: Kligerman Adds Dirt Track Win to His Racing Resume
ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookie/Championship Point Contender Parker Kligerman can now add a one-mile clay oval to the list of venues that he has earned a stock car victory at. Kligerman, in a No. 77 Cunningham Motorsports Dodge, used his restart prowess during a green-white-checker finish at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois, on Sunday afternoon to stay in the point position and secure the victory over dirt track veterans Ron Cox, Patrick Sheltra, AJ Fike and Steve Arpin.
"Green-white-checkers are just par for the course when it comes to our wins and it's just all about restarts," said Kligerman. "I just got on it real good in that last restart. I saw that the 28 (Ron Cox) was trying to hang back and so I just went when he was hanging back so that he didn't get the jump. If they stay close then you break and if they hold back then you go. That's just how it is."
The Penske Development Driver has acquired six wins in the 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series on a variety of venues including short tracks (Toledo Speedway, Mansfield Motorsports Park, Iowa Speedway), speedways (Michigan Int'l Speedway, Kentucky Speedway) and a one-mile clay oval (Illinois State Fairgrounds).
10,000 Career Laps Led for Kimmel
Nine-time ARCA RE/MAX Series Champion Frank Kimmel led 18 laps during Sunday's Allen Crowe 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds to reach a major career milestone of more than 10,000 laps led during ARCA RE/MAX Series competition. Kimmel, a seven-time race winner at Springfield, ran up front for much of the day but finished ninth after pitting on lap 77 of 100 for tires after reporting to his crew chief/brother Bill Kimmel that the car was not handling well.
"We had a left rear tire coming apart," said Kimmel. "Just blistered it. The car was too tight all day and eventually it just ate up the tire. It's frustrating. When I got passed for the lead, I just had a feeling we had a problem and it turned out to be a fact. By coming in for tires, we gave up third place but we didn't come here to run third so we had to take a chance and try to make the car right. It's just not the result we hoped for but what can you do but go on to the next one and keep our head in the game as we focus on getting the first win for Ansell and Menards."
Kimmel's nephew, Will Kimmel, also competed at Springfield this weekend, finishing eighth in the No. 68 Clarksville Schwinn & Cyclery-Crosley Radio Ford.
The next milestone Kimmel is aiming for is the title of all-time winner in the ARCA RE/MAX Series. With 74 career wins, he is just five wins shy of tying Katona's all-time win record (79 career wins). The Southern Indiana-based driver has recorded ARCA RE/MAX Series race wins at short tracks, speedways and dirt tracks on the diverse stock car tour, including victories at Atlanta, Berlin, Chicagoland, DuQuoin, Five Flags, Flat Rock, Flemington, Gateway, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Kil-Kare, Lake Erie, Lowe's, MIS, Milwaukee, Nashville, Pocono, Salem, Shady Bowl, South Boston, Springfield mile-dirt, Talladega, Toledo, West Virginia and Winchester Speedways.
Lofton Sets New Track Record at Springfield
Eddie Sharp Racing's Justin Lofton, in the No. 6 Lofton Cattle Toyota, earned his fifth pole of 2009 and set a new ARCA RE/MAX Series one-lap track record during Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell on Sunday at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.
Lofton toured the one-mile clay oval in 32.552 seconds (110.592 mph) and was among five qualifiers to eclipse the previous track record of 32.878 seconds/109.496 mph set by Frank Kimmel last year.
Home Sweet Home
2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series Champion Justin Allgaier was a familiar face in the garage area at the Illinois State Fairgrounds this weekend. Allgaier traveled from Bristol where he competed in Friday's NASCAR Nationwide Series event for Penske Racing to his hometown of Springfield, Illinois, for Sunday's Allen Crowe 100 ARCA RE/MAX Series race. Allgaier is the 2006 ARCA Allen Crowe 100 race winner and spent much of Sunday lending advice to current series drivers, including Robb Brent and Parker Kligerman.
"I don't know that I gave Parker Kligerman anything that won him the race," said Allgaier. "He's definitely a talented racecar driver and these guys are definitely talented at what they do. I know they were worried about it coming into this race, that they were going to have a tough time with it but I think he proved that they had a good racecar. I wish we could have seen what would have happened if Frank [Kimmel] wouldn't have had to pit there at the end. I'm happy for Parker and hopefully something I told him helped him. It was probably more so just him learning this place, getting used to it and having a great car underneath him. The restarts he had were unbelievable."
Following Sunday's Allen Crowe 100, Kligerman continues to lead the ARCA RE/MAX Series Point Standings by 35 points over Justin Lofton.
TOP TEN UNOFFICIAL ARCA RE/MAX SERIES POINTS AFTER THE ALLEN CROWE 100 AT THE ILLINOIS STATE FAIRGROUNDS (8-23-09, Race 14 of 21);1) Parker Kligerman, 3425; 2) Justin Lofton, 3390; 3) Frank Kimmel, 3095; 4) Joey Coulter, 2890; 5) Steve Arpin, 2880; 6) Craig Goess, 2875; 7) Bryan Silas, 2840; 8) Patrick Sheltra, 2770; 9) Tom Hessert, 2635; 10) Robb Brent, 2535.
Former ARCA Drivers Fair Well at Bristol
Congratulations to David Ragan, who won the NASCAR Nationwide Series Race at Bristol on Friday night. Ragan, who currently competes in both the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, is a former winner in the ARCA RE/MAX Series at Lanier National Speedway in 2005. Kyle Busch, who won both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races at Bristol this weekend, also has ARCA RE/MAX Series experience with three ARCA wins to his credit.
Next Up: Chicagoland
From the Springfield mile-dirt to ARCA RE/MAX Series racing superspeedway style; the next race on the tour is The Ansell Cut Protection 150 at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday, August 28. The race marks the ARCA RE/MAX Series' ninth appearance to the 1.5-mile Joliet, Illinois-based speedway since 2001 and the 15th of 21 events in the 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series. Up to 41 cars will start the 150-mile/100-lap race.
Practice for the Friday, August 28 Ansell Cut Protection 150 race event is scheduled from 4:10 - 5:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon, August 27. A final practice from 8:00 - 8:50 a.m. Friday morning followed by Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell at 12:10 p.m. will precede the race, which is LIVE on SPEED at 5:30 p.m. Central/6:30 p.m. Eastern.
Race Event Sponsorship = Major Milestone for 100-year-old Company
Since Ansell and Menards announced a full year co-primary sponsorship of Frank Kimmel and the No. 44 Ford in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, Ansell has been making its mark in the motor sports community. In addition to sponsoring Kimmel, the company is an ARCA RE/MAX Series Official Sponsor and a presenting sponsor of ARCA's Pole Award Program. Ansell officials will further extend the company's reach into the motorsports sector on August 28 with a foray into race event sponsorship-The Ansell Cut Protection 150 at Chicagoland Speedway, race 15 of the 21-race ARCA RE/MAX Series.
Ansell is the world's largest manufacturer of protective gloves and clothing, providing leadership in the areas of development, design, manufacturing and marketing. Ansell has led the personal protective equipment industry with "Ideas that Fit" for more than 100 years. The global manufacturer has provided comprehensive safety solutions and product innovations to help manufacturers across a wide range of industries reduce worker injuries and boost productivity.
50-50 Odds that Menards Pole Award presented by Ansell Winner will Visit Victory Lane
In eight previous ARCA RE/MAX Series appearances to Chicagoland Speedway, the driver who has earned the Menards pole presented by Ansell has gone on to win the race 50 percent of the time, including Chad Blount in 2002, Frank Kimmel in 2003, Steve Wallace in 2006 and Michael McDowell in 2007.
There has never been a repeat race winner or a repeat pole winner in ARCA RE/MAX Series competition at Chicagoland.
Upcoming ARCA RE/MAX Series Races
Ansell Cut Protection 150 at Chicagoland Speedway; Friday, August 28
ARCA RE/MAX 200 presented by Belle Tire at Toledo Speedway; Friday, September 4
Southern Illinois 100 at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds; Monday, September 7
|Logano Wins at Pocono|
LONG POND PA (6-6-09) - NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookie Joey Logano turned his test and tune day Saturday afternoon at Pocono Raceway into an ARCA RE/MAX Series triumph.
Logano, in the Venturini Motorsports-prepared Home Depot Toyota, entered the Pocono ARCA 200 to get seat-time for the next-day Pocono 500 Cup race. The Middletown, Connecticut driver got that and plenty more as he led the most laps en route to his second series victory in his fourth series start.
"It's a good series to learn a lot," said Logano, who led 52 of 80 laps during the 200-mile race "For me, it helped me out a lot today to get some experience for the Sprint Cup race coming up here tomorrow. I definitely had a great race car today. We led, I'd say, most of the laps. The one time we got a little challenge but I think we were able to adjust the car and make it better. All the guys did a great job, we had good stops, came out first every time out of the pits so that was pretty cool. I had fun out here and I learned a lot."
The challenge that Logano referred to came from rookie Parker Kligerman, who after first-round pit stops, caught and passed Logano for the lead and began to pull away. However, Kligerman had two left-front tires go down resulting in two unscheduled pit stops that eventually relegated the Westport, Connecticut rookie to sixth in the final running order.
Outside of the mid-race challenge from Kligerman, Logano had no immediate challengers throughout the race, finishing nearly two seconds in front of second place finisher and current point leader Justin Lofton.
"We had a good day," said Lofton, who led the first 14 laps. "Eddie Sharp Racing prepares cars equally as good as anything on the Cup side, so I can't complain. It's getting a little frustrating running second everywhere, but we're building a pretty good point lead, so that's good. We only got a few laps of practice this morning so that didn't help, but all in all, we had a really good day."
Patrick Sheltra, in the Buffalo Wings & Rings Dodge, finished third. "Feel like our season is turning around for us," said Sheltra. "The guys on the crew did a great job all day. We'll take it - good day for us."
Rookie Joey Coulter, after a tire went flat, battled back from one lap down to finish a career-best fourth in the Darrell Gwynn Foundation-Tempest Cycles Chevrolet.
