Kentucky II: Eddie Sharp Racing race report

Team ESR shows its strength at Kentucky, claims three top 10 finishes Eddie Sharp Racing flexed its muscle at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday, as three of the team's four entries came home solidly within the top 10 in the Click It or Ticket ...

Team ESR shows its strength at Kentucky, claims three top 10 finishes

Eddie Sharp Racing flexed its muscle at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday, as three of the team's four entries came home solidly within the top 10 in the Click It or Ticket Buckle-Up Kentucky 150 ARCA RE/MAX Series event.

Justin Lofton, who finished second in May on the 1.5-mile track, had another strong run, piloting his No. 6 Lofton Cattle / CGS Imaging Toyota into third at the finish, despite running lap times faster than the race leaders in the closing laps. Rookies Craig Goess and Steve Arpin followed, crossing Lofton across the finish line within the top 10. ESR's fourth car, wheeled by Tim George Jr., held steady, finishing 23rd in the 100-lap race.

"It builds momentum for the guys. We're going to take this and build on it. We have some really awesome racetracks coming up for us," said Lofton, who maintains the second position in the driver point standings.

Behind the wheel of the No. 81 Greenville Toyota of N.C. Toyota, Goess had an up and down night at Kentucky but his perseverance paid off with a career-best finish of fourth.

Goess originally qualified his No. 81 Toyota in the 11th position but trouble under the hood forced his Patrick Donahue-led team to change engines prior to the start of the race, forcing Goess to the rear of the field. Pit strategy early in the event paid off, giving him back the track position that he lost due to the change.

"If that's what we have to do to keep getting up here and get a win out of it, I'll start from the back," an elated Goess said. "The guys did an awesome job. Everybody worked hard on the car. We're getting it closer. We had a really good car. I'm looking forward to the next race."

Arpin and the No. 20 Pinewood Sports Toyota team led some laps late in the race and went on to claim their fourth straight top-10 effort as Arpin crossed the stripe in sixth.

"It was a good night. Our guys made a bunch of good changes on the car and kind of flipped the coin going into this one. The car was awesome. We struggled in dirty air but once we got in clean air, the car was really good," Arpin said.

Seven caution flags waved throughout the event, offering up different pit strategy under the yellow flag conditions. From fuel only to staying out on the track, the majority of the lead lap cars surprisingly played similar cards. But Goess took advantage early, and with less than 30 laps on the board, he was within the top five.

Beyond the halfway mark on lap 63, the caution flag waved yet again following a two-car run-in and one lap later, Lofton followed then-leader and eventual winner Parker Kligerman down pitroad. After the crew swapped out the tires and fueled up his Toyota, Lofton was back on track for a run at the new leader, teammate Arpin, who stayed on track to inherit the lead.

As the laps clicked down and the newer tires showed their advantages, Arpin slipped back to sixth while Goess and Lofton, who had a better car on the longer runs, moved back within the top five.

Team ESR will next hit the track on July 25th at Berlin Raceway for the Wolverine Power Systems 200 presented by Generac.

-credit: esr

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Justin Lofton , Tim George Jr. , Parker Kligerman , Craig Goess