Berlin: Round five preview

ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookies Geared Up For Berlin; ROY Battle Tied TOLEDO OH (6-27-07)--The ARCA RE/MAX Series is gearing up for a short track thriller at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Michigan, where a full field of talented stock car racers will...

ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookies Geared Up For Berlin; ROY Battle Tied

TOLEDO OH (6-27-07)--The ARCA RE/MAX Series is gearing up for a short track thriller at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Michigan, where a full field of talented stock car racers will battle for the win in the Request Foods-GFS 200 on Saturday night, July 7. And, while the starting field will be composed of a diverse mix of rookies, veterans and hometown favorites, it is perhaps the 2007 Rookie of the Year contenders that have the most on the line.

Heading into Berlin, the ROY battle is tied between Eddie Sharp Racing's Michael McDowell and Brewco Motorsports' Phillip McGilton. Bryan Silas, Patrick Sheltra and Josh Krug round out the top-five ROY contenders. In all, twelve drivers signed up for the 2007 Rookie of the Year competition at the beginning of the race season.

Of the twelve ROY contenders, seven currently rank in the top-20 in the ARCA RE/MAX Series National Championship Point Standings. McDowell and McGilton are the highest ranked rookie point contenders with their fifth and sixth place standings, just 50 points away from each other and within 230 points of Frank Kimmel's lead.

But beyond the ROY competition and the national point championship, the '07 ROY contenders are aiming for their career first wins as well. Heading into Berlin, the 2007 Rookie class has yet to find victory lane. McDowell has come closest, finishing third at Salem and second at Kentucky. He led much of the final laps at Toledo Speedway in May before finishing seventh after a late race tangle with his Eddie Sharp Racing teammate Ken Butler III. McDowell has been the highest finishing rookie at the conclusion of ARCA RE/MAX Series events on five different occasions this season. McGilton has been the highest finishing rookie four times and Gabi DiCarlo and Tim Russell have each been the highest finishing rookie once.

And although the 2007 ROY contenders are still searching for that elusive career first victory, six of them (Krug, McDowell, McGilton, Russell, Sheltra, Silas) have posted at least one top-ten finish this season. McDowell and McGilton are the only rookies that have posted top-five finishes.

Should the 2007 ROY find victory lane this season, he or she will join some very elite company. In all, 14 of the 49 former ARCA RE/MAX Series ROY's have earned race victories during their rookie season, including Blake Bjorklund, Joey Miller, Chad Blount, Jason Jarrett, Gary Bradberry, Jeremy Mayfield, Davey Allison, Bill Venturini, Lee Raymond, Bill Green, Woody Fisher, Bruce Gould, Tom Bowsher and Bill Granger.

The last two consecutive ARCA RE/MAX Series ROY's- Bjorklund and Miller-earned race wins during their rookie season. 2005 ROY Miller actually entered his rookie season as a former race winner after earning a victory in his career first start at Nashville Superspeedway in 2004.

Former ARCA Rookie of the Year award winners have gone on to successfully compete in a wide range of racing series, including all three of NASCAR's top touring divisions. Frank Kimmel, whose storied racing career has included eight ARCA RE/MAX Series championships, an invitation to compete in the International Race of Champions (IROC) Series, along with forays into the NASCAR Nextel Cup and NACAR Craftsman Truck Series, was the 1992 ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookie of the Year. Other former winners of the ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookie of the Year award include NASCAR Nextel Cup Series regular Jeremy Mayfield (1993), and 1984 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Rookie of the Year Davey Allison, who earned ARCA's Rookie honors in 1984.

Other former winners of the ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookie of the Year award include TJ Bell, Jason Jarrett, Glenn Brewer, Lee Raymond and Charlie Glotzbach, to name a few.

The Request Foods-GFS 200 at Berlin Raceway marks the twelfth of 23 events on the 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule. Former winners at the .4-mile paved oval include Frank Kimmel, Bob James, Tim Steele, Fred Campbell, Andy Hampton, Iggy Katona, Bob Keselowski, Brian Keselowski, Joey Miller, Bob Senneker, Harold Smith, Les Snow, Nelson Stacy, Ramo Stott and Don White. Tickets to the Saturday, July 7th, event are available in advance by calling Berlin Raceway (616) 677-5000. A complete race schedule is available on arcaracing.com.

-credit: arca

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Series ARCA
Drivers Jeremy Mayfield , Frank Kimmel , Chad Blount , Jason Jarrett , Tim Steele , Michael McDowell , Ken Butler III , Joey Miller , Tim Russell , Bryan Silas , Blake Bjorklund , Josh Krug , Patrick Sheltra , Brian Keselowski , Gabi DiCarlo , Davey Allison