"It got a little scary when we had that tire go down but it was early in the race and I knew once we made that pit stop we would need another caution so that we could get the lucky dog and we just kind of worked from there," Coulter said. "The pit crew did an awesome job and gained us I think like six spots the first stop and then they gained us another one or two or maybe three the second stop."
Matt Merrell finished fifth in the ColinsHope.org Dodge.
The ARCA RE/MAX Series heads to Michigan Int'l Speedway next Friday, June 12 for the Racing For Wildlife 200 live on SPEED at 5:00 PM.
5 Races, 5 Different Drivers for Venturini Motorsports; Next-Up 19-Year-Old Jesse Smith for Kentucky Speedway ARCA Classic
SPARTA KY (5-8-09) - Five races, five different drivers; that's the deal for Venturini Motorsports, which will utilized its fifth different driver in as many events this year when this Saturday's Drive Smart Buckle-Up Kentucky 150 rolls off on the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway.
Their next pick - 19-year-old Wildwood, Missouri driver Jesse Smith, who will make his first ARCA RE/MAX Series start of the season in the Venturini Motorsports-prepared no. 25 Chevrolet.
"We had been talking with them (Venturini Motorsports)," said Smith. "They're a great team obviously; this is a great opportunity to run good."
And so far, so good. Smith/Venturini Motorsports were quickest in the ARCA RE/MAX Series open test at Kentucky Speedway last week. But that's nothing new. The Venturini team has been unofficially quickest at all the ARCA open tests this year.
"You never know where you're going to be when you test, but everything clicked; there was good chemistry and we were fast," continued Smith. "I knew we'd be good based on their history, but I didn't know how good. I feel like we got the car pretty close. It's not exact because the track's going to change, so we built-in for lots of adjustments. No matter which way the track goes, from an adjustability-standpoint, we can get there."
History certainly reveals that the Venturini Motorsports team can definitely get there. Team owners Bill and Cathy Venturini are two-time series champions. And, it certainly hasn't been very long since the team's gone to victory lane; in fact it happened in mid-April at Rockingham Speedway where Sean Caisse steered the 25 car to the winner's circle.
They team opened their season with Joey Logano's second place finish at Daytona. Brett Hudson finished 9th in the car at Salem before Caisse won at Rockingham. Mark Thompson was up front all day in the car at Talladega before the engine expired late in the race bumping Venturini Motorsports from the lead in car owner points to fourth.
"The goal is the car owner championship; but we're still trying to put some pieces together to run all the races," said Bill Venturini. "Winning the championship is more feasible because we've been able to handpick our drivers. That said, everywhere we go, we feel we have a shot to win. We've had the fastest car in the tests everywhere. Jesse's very talented. We're very excited about our chances this weekend."
In nine career ARCA RE/MAX Series starts since 2007, mostly in Dodges fielded by Jones Group Racing, Smith's has had some very impressive runs - most notably a career-best third place finish at Kansas Speedway in 2008. Smith also finished fifth at Iowa Speedway '08, fifth at Chicagoland Speedway '08, eighth at Michigan Int'l Speedway '08 and 11th at Kentucky Speedway '08. Kentucky is also where Smith tied his career-best qualifying run of third.
"I've already raced at Kentucky Speedway, so I know what to expect," added Smith. "I've got some experience under my belt now. I know I'll have one of the best teams out there supporting me at Kentucky. I've matured as a driver - feel like I'm more capable; and I feel like I've learned from my mistakes. I definitely think we have an opportunity to win there.
"The key will be getting the right breaks. We're going to be fast, so it will be all about having luck go your way, keep the car clean, be patient, stay up front and stay up on the wheel. It'll probably be a one-stop race so most of the success we'll have will be on the track. I'm not putting a lot of pressure on myself. Everyone knows how good this team is - and it's as good as it gets. I'll just give it my best."
Smith will have marketing/sponsor support from his longtime partners - Hormel Food, Spam, Lloyd's Barbeque and Childs Tire, all of whom helped support the Wallace racing family throughout their careers.
"Hormel, Spam, Lloyd's BBQ and Childs Tire have been supporting my racing career since I was five - going back to my quarter midget days. My dad originally helped Rusty (Wallace) in his late model days, and we've been friends of the family ever since. Mike (Wallace) had Hormel on his car in the 90s. He's been a big supporter of mine. I can call him up anytime for advice. And I raced against Steven and Chrissy (Wallace) in Legends and Bandoleros."
The Drive Smart Buckle-Up Kentucky 150, the 18th appearance of the ARCA RE/MAX Series at Kentucky since its 2000 debut, is scheduled to roll off at 8:00 PM ET Saturday, May 9. Practice and Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell precede the race action Saturday afternoon. The event will feature live timing and scoring at ARCAracing.com as well as live streaming video and audio of all the on-track activity.
PAST ARCA NEWS.....
Dario Franchitti Makes Stock Car debut at ACRA 250 at Tallagega.
2007 Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti made his stock car debut in Chip Ganassi's Dodge, and finished 17th.
"I gained a huge amount of experience learning from the start of the race," said Franchitti. "The first part of the race I was drafting like an Indy car. I was getting up behind people and then I figured out it was more important who was pushing you than who is in front of you. Once I figured that out I was getting into side drafting and everything started to come together.
"It was a lot of fun out there. I'm disappointed with the result, but what I've learned, I don't think you can put a price on it. I learned so much today. I'm looking at the long game. I'm looking at next year. From that point of view, I'm very happy. I'm a little disappointed because I think the Target guys deserved a better result than that."
Michael Annett Gives Toyota 1st Win
Michael Annett, in the Pilot Travel Centers Toyota, made history Friday afternoon at Talladega Superspeedway, becoming the first driver in the 55-year history of the ARCA RE/MAX Series to bring the Toyota nameplate to victory lane.
"I knew they were going to try something (on the final lap)," said Annett. "Colin came to the outside of me going through the trioval. We kind of got together. I just kept my left side on the yellow line, and when we got together it slowed down his momentum. Then Frank (Kimmel) decided to go with me, and that really helped. Frank raced me clean. You can't ask for more out of your competitors.
"It was a learning experience throughout the race. We got shuffled back early, but I found out what the car needed to get back up front. And once we got up there, we pretty much stayed there."
Erin Crocker wins 2007 Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge Championship
Erin Crocker, who finished 18th, made history of her own by earning the 2007 Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge Championship, becoming the first female driver to win the award.
"It's a really big deal for me," said Crocker. "It's a really prestigious award and it's a huge honor to win it. When you look back at some of the drivers who have won ARCA's superspeedway title, from Davey Allison to Frank Kimmel, it makes it even more special.
"I also think it could really help my career. It means something to be the ARCA RE/MAX Series Superspeedway champion. I'm truly honored to hold the title."
Rookie McDowell Captures Third Victory of Season at Chicagoland Speedway
Rookie Michael McDowell dominated the Chicagoland ARCA 200 Saturday afternoon at Chicagoland Speedway. The Phoenix, Ariz., native kept his Z Line-Make A Wish-Beck Dodge up front most of the afternoon, leading 98 laps of the 134-lap, 200-mile race en route to his third career ARCA RE/MAX Series victory.
"It's just a testament to Eddie Sharp Racing and the whole Z Line Design-Make-A-Wish-Beck Dodge crew," said McDowell. "It's just amazing. It's good to be able to come out here and be dominant. We've had the car to do it in the past but we've just been unlucky. We just have to keep moving forward and score maximum points to make it happen in this championship. If Frank (Kimmel) happens to have a mistake, we'll be right there to capitalize and if not, we'll be able to look back at this year and be able to smile. We've won races, won the most poles and led the most laps. So it has been a pretty good year."
Justin Marks (who started the day eighth) finished a distant second, 1.092 seconds behind McDowell.
"We got the car turning really well, maybe even too well," said Marks. "We were kind of loose most of the day and it really started to come to us during a long run. If we could have gone the last 20-25 laps green we might have had something for Michael (McDowell) but we got a little bit tight there when the sun came out. I'm just really proud of this Construct Corps Team. Robby (Benton/crew chief) and all of the guys did a great job and I would really like to repay them with a win. We've got three more opportunities to do that. I'm just absolutely driving my heart out. That's what I want-a win."
Roush Fenway Racing's Colin Braun finished third in only his second career ARCA RE/MAX Series start.
"That was what today was really about, learning," said Braun. "Everybody at Roush Fenway has done a really great job in helping me to adapt to driving on the ovals. Erik Darnell and Travis Kvapil both came out a few times and helped me out during a few tests, so a big thanks out to those guys. We had great pit stops and my crew chief Jeff Campey was very helpful...looking forward to getting in the next one at Talladega."
Jeremy Clements, Erin Crocker, Frank Kimmel, Dexter Bean, Brett Hudson, Blake Feese and Billy Venturini rounded out the top-10.
McDowell, who claimed the SIM Factory Pole Award with a qualifying speed of 176.817 mph on Friday afternoon, held on to his first place position for the majority of the race, leading 98 laps. Jeremy Clements managed to pass him midway through the race, but McDowell regained the lead on lap 101 and never looked back. This was McDowell's third career victory and now sits 150 points behind point leader Frank Kimmel with only three events remaining.
Its Going to be "Ladies Day" at Chicagoland this Saturday
The entry list continues to grow for the September 8th Chicagoland ARCA 200. To-date, more than 50 drivers from across the United States have filed entries for the 200-mile event, which is scheduled to roll off on Saturday, September 8th at 2 p.m. Eastern LIVE on SPEED. Among those entered are three very talented female drivers, including Phoenix, Arizona's Gabi DiCarlo, Wilbraham, Massachusetts's Erin Crocker and Bristol, Connecticut's Michelle Theriault.
Should one of these three competitors win Chicagoland ARCA 200, it will mark the first win by a female in the 55-year history of the ARCA RE/MAX Series. It will also mark the first win by a female in Chicagoland Speedway history.
