Berlin: Series Friday report

ARCA RE/MAX Series Rigs Roll into Berlin; Ready for Saturday Night Short-Track Classic MARNE MI (7-25-08) -- ARCA RE/MAX Series haulers are now filing into Berlin Raceway in preparation for Saturday's Berlin ARCA RE/MAX 200. Jam-packed...

ARCA RE/MAX Series Rigs Roll into Berlin; Ready for Saturday Night Short-Track Classic

MARNE MI (7-25-08) -- ARCA RE/MAX Series haulers are now filing into Berlin Raceway in preparation for Saturday's Berlin ARCA RE/MAX 200.

Jam-packed with story lines and a stampede of race-ready rookies, the event marks the 21st ARCA RE/MAX Series race at Berlin since debuting on the renowned short-track in 1958.

While nine-time ARCA RE/MAX Series national champion Frank Kimmel has occupied much of the headlines over the last decade, it's the rookies that are stealing the show in 2008.

And it starts with Roush Fenway Racing development driver Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., who, not only leads the SunTrust Rookie of the Year points, the Olive Branch, Mississippi open-wheel graduate also leads the national championship points. Stenhouse, already a winner at Pocono and Kentucky, has never raced at Berlin in a stock car.

"I actually really like the speedways, but if I had to pick between short tracks and superspeedways, I would say short tracks because the driver has more input and they are more challenging," said Stenhouse. "From what I've heard Berlin is very challenging."

Second in championship points is Manteca, California's Scott Speed, a veteran of the Formula 1 circuit, and yet another rookie on the '08 RE/MAX Series tour. Speed drove to victory lane at Kansas Speedway in the Red Bull Toyota back in April.

Rookie Matt Carter, in Kimmel's former 46 car, is currently third in championship points, giving rookies the top three positions.

In fact, six of the top-10 title contenders are rookies, giving shape to the tightest rookie battle arguably ever. Rookies' Tom Hessert III, John Wes Townley and Tayler Malsam are also among the top-10 national championship contenders headed to Berlin.

The stout rookie class poses the most significant threat to Kimmel's championship tenure since Bill Baird, who was not a rookie, knocked Kimmel off the throne in 1999. Kimmel, a three-time Berlin winner, is currently fourth in championship points, just five markers away from Carter. Other veterans currently mixing it up inside the top-10 include Justin Allgaier, Patrick Sheltra and Dexter Bean.

Practice for the ARCA RE/MAX Series at Berlin is scheduled from 2:30 -- 4:00 PM ET Saturday, July 26th with SIM Factory Pole Qualifying following at 5:00. The Berlin ARCA 200 is scheduled to go off at 8:30 Saturday night.

Tickets for the ARCA RE/MAX Series at Berlin Raceway are available by contacting the Berlin Raceway Ticket Office at 616-677-5000, or through http://www.berlinraceway.com.

- credit: arca

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Series ARCA
Drivers Frank Kimmel , Scott Speed , Tom Hessert III , Justin Allgaier , Dexter Bean , Bill Baird , Patrick Sheltra , Tayler Malsam , John Wes Townley
Teams Roush Fenway Racing