ESR Ready to Rock the "Rock" DENVER, N.C. (May 1, 2008) -- Eddie Sharp Racing heads to Rockingham Speedway this weekend looking to capitalize on the momentum from a very strong appearance at Kansas Speedway. Although ESR drivers Scott ...
ESR Ready to Rock the "Rock"
DENVER, N.C. (May 1, 2008) -- Eddie Sharp Racing heads to Rockingham Speedway this weekend looking to capitalize on the momentum from a very strong appearance at Kansas Speedway. Although ESR drivers Scott Speed, Ken Butler, III and Justin Lofton will be making their debuts at the 'Rock' this weekend, team owner Eddie Sharp is old friends with the legendary track. In February 1993, Sharp made his first NASCAR Nationwide Series start in the Goodwrench 200.
"I remember that qualifying was rained out and it was freezing cold," said Sharp with a chuckle. "There were icicles hanging from the rigs. It was a big deal for me and a big chance. I wasn't in a competitive car, but just the opportunity to do it was huge. There were drivers on that track that I had always admired and looked up to, for example [Dale] Earnhardt, Sr."
Sharp continued that "It was more than just the chance to race at Rockingham. It put me here; where I am today. I'm still chasing the dream, just a slightly altered dream. Back then, I couldn't afford a good car to driver. Now I have 40 great cars in my shop, but I don't drive them, I own them and get to help other young, talented drivers with opportunities that I didn't."
Eddie Sharp returns to the Rock with a team of very talented young drivers in his ESR stable -- Scott Speed, Ken Butler, III and Justin Lofton. All three drivers cut their teeth on the recently resurrected one-mile oval track at the ARCA RE/MAX Series open test session early this year. Scott Speed, winner of last weekend's Kansas Lottery $150 Grand, sat at the top of the speed charts on the second day of testing. Teammates Justin Lofton and Kansas pole-winner Ken Butler, III also posted fast times during the open test.
Scott Speed (No. 2 Red Bull Toyota):
"We were really happy with our testing here in March. We struggled the first day, but got the kinks worked out on Saturday and had a very fast car. I'm looking forward to getting back on track here. We have a lot of momentum from last weekend's win at Kansas and we will definitely be carrying that into this weekend. My guys work really hard each week and I really appreciate it."
Ken Butler, III (No. 22 Aaron's Lucky Dog Dream Machine Toyota):
"I'm really looking forward to racing at Rockingham. This track has a lot of history and means a lot to the sport of stock car racing. Our Aaron's Lucky Dog Toyota was pretty good here at the test session. My guys have done a great job this year. We unload fast at every track and I don't doubt we will be strong this weekend. I'm so happy I was able to get them the pole last weekend and can't wait to give them the win they deserve!"
Justin Lofton (No. 93 Lofton Cattle Dodge):
"First I want to thank my team for all of the hard work and extra hours they put in this week. We had a lot of work to do on the Lofton Cattle Dodge and they dug in and never quit. Ken and Scott had a great weekend at Kansas, but I think it's our turn. I think we will be very good here. We had a strong test here in March and I have the fullest confidence that we will unload on Friday and get the car dialed in quickly."
Justin Lofton and Ken Butler, III will join some of their fellow ARCA RE/MAX Series drivers signing autographs at the Rockingham ThunderFest event in Downtown Rockingham on Thursday, May 1, 2008, from 6-7 p.m.
ARCA RE/MAX Series practice runs from 2-5 p.m. on Friday, May 2, 2008. SIM Factory Pole Qualifying will occur in two sessions on Saturday May, 3rd. First Round Qualifying for positions 1-25 will take place beginning at 10:00 a.m. Second Round of Qualifying for positions 26-41 starts at 2:30 p.m. Final Practice follows on Saturday, May, 3rd from 5-6 p.m. Driver Introductions begin Sunday, May 4, 2008 at 11:30 a.m. and the green flag for the Carolina 500k at Rockingham Speedway drops at 12:00 p.m. and will be broadcast LIVE on SPEED. All times listed are EASTERN.