Erin Crocker made her ARCA RE/MAX Series debut at Nashville Superspeedway in 2005, earning the pole award in her No. 98 Dodge Charger and posting a 12th place finish. Since then, the Evernham Motorsports driver has become a seasoned veteran in ARCA competition, earning 11 top-5 and 15 top-10 finishes in 23 career starts. She finished second in an ARCA RE/MAX Series race at Kentucky Speedway in 2005 and 2007 and at Kansas Speedway in 2006, joining Shawna Robinson as the highest-finishing females in series' history. Crocker and her car owner, Ray Evernham, currently lead the Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge standings, which is a separate point fund within the 23-race ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule designed to measure success on tracks greater than one mile in length. Crocker is a 2003 graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, with a bachelor's degree in Industrial and Management Engineering.
Michelle Theriault, No. 37 Glock Chevrolet
Michelle Theriault, at just 21 years old, is following her dream and is determined to make her mark on the world of stock car racing. As a young girl, Theriault and her father, David, watched friends race Quarter Midgets at local race tracks in Connecticut. When she was five, she saw a racecar for sale and asked to sit in it. The moment she hopped in, the racecar driver from within emerged. She turned to her Dad and said, "I want this."
Theriault proved to be a natural. Seven years competing in Quarter Midgets delivered her more than 200 wins in 13 states. Five times she was a runner up in the Quarter Midgets of America National Championship. The NASCAR Grand National Division, West and USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series veteran has five career ARCA RE/MAX Series starts. She made her debut at USA Int'l Speedway in Lakeland, Florida on March 24 and most recently competed at Gateway Int'l Raceway on August 31st, finishing a career-best 15th after starting 19th
Gabi DiCarlo, No. 90 Great Clips Racing Chevrolet
It's no wonder that Gabi DiCarlo's favorite movie is Top Gun. After all, this is one young lady that has a definite need for speed. The 22-year-old Phoenix, Arizona native began racing Go-Karts at the age of 11 and has been in love with all things racing ever since. She came to the ARCA RE/MAX Series after successful tenures in the Star Mazda Western Series, the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series and the ASA Speed Truck Challenge. DiCarlo is running for Rookie of the Year honors this season in her No. 90 Great Clips Chevrolet and is currently 12th in the series' national championship point standings.
Chicagoland ARCA 200 Set For September 8th
The Saturday, September 8th Chicagoland ARCA 200 rolls off at 2 p.m. Eastern LIVE on SPEED. The race marks the 20th of 23 events on the 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule. In addition to Crocker, DiCarlo and Theriault, drivers entered for the 200-mile thriller include Chicago native Billy Venturni, defending series champion Frank Kimmel and Rookie of the Year contenders Michael McDowell, Phillip McGilton and Bryan Silas. The ARCA RE/MAX Series will be joined at the 1.5-mile speed plant by both the IndyCar and Indy Pro Series.
Two Laps Shy of a Win for Marks at Milwaukee; Takes Home Career Best 2nd
Justin Marks, driver of the #65 Construct Corps Dodge, led 59 of the 200 laps at the Milwaukee Mile this past Sunday before eight-time ARCA RE/MAX Series Champion, Frank Kimmel, took over the lead on the final two laps, leaving Marks with a career best second place finish. "The car was very good all race long," Justin Marks said. "We were on a really good pit strategy and with the new tires not being the advantage we all thought they would be, we were able to stretch the tire run a long way and capitalize on track position. We just ran a long time and unfortunately lost the handle a bit right at the end with the low fuel load. Frank raced me very clean and I was very happy about that. We put on a good show for all the fans and that's really what matters."
This second place finish also comes on the one year anniversary of the joining of Justin Marks and RAB Racing.
"I have matured immensely as a driver over the past year and this team has become a more intelligent, professional and experienced unit," Marks continued. "I think this finish was a good way to give a little back for the opportunity I have been given with this team. Everyone at Construct Corps and Crocs has been so supportive through the difficult times, and it's just meaningful to me to be able to reward that support and dedication with a good run."
Up next for RAB Racing is the Gateway ARCA 150 at Gateway International Raceway in St. Louis, MO. The Gateway ARCA 150 is set to begin on Friday, August 31st at 8:00 PM CT and airing live on SPEED at 9:00 PM ET.
"Gateway is as close to a "home track" as I get in this series being born in St. Louis. It's neat because it's so unique. I'm just really pleased with where this team is right now. We are bringing well-prepared equipment to the track, and hopefully beaten our streak of bad luck. The biggest thing is just keeping everyone focused and trying to win every time we go out. Maybe Gateway is where we can pull it off. All I know is that a tough 2nd place like we had on Sunday just fuels my desire to go out and do a better job next week."
For more information on RAB Racing with Brack Maggard log onto http://www.65racing.com/
For more information on Justin Marks log onto http://www.justinmarksracing.com/
The ARCA Series at Daytona, February 2007
With a much-improved weather forecast for the Milwaukee area this weekend, it looks like Dexter Bean's wish is coming true.
After torrential rains and fierce thunderstorms produced massive flooding in Bean's hometown of Westby, Wisconsin, the good weather people of Wisconsin are predicting bright sunshine and temps in the mid-70s for this Sunday's ARCA RE/MAX Series Governor's Cup 200 at the Milwaukee Mile, our nation's oldest, active racetrack.
"I'm glad the rain is going to be gone," said Bean, who is currently third in national championship points. "It's been a tough week for everyone in the state of Wisconsin. The record book shows that it's been 100 years since a system like this has come through here. Luckily for all of us, it should clear up for race weekend and we can focus on the race."
"A lot of people think a race like Daytona or Talladega is the biggest race of the year, but for me, it's this weekend at the Milwaukee Mile. I love competing at the track, it's a fun place to race and I have a lot of support.
"We have a bus coming from Westby full of people to watch the race. That means a lot to me. We should have a good car this weekend, so hopefully I'll make everyone proud on Sunday."
Crew Chief Chris Bires plans to bring the same Chevy Monte Carlo they finished fifth with last Sunday on the Springfield mile-dirt.
With seven races remaining on the schedule, Bean is 205 points away from championship leader Frank Kimmel; and only 110 markers away from second place driver Michael McDowell. With the title in mind, Bean understands that consistency has to continue in order to stay in the hunt.
"I would like to see the championship come down to Toledo. We've had a great year. No complaints. Realistically, it's going to take some misfortune by the other guys for us to catch up. We made a lot of ground up in Pocono, but lost a tiny bit last weekend. The only thing we can really do is continue to give everything each and every week and hope for the best."
Bean will pull double duty this weekend at Milwaukee. In addition to the ARCA RE/MAX Series race, Bean has entered the Wisconsin All-Star 50 late model event, which is scheduled to run shortly after the conclusion of the Governor's Cup 200.
"The late model race is all about having fun. We've been prepping this car for a while and we should be pretty good. It's going to be a tough field with Matt Kenseth in the race, but I'm sure I'll have plenty of adrenaline from the ARCA race. Our goal is to leave the track Sunday hoisting the winner's trophies for both events."
Headed to Milwaukee, Bean has 44 ARCA RE/MAX Series starts to his credit with five-top five finishes and 14 top-10s. He holds career-best finishes of second at Salem Speedway (April 07) and Pocono Raceway (June 07). He also earned the SIM Factory Pole Award at Salem Speedway in 2006. His best superspeedway qualifying run was fourth at Pocono, also in 2006. In the lap-leader column, Bean has led a total of 138 laps in six races.
BlackJack Racing is still seeking additional primary and associate sponsors for the remainder of the 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series season.For more on Dexter Bean and BlackJack Racing, please visit DexterBean.net
ARCA Racing Series Aligns with Talladega, Chicagoland, Kansas for Companion Event Weekends
Continuing its history of racing alongside NASCAR's three premier touring divisions, the ARCA Racing Series has announced three additional dates for the 2011 race season.
Talladega Superspeedway will host the series on Friday, April 15 to open a weekend of NASCAR Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series action, and Kansas Speedway will do the same on Friday, October 7 before its event weekend in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Chicagoland Speedway will welcome ARCA on Saturday, June 4 as the first event of a same-day doubleheader with the Nationwide Series.
Notably, the Chicagoland event aligns with the Nationwide Series for the first time, and moves from its former slot in late August or early September. In 2009 and 2010, the event had taken place on the same day as a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at the Joliet, Ill. track.
Additionally, the Kansas event date moves back to a Friday, where it had been situated in 2007. The series' races at the Kansas City, Kan. track in 2009 and 2010 had taken place on Thursdays.
"These three tracks are great facilities in great markets, and speak to the long-standing relationship between ARCA and the International Speedway Corporation tracks, which dates back to ARCA's first race at Daytona in 1964. This is a real opportunity for our teams and drivers to be on track during the high-visibility ISC race weekends," said Ron Drager, president of ARCA.
"Our relationship with these tracks is continually evolving, as evidenced by Kansas moving our race from a Thursday afternoon to a Friday evening and expanding our potential audience, and Chicagoland offering this opportunity for us to run with the Nationwide Series."
Talladega has hosted 48 previous ARCA Racing Series races, with the most recent race won by rookie Dakoda Armstrong in April. Grant Adcox is ARCA's all-time leading winner on the 2.66-mile superspeedway oval, with five wins. Davey Allison and Tim Steele each won four times at the historic Alabama track, which hosted ARCA for the first time in 1969.
Chicagoland and Kansas - both 1.5-mile ovals - have hosted 10 ARCA Racing Series events apiece since each opened in the summer of 2001. Current series champion Patrick Sheltra won at Chicagoland in August to take his second victory of 2010, and rising star Ty Dillon won for the first time in his ARCA Racing Series career at Kansas in September.
