Defending race winners Last July, Eddie Sharp Racing took home the trophy at the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway after then ESR driver Scott Speed claimed the top honors, passing Sean Caisse following a restart with less than 10 laps remaining. He...
Defending race winners
Last July, Eddie Sharp Racing took home the trophy at the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway after then ESR driver Scott Speed claimed the top honors, passing Sean Caisse following a restart with less than 10 laps remaining. He held off challenges from Caisse after a green-white-checkered finish extended the race following a record-setting 10th caution flag. Notably, Speed pit early in the event, on lap 18, leaving him to run the final 86 laps on the same tank of fuel, giving the ESR camp stealthy notes about pit strategy entering this week's event. Justin Lofton, driver of the No. 6 Toyota for ESR this season, also had a good race last year in Kentucky, finishing 10th.
ESR rookies Craig Goess, Jr. and Tim George Jr. recently tested the 1.5-mile Kentucky track and Lofton was also on hand. Though Lofton's No. 6 team was not at the track with their own machine, he hopped behind the wheel of George Jr's No. 2 ride for a few laps and made a few mental notes from the test session in addition to giving his rookie teammates a few pointers.
"I was able to learn a lot at the Kentucky test, on and off the track. I was able to make laps in my teammate's car, and was able to help adjust it on and off the track. It was interesting being on the outside watching and helping someone else," Lofton said.
This is the second visit this season to Kentucky. During the tour's first stop in May Lofton finished second, rookie Goess was seventh and George Jr. was 14th. Steve Arpin got caught up in an accident and finished 29th.
Where they stand
After the first 11 stops on the 21-race schedule, all four ESR drivers are comfortably within the top 10 in the driver point standings. Justin Lofton enters Kentucky with one race win, eight top-10 finishes and currently sits second in the series standings. Craig Goess, Jr. has notched five top-10s and sits sixth with Steve Arpin seventh and Tim George Jr in ninth.
Steve Arpin, driver of the No. 20 Toyota enters Kentucky with a string of top-10 finishes under his belt, including an eighth place run last weekend in Iowa.
"The last time we were at Kentucky it was our first race with our new crew chief, Jefferson Hodges. We have come along way since then and have really developed a good relationship," Arpin said. "I'm confident that we are going back there and are going to be a real threat all weekend long in our Pinewood Sports No. 20 Toyota."