Local Favorite Michael Annett Expected..... NEWTON IA (3-24-08) -- The ARCA RE/MAX Series, in its 56th consecutive season, will soon be steering for Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa for the third annual Prairie Meadows 250 Saturday, April 19th.
Local Favorite Michael Annett Expected.....
NEWTON IA (3-24-08) -- The ARCA RE/MAX Series, in its 56th consecutive season, will soon be steering for Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa for the third annual Prairie Meadows 250 Saturday, April 19th. The race marks the third of 21 events in the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule.
Daytona winner Michael Annett, a native of Des Moines, Iowa, is among the expected entries. Annett made his series debut at Iowa last year, qualifying for the pole and finishing third in the race after leading eight laps.
"Iowa Speedway, for me, is home," said Annett. "As great as it was to win at Daytona, I really think a win at Iowa would be just as meaningful. We ran really good there last year, and we expect to run even better this year. I know more of what to expect now, and racing with Bill Davis Racing means I'll be in great equipment."
In 5 career ARCA RE/MAX Series starts since 2007, Annett has never finished out of the top-10 with wins at Daytona '08 and Talladega Superspeedway '07. Annett's win at Talladega, in a Bill Davis Racing Toyota, marked the first win for the Toyota nameplate in ARCA RE/MAX Series competition. In addition to Annett's third place finish at Iowa in '07, he also finished 6th at Gateway Int'l Raceway '07 and 8th at Nashville Superspeedway '07.
Other expected entries include nine-time series champion Frank Kimmel, Daytona's 2008 runner-up finisher Justin Allgaier, Roush Fenway Racing's Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Formula 1 veteran Scott Speed, Cunningham-Dodge Development driver Tayler Malsam, five-time Daytona winner Bobby Gerhart, Westby, Wisconsin's Dexter Bean, Ken Butler, III, Tom Hessert, III and Matt Carter.
Carter drives for local businessman and nine-time series car owner champion Larry Clement. Clement's car, with Kimmel at the helm, won last year's ARCA RE/MAX Series race at Iowa whereas Carter won the USAR Pro Cup race last year at Iowa.
Daytona champion Gerhart finished sixth in last year's Iowa race, and is looking forward to returning.
"Can't wait to get back to Iowa Speedway," said Gerhart. "As far as short-tracks go, Iowa Speedway ranks among the very best. It's a short-track but it really drives more like a superspeedway. It's a long haul from Lebanon, Pennsylvania, but it's well worth it."
In last year's race, Kimmel held off Michael McDowell for the hard-fought victory. In the inaugural Prairie Meadows 250 in 2006, Steve Wallace held off a fierce, late-race charge from Kraig Kinser to claim the victory.
While the Prairie Meadows 250 marks only the third ARCA RE/MAX Series appearance in Iowa, ARCA has enjoyed a long history with the Hawkeye state. In particular, the small town of Keokuk, Iowa, which is located less than 200 miles from Iowa Speedway, has produced seven former ARCA RE/MAX Series drivers. Among them, 1970 and 1971 series champion Ramo Stott, and 1972, 1973 and 1974 champion Ron Hutcherson, whose brother, NASCAR veteran Dick Hutcherson, won an ARCA RE/MAX Series race in 1962. Other Keokuk, Iowa drivers to race in the ARCA RE/MAX Series include Ernie Derr, who competed in ARCA from 1955 through 1964, 10-time ARCA RE/MAX Series winner Don White, and Lem and Gordon Blankenship.
Practice is scheduled from 12:30-2:00 pm central Friday, April 18th followed by final practice from 3:00-4:30 pm. SIM Factory Pole Award Qualifying rolls off early Saturday morning at 9:00 am. The race is LIVE on SPEED Saturday, April 19th at 12:30 local time.