The following race dates for the 2011 ARCA Racing Series schedule have already been announced:
February 12 - Daytona International Speedway
May 1 - Salem Speedway
June 11 - Pocono Raceway
June 17 - Michigan International Speedway
June 25 - Winchester Speedway
August 6 - Pocono Raceway
September 17 - Salem Speedway
The remainder of the schedule will be released shortly. Meanwhile, the thrilling 2010 campaign will close Saturday, December 4, with the series' Championship Awards Banquet at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington, Ky., near Cincinnati.
The ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards has crowned an ARCA national champion each year since its inaugural season in 1953, and has toured over 200 race tracks in 28 states since its inception. The series tests the abilities of drivers and race teams over the most diverse schedule of stock car racing events in the world, annually visiting tracks ranging from 0.4 mile to 2.66 miles in length, on both paved and dirt surfaces as well as left- and right-turn street and road courses.
Founded by John Marcum in 1953 in Toledo, Ohio, the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is recognized among the leading sanctioning bodies in the country. Closing in on completing its sixth decade after hundreds of thousands of miles of racing, ARCA administers over 100 race events each season in two professional touring series and local weekly events.
Ansell Protective Gloves 150 Next as ARCA Goes to Chicagoland
After nearly one full month since last racing on a speedway, the drivers of the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards will call on high horsepower this weekend as the series travels to the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. for the Ansell Protective Gloves 150.
The 100-lap, 150-mile Ansell Protective Gloves 150 - the 15th of 20 series races this season - is scheduled to air live on SPEED at 6 p.m. Central (7 Eastern) on Friday, August 27, with live timing and scoring and live audio coverage presented by ARCA Nation and the ARCA Racing Network at ARCARacing.com. Nine previous ARCA Racing Series races have been held at Chicagoland Speedway since it opened in 2001, and four have been won from the pole.
Current series standings leader and nine-time series champion Frank Kimmel won from the first starting position in 2003; former series competitors Chad Blount (2002), Steve Wallace (2006) and Michael McDowell (2007) also won from the pole. Eventual series champion Justin Lofton won at Chicagoland last season from the third starting position and became the sixth driver to win after starting in the top three.
Kimmel (No. 44 Ansell/Menards Ford) leads Tom Hessert (No. 77 Cherry Hill Classic Cars Dodge) by five points and Craig Goess (No. 81 Greenville Toyota of N.C. Toyota) by 10 points atop the ARCA Racing Series standings.
Patrick Sheltra (No. 60 Recycling Services/Ferguson Pipe Toyota) is only 40 points out of the lead and in hot pursuit after his first 2010 victory Sunday in Springfield, Ill. Mikey Kile (No. 25 Venturini Motorsports Toyota) is in fifth place, 45 points from the top, after a second-place run in Springfield. The top seven drivers in the standings are separated by just 130 points.
The series has featured six races on paved ovals exceeding one mile in distance this season; winners Bobby Gerhart (Daytona), Steve Arpin (Texas), Dakoda Armstrong (Talladega), Goess (Pocono - June), Kile (Michigan), and Robb Brent (Pocono - July) are all entered for the Ansell Protective Gloves 150.
Arpin (No. 55 Mike's Hard Lemonade Toyota) posted one of the two fastest times in an open test session at the track last week, driving a lap around the 1.5-mile oval in 30.829 seconds (175.160 mph) to finish behind only Goess, who led the day with a lap in 30.807 seconds (175.285 mph).
"We had a great test there last week and definitely have a car that could win the race," said Arpin. "But it's not going to be easy by any means. There were several other cars that were real strong at the test. It's going to be a hard-fought battle, but we're up for the challenge. Our strongest tracks this year have been intermediate tracks and I was pretty competitive at Chicagoland last year."
Grant Enfinger (No. 09 Beasley Allen Law Firm Ford) is the highest returning finisher from last year's race after finishing second to Lofton. Enfinger drove underneath Lofton on the fourth turn of the final lap, only to have Lofton edge him by less than one car length at the checkered flag.
Other returners from last season's top 10 include Kimmel (fifth), Joey Coulter (sixth), Goess (eighth), and Sheltra (ninth).
"The opening practice begins at 4:30 p.m. Central (5:30 Eastern) on Thursday, August 26, with final practice following from 8-9 a.m. Central on Friday, August 27. Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell - which has produced 12 different pole winners in 13 qualifying sessions this season - follows at 11:30 a.m. Central (12:30 p.m. Eastern) Friday. Live audio coverage and live timing and scoring of all events will be available on ARCARacing.com."
The Ansell Protective Gloves 150 is the last of four in pursuit of the Bill France Four Crown, the season-within-a-season contest which rewards ARCA Racing Series drivers for success on a diverse slate of tracks. The Four Crown schedule has been comprised completely of the ARCA Racing Series races scheduled for August. Coulter (No. 16 Rip It Energy Fuel/Darrell Gwynn Foundation Chevrolet) leads Hessert by 25 points atop the Four Crown standings on the strength of his August 7 win at the 0.4-mile Berlin (Mich.) Raceway, a second-place finish on August 15 at the Thunderbolt Raceway road course at New Jersey Motorsports Park, and a fourth-place result on August 22 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds dirt oval.
Ansell Involvement Key in Chicago Market
Ansell, the worldwide leader in protective hand wear, will serve as the title sponsor of the race, marking the second year of a partnership between the Red Bank, N.J. company and the speedway.
"It's great to have Ansell back on board with us," said Chicagoland Speedway president Craig Rust in a June press release. "Ansell has such a long-standing tradition of providing its clients with exactly what they need to succeed in safer and more productive work environments. We look forward to working with them to highlight the Ansell brand as well as grow the interest in our Ansell Protective Gloves 150 ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards race."
The race will run in conjunction with Ansell's summer launch of the Projex Series gloves, a new line of performance gloves for the DIY-er, as well as the residential construction and automotive industries.
"Ansell is excited to once again sponsor the Ansell Protective Gloves 150 at Chicagoland. Last year's sponsorship was a tremendous success. It afforded us the opportunity to meet with our customers and also introduce Ansell products to a wide range of new users," said Steve York, Director of Channel Development for Ansell. "Our plan for this year's race is to further expand and drive excitement around our experiential display that will educate the race fans on the hand protection options available from Ansell."
Ansell has been involved with ARCA since January 2009, and is the Official Safety Glove of the ARCA Racing Series, enhanced by a special award sponsorship for all 20 ARCA Racing Series races: The Menards Pole Award presented by Ansell. The marketing program is anchored by a business-to-business relationship between Ansell, the world's largest manufacturer of protective gloves and clothing, and Menards, the nation's third largest home improvement retailer. The sponsorship launched the Ansell line of hand protection products and made the product available for purchase in each of 253 Menards Home Improvement stores last April.
The ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards features 20 events at 17 tracks on its 2010 schedule. The series has crowned an ARCA national champion each year since its inaugural season in 1953, and has toured over 200 racetracks in 28 states since its inception. The series tests the abilities of drivers and race teams over the most diverse schedule of stock car racing events in the world, annually visiting tracks ranging from 0.4 mile to 2.66 miles in length, on both paved and dirt surfaces as well as left- and right-turn street and road courses.
Founded by John Marcum in 1953 in Toledo, Ohio, the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is recognized among the leading sanctioning bodies in the country. Closing in on completing its sixth decade after hundreds of thousands of miles of racing, ARCA administers over 100 race events each season in two professional touring series and local weekly events.
Gerhart Adds to the Record Books with Historic sixth Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 Daytona Victory; Danica Patrick gains valuable experience, survives spin to finish sixth in stock car debut
Veteran ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards driver Bobby Gerhart earned a historic sixth Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 Daytona race victory on Saturday evening, using patience and fuel strategy in ARCA's wreck-filled season opener to notch his seventh-career restrictor plate victory while IZOD INDY Car Series star Danica Patrick finished sixth in her stock car debut.
Patrick, who is expected to decide on Monday if she will compete in next week's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona, used the ARCA race to learn how to adapt to big, heavy stock cars. She showed that she is a fast learner, working the No. 7 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet on the inside, outside and middle lanes of the racetrack in both the front and the back of the field throughout the 80 lap/200-mile event.
Patrick ran in the lead pack for the first half of the race until getting loose in turns 1 and 2 on lap 50, losing the draft and dropping from sixth to 13th. Three laps later Nelson Piquet, Jr., the former Formula One driver who also used Saturday's ARCA race to make his stock car debut, made contact with Patrick's car coming off of turn 4, forcing her through the infield grass. Patrick slid sideways on the track and went through the infield grass but was able to avoid making contact. She made two pit stops following the spin, remaining on the lead lap, finishing sixth in her career first stock car start.
"I was just kind of hanging out there for most of the race," said Patrick. "There were lots of yellows. It feels to me like I got bumped a little bit in turns one and two (on lap 53). I just held to the yellow line because I know that you're not supposed to go below the yellow line to advance your position and I took myself out unfortunately. I was pretty excited to go from last to the top five. I felt pretty good, I was going side-by-side with people. And then at the end I was running eighth and I thought what the heck so I pulled out of the line and ran high. You can see I was racing by all of the marks on the car. The GoDaddy.com Chevrolet doesn't look very pretty."
While Patrick garnered most of the attention this weekend it was Gerhart to etched his name further into the ARCA Racing Series Record Books, earning a record sixth Daytona ARCA victory. The Lebanon, Pennsylvania, native pitted to make adjustments to the No. 5 Lucas Oil Slick Mist Chevrolet on lap 12 of 80 during the second of six caution periods, making the most of the pit stop by topping the car off with fuel. He did not pit for the remainder of the 200-mile race and worked his way to the point position by lap 30.
"To be honest with you we calculated that we could run 66 laps before we would need to refuel," said Gerhart. "Every chance I could I was doing everything possible to conserve fuel. I probably gained six laps by coasting during cautions. As a little kid I dreamed of having the opportunity to come here and race. I couldn't have believed that I would ever be here six times and one day I hope to retire here in Daytona victory lane but let me tell you something, I don't like the number six so I guarantee I will be back."
Venturini Motorsports teammates Mark Thompson (No. 66 Phoenix Air Toyota) and John Wes Townley (No. 35 Zaxby's Toyota), spent much of the closing portions of the race working together to secure second and third-place finishes, respectively.
