Kentucky: Eddie Sharp Racing race report

ESR Survives the Rain and the Kentucky Speedway Sparta, Kentucky (May 9, 2009) -- The rain fell hard in Sparta, Kentucky leading up to the Drive Smart Buckle-Up Kentucky 150, leaving the Kentucky Speedway soaked. The scheduled practice was ...

ESR Survives the Rain and the Kentucky Speedway

Sparta, Kentucky (May 9, 2009) -- The rain fell hard in Sparta, Kentucky leading up to the Drive Smart Buckle-Up Kentucky 150, leaving the Kentucky Speedway soaked. The scheduled practice was rained out, followed by a rained out qualifying. The schedule finally permitted two hours of practice prior to the green and owner's points were implemented to map out the starting grid.

During the late afternoon practice when the track finally dried, each team was able to lay some rubber on the track. ESR welcomes onboard Ruby Tuesday to sponsor Tim George, Jr., driver of the No. 2 Toyota Camry, full time this season. George, Jr.'s best practice lap Saturday came on the board at 31.689 seconds, putting him in the 17th position.

Justin Lofton and his No. 6 Lofton Cattle Toyota Camry team put up solid numbers during practice, running a 31.454 second lap his very first lap around the track. Lofton ended practice in second place, with a best lap coming in at 31.229 seconds.

Steve Arpin and his No. 20 Taylor Motorsports Toyota Camry put up a 31.458 second lap time, putting him in the 13th position at the end of practice. Craig Goess, Jr. and the No. 81 Greenville Toyota team practiced in the 10th position with a 31.412 second lap.

By race time, the whole Eddie Sharp Racing gang was ready for the green flag to wave as the temperatures dropped and the skies cleared for some good ol' Saturday night racing, but many were still weary of the track conditions, which had been seeping water throughout much of the weekend. Lofton, driver of the No. 6 Lofton Cattle Toyota Camry came over the radio one lap in and said, "The track is soaked in (turns) 3 and 4, it could get ugly."

Throughout the night, Justin Lofton and the No. 6 Lofton Cattle Toyota Camry swapped places for the lead with James Buescher four times and spent much of the final laps side by side. After leading 43 of 100 laps, Lofton would finish the race in the second position. Lofton said, "I am I am disappointed in the results from the Kentucky 150, because I don't want to settle for second best. My guys put so much time and effort into the car during the week and they don't deserve to finish 2nd best. Despite the race results, it's good to be back in the points lead again. It keeps everyone motivated and excited to be working towards the same goal, winning."

Tim George, Jr. and the No. 2 Ruby Tuesday Toyota Camry had an exciting night at the Kentucky Speedway and finished the evening in fourteenth place. George, Jr. was happy with his finish, "Given that we had a new crew chief, battery issues on pit road, and a small fender bender, I am happy about a 14th place result at Kentucky. We turned what could have been a very bad day into a decent day, coming from 2 laps down to finishing on the lead lap. The guys really rallied, and outside of the battery issue our pit stops were quick. I am looking forward to working with Jon Wolfe and my new spotter Dan as well."

Steve Arpin and the No. 20 Taylor Motorsports Toyota Camry put up a strong performance throughout the night until a brush of bad luck came on lap 78. Arpin and team were running as high as ninth, when Arpin was nailed from behind in turn 2 sending him and his team to the garage. After the race, Arpin said, "I am incredibly disappointed with the results of the race. We had a decent car. We had a right rear tire equalize on the first run, which made us really loose until adjustments could be made on the first pit stop. At the time, we did not know we had issues with the right rear, we tightened up the car quite a bit and it was too tight. We were in good shape, after the final pit stop, where we got the car back to where we needed it to be, but we didn't get the chance to show it on the track, because of an unfortunate situation that ended the evening for this No. 20 Taylor Motorsports Toyota Camry."

The No. 81 Greenville Toyota Camry had a successful evening at the Kentucky Speedway, finishing the race in the seventh position. Crew Chief Patrick Donahue was pleased overall, "We took a decent car to Kentucky this weekend and finished in the top-10. We learned a lot and we will use that to prepare for Toledo, Pocono, and Michigan in the weeks to come."

Next Stop: The Eddie Sharp Racing foursome will head to the Toledo Speedway in Toledo, Ohio for the Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care. The green flag drops at 2:15 p.m. on Sunday, May 17, 2009. Tune into Arcaracing.com for live timing and scoring for all ARCA RE/MAX Series on-track sessions at Toledo.

-credit: esr

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Series ARCA
Drivers Justin Lofton , Steve Arpin , James Buescher , Craig Goess