"We really didn't have much for Bobby," said Thompson. "His car and my car were pretty much even and I could have gotten a little bit of a run on the backstretch but he was running smart."
Veteran Lofton Holds Off Rookie Enfinger in Thrilling Last Lap ARCA Shootout at Chicagoland
Race Photo By Mark Rotor
ARCA RE/MAX Series veteran Justin Lofton, in the Lofton Cattle Toyota, held off rookie Grant Enfinger in a last-lap shootout to win the Ansell Cut Protection 150 Friday night at Chicagoland Speedway.
Race Photo By Mark Rotor
Lofton had 17 lead-lap cars in his rearview mirror for the final restart, which came on lap 99 of the 100-lap, 150-mile race.
Race Photo By Dan Peters
"At that last restart, honestly, the only thing I was thinking was 'oh dang' because I had acquired a little bit of a lead there and I knew that there were some pretty strong cars behind me," said Lofton. "It was great during that race to be able to battle against some of those guys for the lead, especially Brian Ickler because I grew up racing with him and to race him in the ARCA RE/MAX Series and come out ahead feels pretty good to me."
Photo By Dan Peters
Enfinger, on fresher tires, drove underneath Lofton off the fourth corner but fell short by less than a length at the checkered flag. Enfinger, in the BeasleyAllen.com-Roush Yates Performance Parts Ford, settled for second, earning his second runner-up finish of the season.
"I have never been more disappointed," said Enfinger. "It was a great run, I was glad to see that we were the fastest car -that was our goal I after Kentucky. I kind of felt like we had a second place car, we were determined to be the fastest car here this weekend. It took us a hundred laps to do it but we definitely proved that we had the fastest car tonight. I want to thank Roush Performance Parts for all of their help, and Beasley Allen for making this race possible - this was not part of our four race deal, but they stepped up and they are liking the way things are going for the team and hopefully we can be at more races in the near future."
Lofton also regained the point lead from Parker Kligerman, who ran out of gas coming to the green flag on the final lap. Kligerman, who was running third before the tank ran dry, ended up 17th, one lap down. Lofton, who only pitted once, was also tight on fuel.
"I knew that we were okay on fuel because my crew chief, Mark Rette, came onto the radio and assured me that we would be okay," added Lofton. "Fuel mileage and pit strategy is something that we have been working on all year long. It was definitely close though. I started to run out while I was celebrating doing burnouts on the frontstretch after the race."
Rookie Hal Martin, Kligerman's teammate, finished a career-best third in the Cunningham Motorsports Dodge in only his second series start.
The Pits.. Photo By Mark Rotor
"There was not a whole lot of options in my home state of Louisiana when it came to local racetracks so I moved to Alabama where I was Late Model racing," said Martin. "We decided to spread out a little bit and from there I found the ARCA RE/MAX Series and started talking to Cunningham Motorsports. I couldn't have asked for a better team. They have been so helpful. This is my second ARCA race and now we are preparing for Kansas later in the year."
Brian Ickler, in the BrianIckler.com Toyota, held off veteran Frank Kimmel to finish fourth. Kimmel was fifth in the Ansell-Menards Ford.
"It was another good, solid finish for this Ansell- Menards team," said Kimmel. "A top-five is a hard fought finish in this series and especially this year when the competition is really strong.
Overall, it was a great few days at the track and I feel like we put on a strong showing for the contingent of Ansell folks on hand for their race. It's really an honor to race for a company as supportive as Ansell and this has been a great season so far and we look forward to representing them long into the future."
Lofton, who led the most laps with 55, had a half-straightaway lead over the field under 10 laps to go when Bryan Silas spun off turn two to bring out the seventh and final caution of the race. That bunched up the pack for the final restart during which the field received the green and white flags together. Lofton got the jump on the restart and stretch his advantage to five lengths while Enfinger and Martin battled side-by-side for second. Then both Enfinger and Martin erased Lofton's advantage down the backstretch setting up Enfinger's last-ditch effort to pass the eventual race winner off turn four.
Rookie Joey Coulter, in the Darrell Gwynn Foundation-Tempest Cycles Chevrolet, came from the back row to finish sixth in front of Jesse Smith, who finished seventh in the Texas Corral-Lloyd's BBQ Toyota.
Craig Goess finished eighth in the Greenville of North Carolina Toyota. Patrick Sheltra steered the Buffalo Wings & Rings Dodge to ninth in the final running order. Michael Simko brought the Wolverine Power Systems Chevrolet home in 10th.
Three drivers exchanged the lead five times while seven cautions slowed the race for 33 laps. Ickler, who led 41 laps, also earned the Menards Pole presented by Ansell earlier in the day with a speed of 177.637 mph. Kligerman led four laps.
The next event for the ARCA RE/MAX Series comes Friday night, September 4th at Toledo Speedway with the ARCA RE/MAX 200 presented by Federated and Belle Tire, before the tight turnaround in time for the Monday, Labor Day September 7th Southern Illinois 100 at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds mile-dirt.
|Ickler Fastest Overall in Thursday's ARCA RE/MAX Series Chicagoland Practice Sessions|
JOLIET, Illinois (August 27, 2009)-Brian Ickler was fastest in two of three ARCA RE/MAX Series practice sessions at Chicagoland Speedway on Thursday, posting the fastest time of the day overall in the third session with a 30.474 second/177.200 mph lap around the 1.5-mile speedway.
Ickler, in his own No. 51 Brianickler.com Toyota, was followed in the third session by Hal Martin, Frank Kimmel, Parker Kligerman and Justin Lofton. ARCA RE/MAX Series competitors will have the opportunity to participate in a fourth and final practice session on Friday morning from 8-8:50 a.m. Central before Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell, which is scheduled for 12:10 p.m. Central.
The Ansell Cut Protection 150 rolls off at 5:30 p.m. Central and is live on SPEED at 6:30 p.m. Eastern. Live timing and scoring and audio will be available on arcaracing.com for each of Friday's scheduled ARCA RE/MAX Series on-track activities.
Alli Owens Looks to Build on Previous Chicagoland Success
Alli Owens Chicagoland Speedway Fast Facts:
Alli Owens Comments on Chicagoland Speedway:
“I was raised in Daytona Beach, but I was born in Centralia, Ill. I still have a lot of family who live in the area, so I consider Chicago one of my home tracks. It’s a great feeling to look into the grandstands and see so many friends and family cheering you on. I definitely want to make them proud this weekend, and I'll do everything I can to get the ElectrifyingCareers.com car up front.
“My Aunt Penny will be at the track this weekend. She’s the reason I wear pink streaks in my hair. She was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year and I added the streaks in support of her. This will be the first race she’s been to since her diagnosis. I’m so excited to have her join us for the race.
“Chicagoland is all about momentum. Compared to other mile-and-a-half tracks, its turns are much wider and more gradual. Even the backstretch has a bend in it, so you’re on the gas longer. The sweeping corners really generate some speed. Of course that means if you make a mistake or have to get off the throttle, your lap times pay a huge price.
“Last season (at Chicago) I started just outside the top-10 and finished inside the top-15. I’m looking to improve on that this weekend and qualify inside the top-10 and finish in the top-five.
“Our season started out great, but we’ve run into some bad luck the last few races. We’ve been running in the top-10 nearly every event. Blown tires and motors have taken away a few good finishes from us, but I know we can rebound this weekend.”
D’Hondt Motorsports Lassos New Sponsors Supporting Women in the ARCA RE/MAX Series
Grandma Ruby’s Confections & Genuine Ranch Brand/Genuine Cowgirl Sponsor the #19 ElectrifyingCareers.com Toyota Camry
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (August 24, 2009) –
D’Hondt Motorsports, LLC (DMS) announced today that their primary car , the #19 ElectrifyingCareers.com Toyota in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, will have two new sponsors at the Ansell Cut Protection 150 at Chicagoland Speedway on August 29th.
GrandmaRubys.com is a family-oriented confection company run from the Midwest by two enterprising granddaughters of “Ruby” herself. Genuine Ranch Brand is a unique Western apparel brand, run by determined horsewomen. Both companies proudly support the effort of women in stock car motorsports.
“What a great way to partner with companies who support our efforts in racing – by participating in the heart of our sport…sponsorship,” said DMS team owner Eddie D’Hondt. “These companies have not been involved in stock car motorsports previously for their marketing efforts. By providing a unique & colorful marketing opportunity, we all are winning both on and off the race track.”
About D’Hondt Motorsports:
D’Hondt Motorsports (DMS), headquartered in Mooresville, NC, is home to the No. 19 Toyota Camry ARCA RE/MAX Series team and the No. 92 Toyota NASCAR Nationwide Series team. With over 75 years of collective NASCAR & motorsports experience & excellence, from general management to crew, team D’Hondt is poised to skyrocket into NASCAR’s next generation. For more information about D’Hondt Motorsports, LLC, please visit http://www.dhondtmotorsports.com/.
K-100 to Sponsor ARCA Truck Race at Toledo Speedway
TOLEDO OH (5-6-09)--Officials from ARCA, Toledo Speedway and Cumulus Radio in Toledo have announced that WKKO "K-100" has signed on as the title sponsor of the Saturday afternoon, May 16, ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series event at Toledo Speedway.
K-100 is the #1 radio station in the Toledo Market, featuring the #1 morning show, Shores & Steele. Offering "Today's Best Country", K-100 has held down the top spot on the local arbitron ratings for years.
K-100 will be giving away "VIP Suite Tickets" to the "K-100" Truck race thru May 15.
The K-100 will highlight the Saturday portion of the ARCA Doubleheader weekend. The 100 lap, 50 mile ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series "K-100" race on the high-banked Toledo Speedway oval will mark the season opening event for regionally touring Truck series. The ARCA RE/MAX Series stock cars will join the ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series on track Saturday for practice and qualifying.
The ARCA RE/MAX Series cars and stars will highlight the Sunday afternoon, May 17th race card, with the Menards 200. NASCAR drivers Ken Schrader and Paul Menard have entered the event, and will race in Sundays 200 lap, 100 mile shootout.
For more information about K-100, please visit their website at www.k100country.com. For more information about the ARCA Racing doubleheader at Toledo Speedway visit www.arcaracing.com.
ARCA RE/MAX Series Back-to-Back at Kentucky and Toledo Speedways Featuring Live Streaming Video & Audio of all On-Track Activity Plus Much More.....
Drive Smart Buckle-Up Kentucky 150
All on-track activity will be streamed live (audio & video). Practice is from 12 noon to 2:00 PM with Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell following at 4:00 PM. The race is scheduled to start at 8:00 PM. Raceday Ticket price includes Live Chuck Wicks concert!
May 15, 16, 17: ARCA Fan Fest and Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care at Toledo Speedway Saturday & Sunday May 16/17. Triple Headers Action also features Buckeye Sprints Friday night, May 15
Cup stars Ken Schrader, Paul Menard Entered. 9-time Champ Frank Kimmel too. David Ragan to Sign autographs! Event features special edition of "Inside ARCA" Sunday morning, live streaming audio & video of all on-track activity Saturday & Sunday plus pre-race ceremonies Sunday.
Sat, May 16: ARCA RE/MAX Series practice is from 12:30 to 2:00 PM followed by Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell at 3:30 PM. ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series also races on Saturday at 5:00 PM.
Sun, May 17: ARCA RE/MAX Series Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care scheduled to start at 2:15 PM.
ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series season opener at Toledo Speedway Sat, May 16.
Practice from 11:15 to 12:15 PM. Qualifying at 2:15 PM. Race starts at 5:00 PM.
Don't Forget About LIVE Audio Race Coverage in 2009 of All 22 ARCA RE/MAX Series Events on the ARCA Racing Network (ARN) at ARCAracing.com.
Toledo Speedway Friday May 8
Toledo Blade Reader Rewards, BCSN, Tim Hortons Mother's Day Special: Moms FREE with child, prize drawings, flowers.
Sportsman, Factory Stocks and 4 Cylinders
Front Gates open at 5:00. Qualifying at 6:00. Racing at 7:30.
Toledo Speedway is also hosting the Placers Car Club Classic Car Cruisin', sponsored by Miller Lite, every Thursday beginning May 7, in the track parking lot. The show hours are 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Music will be playing each night, with a live band scheduled for the second Thursday of each month. Admission is free.
And the track's new Miller Lite Summer Racing Series gets into gear, which features 10 of the Friday night shows on the 2009 race calendar. The speedway will feature an incentive for race fans for each of the 10 Friday nights. For the May 8 contest, the first 200 fans through the front gate will receive a FREE hot dog, compliments of the Toledo Speedway Bar and Grille.
For every Friday night race, the track's Speedway Saloon will feature Happy Hour from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. All Miller draft beer is just $2.
The remaining Miller Lite Summer Racing Series dates are: May 29, June 5, June 26, July 10, July 31, August 14, 21 and 28.
Flat Rock Speedway Saturday May 9
Ray Hunter Florist Mother's Day Special: All Moms FREE with child, prize drawings, flowers
Front Gates open at 4:00. Qualifying at 5:00. Racing at 7:00
Most Popular Driver Award Returns To ARCA RE/MAX Series In 2009!!
Don't Forget To Vote! Voting for the award will take place exclusively through arcaracing.com's social networking website, ARCANation.com. Race fans can log onto ARCANation.com to vote for their favorite ARCA RE/MAX Series driver by clicking on the "vote" button at the top of that driver's ARCA Nation page. All race fans will be permitted to vote once per day for the Most Popular Driver; but votes from fans who are ARCA Nation members count twice as compared to their non-member counterparts, which count once.
Past ARCA Racing News....
McDowell Captures Eighth SIM Factory Pole of the Season at Chicagoland Speedway
ARCA RE/MAX Series rookie driver Michael McDowell captured the SIM Factory Pole Award Friday afternoon at Chicagoland Speedway for Saturday's Chicagoland ARCA 200 with a qualifying speed of 176.817 mph. So far this season, McDowell leads the ARCA RE/MAX series in SIM Factory Pole Awards with eight.
Earlier in the afternoon, the Phoenix, Ariz., native posted the quickest time during a practice session at the 1.5-mile D-shaped oval in preparation for the Chicagoland ARCA 200. McDowell's 30.677-second lap (176.028 mph) was good enough for first on the speed charts.
"This is a really good car and we've had a lot of success with it in the past," said McDowell. "Last year I spun here in qualifying and I barely made the race, so to be able to come back here one year later, sit on the pole and have a chance at the championship is pretty rewarding."
Jeremy Clements, driver of the No. 31-Stop Convenience-Spartan Constructors Chevrolet, will start next to McDowell in the second starting position after posting a qualifying speed of 175.576 mph, while Brett Hudson (who posted a qualifying speed of 175.501 mph) secured the third spot.
With only four races remaining in the 2007 season, McDowell (driver of the No. 2 Z-Line Design-Make-A-Wish-Beck Dodge) continues to chase Frank Kimmel in the National Championship Point Standings, trailing him by 185 points heading into this weekend.
The Chicagoland ARCA 200 ARCA RE/MAX Series race is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. tomorrow, Sept. 8.
Schrader Shines Again on DuQuoin's "Magic Mile" Dirt
Wins Second Consecutive Southern Illinois 100
Defending race winner Ken Schrader, in the Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet, earned his 15th career ARCA RE/MAX Series victory Monday at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds, winning the 55th Southern Illinois 100 in front of 8,000 fans.
Schrader, after chasing Josh Wise for 20 laps, slid underneath the former leader on the 85th lap of the 100-lap race and kept the field at bay to earn his second consecutive victory at the historic fairgrounds oval.
"I just love coming here but boy I hate what we put our boys through in the shop," said Schrader in victory lane. "They put together three cars for this race, and they all ran good."
"I got to thank them and Federated for sticking with us. I was really worried about the track early, not early in the race but early in the day. I didn't think it was going to widen out at all. And I should be kicked for doubting Bob Sargent (track promoter). Once the modifieds ran, the track was awesome. There was no dust and side-by-side racing; you just couldn't ask for any more."
Wise, in the ESR Development-NAPA Dodge, led 19 laps before giving up the top-spot 15 laps shy of the checkered flag. Nonetheless, the Riverside, California driver scored his second consecutive runner-up finish in RE/MAX Series competition.
"Man it just sucks to come up short," said Wise. "But the guys did a great job. We weren't that good out of the trailer but the guys worked on it and got it to where it needs to be. I got to thank Wayne Carroll and Eddie Sharp all of the guys at Michael Waltrip Racing for doing what they are doing for me. You use some of the car control stuff that you learn with the open wheel stuff but these cars are a lot heavier and you just drive them different in a lot of ways. It's fun to come and try new stuff."
Josh Richards, with his boss Tony Stewart spotting, finished third in the Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet in his RE/MAX Series debut.
"It was definitely exciting," said Richards. "I'd like to thank Tony Stewart for bringing this deal together for me. It's a great opportunity and I was a little nervous getting here but once we got through practice, I was used to the dirt feel so it was pretty good. And then at the end we were a little tight from the center out and I had to be careful. It was a great run for us and I'm glad with all the guys on the team for helping me out. It was good to get a top-three finish the first time out. These cars are a lot slower than what I'm used to-you know, reacting and everything. I just had to get used to slowing myself down and it took a few laps to do that
AJ Fike had a big day, earning the SIM Factory Pole Award followed by a solid fourth place finish, despite spinning early in the race after leading the first 19 laps.
Eight-time series champion Frank Kimmel, who led 17 circuits, finished fifth, after pitting twice in the Pork Ford. Kimmel also stretched his point advantage to 200 points over rookie Michael McDowell, who crashed on lap 57, which relegated the Phoenix, Arizona driver to 36th in the final running order. He was not injured.
Schrader's strategy included just one stop for fuel and tires on lap 20. From there, the Fenton, Missouri favorite bided his time as he maneuvered his way forward.
Justin Allgaier was challenging Wise for second on the last lap and spun off turn four coming to the checkered flag. By the time the Springfield, Illinois driver re-fired his Chevy Monte Carlo, the entire field passed him by, relegating him to 22nd in the final running order, the last car on the lead lap.
Patrick Sheltra finished sixth in the CP Products-US Construction Chevrolet earning the Highest Finishing Rookie of the Race honors. Justin Marks brought the Crocs Dodge home in seventh after leading six laps. Billy Venturini's RE/MAX Series return was noteworthy after an eighth place finish. Joey Miller, also making his return to competition, finished ninth in the Mercedes Homes-Red Line Oil Dodge. Justin South, in the HD Supply Dodge, finished 10th.
Josh Krug, who finished 12th from the 24th starting position, earned the Hoosier Tire Hard Charger award for advancing the most positions.
The ARCA RE/MAX Series steers north next to Chicagoland Speedway for the Chicagoland ARCA 200 Saturday, September 8, LIVE on SPEED at 2:00 pm Eastern.
Post-Milwaukee Penalties Issued
So you think Nascar Officials are tough?
Based on post-race technical inspection after Sunday's Governor's Cup 200 ARCA RE/MAX Series event at the Milwaukee Mile, two teams have been penalized for 2007 ARCA Rulebook violations.
The Creative Motorsports #18 team has been fined $1500 and driver Billy Leslie and team owner Tracy Leslie have been penalized with the loss of 25 championship points for failure to meet rear quarter panel height.The Hixson Racing #23 team has been fined $1500 and driver Josh Krug and team owner Wayne Hixson have been penalized with the loss of 25 championship points for failure to meet rear quarter panel height
Past ARCA News...
Milwaukee Post-Practice Notes & Quotes
Practice is now complete for the ARCA RE/MAX Series here Saturday at the Milwaukee Mile. Here's what some of the drivers are saying about their day.
Dexter Bean, a sophomore driver on the ARCA RE/MAX Series tour, posted the 16th fastest lap with a time of 31.518 seconds at 114.220 MPH.
The Westby, Wisconsin native enters The Milwaukee Mile after netting a fifth place finish last Sunday at Illinois State Fairgrounds (Springfield). The result was a personal best for Bean in three previous dirt track starts.
With his superb finish last weekend, Bean tallied his third top-five finish of the season and accumulated his eighth top-10 in 16 races so far this season.
Bean is on a stretch of three consecutive top-10 efforts (Nashville Superspeedway, Pocono Raceway and Illinois State Fairgrounds).
Entering the 17th race of the season, Bean trails second place Michael McDowell by 110 markers and 205 points from the top spot currently held by reining ARCA champion Frank Kimmel.
The BlackJack Racing team has brought the same Chevrolet Monte Carlo the team competed with at Springfield last weekend. This same automobile is responsible for Bean's second place finish at Salem Speedway earlier this year. The team's backup machine is the same racecar that Bean nailed his second and seventh place efforts at Pocono Raceway this season.
Bean drew the ninth position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
**BlackJack Racing will change motors prior to ARCA SIM Factory pole qualifying this afternoon. The team lost their primary motor during the first practice session earlier today.**
"We were good right off the truck. The motor started shooting water out of the exhaust, so we had to change the motor. Thankfully, this place isn't a big motor place, but this put us a little behind for qualifying. I have the best guys in the garage, so we'll get the new motor in and go get them in qualifying. This is a hometown race for us, so I hope it's a blessing to get all of our troubles out of the way in practice. We need to stay focused for the race tomorrow and deliver a good finish."
JAMES BUESCHER, NO. 32 MERCEDES HOMES-RED LINE OIL DODGE INTREPID
Fresh off a solid showing at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) in the USAR Hooter's Pro Cup Series on Wednesday night, James Buescher steers towards the ARCA RE/MAX Series for the second consecutive weekend.
Last Sunday at Illinois State Fairgrounds, the 17-year phenomenon made his inaugural dirt track debut behind the famed No. 32 Country Joe Racing Dodge finishing seventh ahead of NASCAR icon Ken Schrader.
This weekend, Buescher will accelerate from just testing at the famed Milwaukee Mile to competing in Sunday's Governor's Cup 200.
Country Joe Racing is fielding the same car that Buescher scored the ARCA RE/MAX Series win at USA International Speedway (Lakeland) in March with an additional top-five finish (third) at Berlin Raceway last month.
James Buescher will make his fifth career ARCA start Sunday. In his previous four efforts, Buescher scored the win in the inaugural ARCA RE/MAX Series event at USA International Speedway (Lakeland) while posting a clean sixth place run at Salem Speedway in April before returning to the top-five at Berlin Raceway with a stout third place effort in July. Last weekend Buescher made his dirt track debut showing further talent by reeling in a seventh place finish.
Country Joe Racing sits eighth in the 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series car owner standings entering Springfield. The organization, who has fielded a car for a number of drivers this season, is 15 markers from seventh place controlled by car owner Grace Sheltra (No. 60). 95 points separate CJR from sixth in the car owner standings currently held by Clarence Brewer. The team maintained their spot from last week, but gained valuable points on their competition ahead following James Buescher's outstanding run last Sunday.
During the practice session today, Buescher mounted the fourth quickest lap racking in a time of 30.881 seconds at 116.577 MPH.
Buescher drew the 36th position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"I am so excited about tomorrow's race. We have a great car, it's nearly perfect. The Country Joe Racing team is a great operation and it's showing again here today. I'm really honored to drive this No. 32 Mercedes Homes Dodge. With the car being as strong as it is, we should be a threat for qualifying and the race. Our chances for tomorrow are looking good."
DOMINICK CASOLA, NO. 1 A. CASOLA FARMS FORD FUSION
For ARCA RE/MAX Series Dominick Casola, Sunday's opportunity at The Milwaukee Mile serves as another opportunity to shine.
The former USAR Hooter's Pro Cup driver enters tomorrow's race looking to keep a string of consistent finishes in check and collect his second top-10 finish of the 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series season.
Last weekend, Casola showed strength in his ARCA dirt track debut after rallying through the field from his 15th place starting position to stay in contention with the lead pack to score a respectable 13th place finish last Sunday.
With car owner and sidekick Jennifer Belmont MIA (Missing in Action) this weekend at The Milwaukee Mile, crew chief Andy Belmont will take the responsibility of pulling double duty as both crew chief and spotter for the Governor's Cup 200.
Crew Chief Andy Belmont has elected to bring Casola "Nemesis" to The Milwaukee Mile this weekend. This is a new Ford Fusion to rookie driver Dominick Casola. The car has a long-standing record in the Andy Belmont Racing stables, but this will be the first race that the Holmdel, New Jersey native will pilot this chassis this season. The team's backup machine is nicknamed "Big Bird".
The team is carrying sponsorship from A. Casola Farms, a family-owned business based out of New Jersey.
In practice today, Casola turned a time of 32.287 seconds at 111.500 MPH putting him 24th on the practice rundown overall.
Casola drew the 15th position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"We had some problems with the master cylinders in the brakes early on. Luckily, we fixed the problem. The car is decent. We're making some adjustments. Andy Belmont (crew chief) knows how to get around this place, so I'm not worried. We've been known to find a lot of time in qualifying, I'm sure we'll impress everyone in qualifying later today and focus on a top-10 finish for tomorrow's race."
DUSTIN DELANEY, NO. 48 FREEFEDS.ORG DODGE CHARGER
A new development driver for Statesville North Carolina's Carter-2-Motorsports, Dustin Delaney enters The Milwaukee Mile looking to improve on his stout 14th place finish last weekend at the Illinois State Fairgrounds (Springfield).
With assistance and guidance from the legendary James Hylton, the rookie knows he's in good hands for tomorrow's Governor's Cup 200.
Hailing with a late-model background in New York, Delaney, 17 is banking on that experience to aid in his first pavement race of the season.
The Free Feds Foundation (FreeFeds.org) will sponsor Delaney as he attempts to make his second career ARCA start Sunday.
FreeFeds.org's sole purpose is to gain public support for adding parole for non-violent, non repeat offenders to the federal prison system. They are of the belief that the federal justice system is in need of a total reform. The organization, however, is mainly interested in working toward adding a system of parole for non-violent offenders as part of that overall reform.
In addition to FreeFeds.org, Explore America, The Idaho Observer, RVrentToGo.com, 100fold.net, and Accelerating Developments International (ADI) will join the team's effort in the 10th RE/MAX Series event held at The Milwaukee Mile.
In practice today, Delaney turned a time of 32.707 seconds at 110.068 MPH putting him 27th on the practice rundown overall.
Delaney drew the 30th position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"I'm learning the place. We are going to make some adjustments in the FreeFeds.org Dodge Charger heading into qualifying and we should be just fine. The car is tight, but I think a lot of the other teams are fighting the same condition. I'm not worried, we're in the race and that's the main objective today."
JAKE FRANCIS, NO. 61 FRANCIS ENGINEERING, HABCO TOOL & DEVELOPMENT DODGE INTREPID
Another young hot shoe on the prowl this weekend at the Milwaukee Mile is Ohio's Jake Francis.
Leaping from crew member to driver, Francis is hoping that his inaugural run at the Milwaukee Mile will be a memorable one.
Francis is running under the Rebecca Kasten Racing banner running a Dodge Intrepid purchased from ST2 Motorsports with Chevy White at the wheel.
Francis Engineering, Habco Tool & Development, Bonner Frams, Campana Excavating, J.R. Collins Trucking and Sander Excavating have all stepped up to the plate to sponsor Francis No. 61 entry this weekend.
While Milwaukee will provide the first chance for Francis to get behind the wheel, he experienced the ARCA RE/MAX Series first hand in February when he worked as a crew member for female ARCA RE/MAX Series sensation Jennifer Jo Cobb.
In practice today, Francis turned a time of 32.432 seconds at 111.001 MPH putting him 25th on the practice rundown overall.
Francis drew the third position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"We're tight, but good. We're going to change the gear and springs in our Dodge Intrepid and we should be good to go. I'm really proud of everyone on the team. We were one of the first teams out on the track in practice and we managed just fine. Our goal for qualifying is inside the top-20, then we'll worry about the race. I'm just glad to be apart of this big weekend at The Milwaukee Mile."
MIKE HARMON, NO. 38 JUST1SHIRT.COM CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO SS
Harmon, a veteran on the ARCA RE/MAX Series tour enters The Milwaukee Mile looking to make his 88th career start at a track where Harmon loves.
Last year at the famed Milwaukee Mile, Harmon produced very strong results. Practicing in the top-25, he stormed on to the charts with a great 10th place qualifying effort before finishing a disappointing 31st.
The Richardson-Netzloff-Harmon Racing team looks to bounce back from a sad weekend at Illinois State Fairgrounds as Harmon produced strong practice results, but an engine failure on the first lap of the event forced another disappointing finish.
Richardson-Netzloff-Harmon Racing is running two cars this weekend at The Milwaukee Mile. In addition to the normal No. 38, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Ricky Gonzalez will drive the team's No. 94 entry.
The team is looking for sponsorship for the remainder of the 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series season.
In practice today, he posted the 19th fastest time with a time of 31.857 seconds at 113.005 MPH.
Harmon drew the 11th position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"I'm satisfied. The car is running really good, but we're fighting a tight condition. We have more left on the table, so I'm not worried. It's good to come back this weekend and back up our performance here from last year. I'm really proud of all the guys on the Richardson-Netzloff-Harmon Racing team, we'll just go into qualifying and see what we can do."
JULIAN PENARULZ, NO. 93 RED OIL JEANS-CATCHIT CAM CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO
Paris France's Julian Penarulz (pronounced Pen-Da-Ruse) is scheduled to make his ARCA RE/MAX Series debut at The Milwaukee Mile tomorrow.
Driving the No. 93 for David Bogg Motorsports, Penarulz will utilize several of the remaining events on the 2007 schedule to prepare himself for a much broader racing schedule next year.
Carrying sponsorship from France's Red Oil Jeans, several executives from the corporation will be on-hand for Penarulz ARS debut Sunday afternoon.
With a background in the Formula-A & Campus Series, this weekend's ARS event sounds as the first opportunity for Penarulz to make a name for himself in the United States.
When not racing, the 30-year old is a frequent stunt man in California.
In practice today, he posted the 39th fastest time with a time of 42.577 seconds at 84.553 MPH.
Penarulz drew the second position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"The time is disappointing, but we found the problem. We were leaking water from the engine. We also had a problem with the brakes. The good news is that both problems are correctable and we should be fine for qualifying this afternoon. We need to give everything we have for time trials. Once we're in the show, we'll turn our attention to the race. I'm proud to be here in the ARCA RE/MAX Series and I'm extremely excited about the race tomorrow."
PATRICK SHELTRA, NO. 60 CP CONCRETE PRODUCTS, US CONSTRUCTION, FLORAGANICS-BRADY RANCH CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO SS
Patrick Sheltra is on the move. Entering the Milwaukee Mile fresh off a career-best third place finish at Illinois State Fairgrounds last Sunday, Sheltra enters his Milwaukee debut looking for more.
Despite only competing 15 of the possible 16 races this season, the Florida native currently sits sixth in the championship standings inching in on fellow rookie Phillip McGilton.
Patrick Sheltra will make his 18th career ARCA RE/MAX Series start on Saturday. In his previous 17 starts, Sheltra has collected two top-fives at Berlin Raceway (July 2007) and Illinois State Fairgrounds (August 2007) while holding an additional top-10 at Kentucky Speedway in June.
Sheltra's crew chief John Hayden is a former ARCA RE/MAX Series driver with 10 starts to his credit. Hayden holds a career best finish of third at Nashville Superspeedway in 2002 as his personal best effort.
In practice, the Florida native maneuvered a time of 31.522 seconds equaling a speed of 114.206 MPH positioning himself 17th on the charts.
Sheltra drew the 24th position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"We're loose. I know a lot of the guys are facing a tight problem, but we're the opposite. I'm not worried. The guys are working hard on the Sheltra Motorsports team to give us a good setup for qualifying later this afternoon. This should be a good race tomorrow, but I think track position will be key, so we need to see if we can put our Chevrolet in the top-10 later today. For the race tomorrow, we're itching to beat our third place run from last weekend, so hopefully with a little luck, we'll accomplish that."
BRYAN SILAS, NO. 11 NORTRAX, SHELL ROTELLA T, HOLLAND PUMP,
PALM BEACH GRADING (PBG) CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO
Fresh off making his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) debut at Bristol Motor Speedway earlier this week; Bryan Silas turns all of his concentration towards his second career start at The Milwaukee Mile Sunday.
Rewinding back to last August, Silas started the event ninth and ran a very clean and competitive race before logging a 20th place finish. This year, with 16 races already under his belt and three top-10 finishes, Silas turns to "The Magic Mile" for a career best finish.
Heading into Milwaukee, Silas has 22 ARCA RE/MAX Series starts to his credit with a career best finish of eighth at Salem Speedway (April 2007) and Kentucky Speedway (July 2007) while holding an additional top-10 performance at USA International Speedway (March 2007). He holds a career best short track time trials effort of seventh at Berlin Raceway (July 2007). A fourth place qualifying effort at Pocono Raceway (June 2007) is Silas's best speedway run to date. He has controlled the ARCA field for 15 laps in one race.
Driving for two-time ARS champion Andy Hillenburg, Silas sits ninth in the championship standings heading into the 17th race of the season.
Silas, a native of Stuart, Florida posted the 14th fastest time with an effort of 31.413 seconds equaling a speed of 114.602 MPH.
Silas drew the 12th position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"We're tight. I need some rotation in the center of the corner. But we are in excellent shape for race runs, so I'm looking forward to the race tomorrow. I think track position is critical at a track like The Milwaukee Mile. I have a good feeling about qualifying later today, if we can start inside the top-12; I think we'll be able to position ourselves in the top-10 early and stay there. Over 100 representatives of Nortrax will be on hand tomorrow, so I would like to have a good showing for them and my team. I think we can do it."
BILLY TANNER, NO. 07 CHEAPCARIBBEAN.COM CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO SS
Showing his true potential last weekend at Illinois State Fairgrounds, Billy Tanner comes to The Milwaukee Mile revived and ready to score his first top-10 finish of the 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series season.
Driving for Stott Classic Racing and car owner Corrie Stott, Tanner will make his 10th career start in the ARCA RE/MAX Series on Sunday afternoon.
Ramo Stott, father of car owner Corrie Stott will serve as the Grand Marshall for Sunday's event.
Sitting seventh on ARCA's all-time race winner's list with 27 checkered flags is Keokuk, Iowa's Ramo Stott. In addition to his many victories, Stott drove to back-to-back ARCA series championships in 1970 and '71 driving a winged Plymouth Superbird, which will be at The Milwaukee Mile on display and rolling at the head of the field on a parade lap prior to the start of the 17th ARCA event of the season.
Tanner's No. 07 entry is sponsored by CheapCaribbean.com. CheapCaribbean.com is owned by COMM Group, Inc (Customer Oriented Marketing and Management Group) which provides wholesale and direct to consumer distribution of vacation packages, resort reservations, and cruises worldwide to Bermuda, the Caribbean, and Mexico, servicing over 250,000 passengers per year.
In practice, the Pennsylvania native maneuvered a time of 32.970 seconds equaling a speed of 109.190 MPH positioning himself 31st on the charts.
Tanner drew the sixth position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"We're tight. I can't get through the corners like I want. We made some adjustments from practice and we'll see where we end up. I have to give a lot of credit to my guys on the Stott Classic Racing team, they never give up! This is a big race for us tomorrow and I think with a little luck we can produce the same type of run we did last weekend at Springfield."
Milwaukee Mile Important Race For Stott Classic Racing & Billy Tanner
WEST ALLIS WI (8-23-07)--Redemption. That's the one word that best suites the Stott Classic Racing (SCR) team as they head to The Milwaukee Mile this weekend. After running their strongest race of the season at Illinois State Fairgrounds last weekend, the team left with a sour taste after being involved in a mid-race altercation.
It's another week and another race, but Sunday's Governor's Cup 200 ranks in the top-two of the most important races for the Stott Classic Racing (SCR) team this season. Not only will driver Billy Tanner make his inaugural ARCA debut at the famed Wisconsin track, but Ramo Stott, father of crew chief and owner Corrie Stott will serve as the Grand Marshall for Sunday's event.
Sitting seventh on ARCA's all-time race winner's list with 27 checkered flags is Keokuk, Iowa's Ramo Stott. In addition to his many victories, Stott drove to back-to-back ARCA series championships in 1970 and '71 driving a winged Plymouth Superbird, which will be at The Milwaukee Mile on display and rolling at the head of the field on a parade lap prior to the start of the 17th ARCA event of the season.
After honoring their fellow crew member, the team will turn their focus to the No. 07 CheapCaribbean.com Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS as Tanner is scheduled to make his 10th career start Sunday afternoon.
Never having the opportunity to participate at The Milwaukee Mile would faze some drivers, but for Pennsylvania's Billy Tanner, he sees the event as another opportunity to shine. Especially after last Sunday's race gone bad; Tanner is looking for more than just a good finish, he's looking for revenge.
"We came so close to a top-10 finish last weekend, we could taste it. Unfortunately, a lap car got into us and spoiled our best race of the season. I really think we can back up the same type of performance we had last weekend, we just need a little luck and patience to make it happen."
Tanner continued, "This isn't just about me or the guys this weekend, it's also a very special weekend for Mr. Ramo Stott. He is a true champion of this series and I'm much honored to have the distinct pleasure of working with at every race. I'm very proud of his accomplishments in the sport and I'm looking forward to congratulating him on Sunday."
Crew Chief and car owner Corrie Stott has elected to bring the same Chevrolet Monte Carlo the team participated in the open test earlier this week at Chicagoland Speedway. The team has utilized the last few days to make the necessary adjustments to put a great setup underneath the No. 07 CheapCaribbean.com Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS for Milwaukee.
"We had a good test at Chicagoland and we figured what the heck, let's bring this car to The Milwaukee Mile and see what we can drum up. The car handled well, but Corrie is a pro at putting a good car underneath me. The biggest obstacle I'll have to worry about is learning the track. We've been able to improve tremendously from our practices to qualifying efforts at new tracks. I'm hoping that this weekend is another event that falls into that same category."
"The next couple races are important for us," sounded Tanner. "We're trying to lineup our 2008 schedule which should include a full season. I know we have the capabilities and equipment to run up front; we just need to bank on our experience this year and start delivering. Hopefully that starts this weekend in Milwaukee."
Crew Chief and car owner Corrie Stott offered his two-cents on Milwaukee.
"Obviously this race is important for us in a lot of ways. I'm very proud of my father for all of his success in the ARCA RE/MAX Series and I thank him for the help he has given me in my career. On the flip side, we still have a job to do. I think Milwaukee is a track that will fit Billy's driving style. We're bringing him a pretty good piece, so I'm looking forward to the race this weekend."
The Governor's Cup 200 (200 laps/200 miles) is the 17th of 23 races on the 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule. The 10th ARCA race held at The Milwaukee Mile is a two day show. Practice begins Saturday August 25 with an hour practice and fifteen minute (1:00pm-2:15pm) session planned. ARCA SIM Factory pole qualifying is set for later in the day at 5:15pm Local Time. The event will take the green flag Sunday August 26 shortly after 12:00pm Local Time. The race will be televised live on SPEED with additional race coverage online at arcaracing.com.For more on Classic Stott Racing and driver Billy Tanner please visit StottClassicRacing.com
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