Eddie Sharp Racing's Justin Lofton Joins Steele, Kimmel, Miller in the 1,000 laps led club TOLEDO, Ohio (October 20, 2009)--Eddie Sharp Racing's Justin Lofton didn't earn the 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship by pacing around the back of...
Eddie Sharp Racing's Justin Lofton Joins Steele, Kimmel, Miller in the 1,000 laps led club
TOLEDO, Ohio (October 20, 2009)--Eddie Sharp Racing's Justin Lofton didn't earn the 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship by pacing around the back of the field in ARCA RE/MAX Series races. He won by leading laps-a lot of laps. In fact, Lofton was the Aaron's Lap Leader in 2009, leading a series' high 1,005 laps in 15 of 21 races. He's now part of an elite group of just four drivers who have led more than 1,000 laps in a single season of ARCA competition since 1978.
Frank Kimmel and Tim Steele, who are ranked first and second among all time lap leaders, both have multiple seasons which they have led 1,000 laps or more in a single season of competition. Steele led 1,513 laps in 20 races in 1996 and 1,412 laps in 19 races in 1997. Kimmel led a career high 1,474 laps in 20 races in 2001 and went on to lead more than 1,000 laps in 2002, 2003 and 2004. In 2005, Joey Miller earned the lap leader award in his rookie season of ARCA RE/MAX Series competition with 1,002 laps led in 15 races. As the 2009 Aaron's Lap Leader, Lofton will earn the Aaron's Lap Leader Award and its associated $5,000 cash prize at the ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship Awards Banquet at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center on Saturday evening, December 5.
Lofton entered the 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series as a second-year veteran of the Series and the most experienced ARCA driver in the Eddie Sharp Racing stable. It didn't take him long to use his experience to navigate the No. 6 Lofton Cattle Toyota to the front of ARCA RE/MAX Series fields, leading 35 of 80 laps in the season-opening race at Daytona Int'l Speedway on February 7. Over the course of the 21-race schedule, Lofton led laps in 15 events, including earning the Aaron's Lap Leader of the Race Award in nine races. His No. 6 Lofton Cattle Toyota led the field on a diverse combination of venues to include speedways (35 laps at Daytona on Feb. 7, 46 laps at Talladega on April 24, 43 laps at Kentucky on May 9, 14 laps at Pocono on June 6, 39 laps at Michigan on June 12, 65 laps at Pocono on August 1, 55 laps at Chicagoland on August 28, 12 laps at Kansas on October 1), short tracks (105 laps at Salem on April 4, 93 laps at Toledo on May 17, 69 laps at Mansfield on June 20, 171 laps at Berlin on July 25, 57 laps at Toledo on Sept. 4, 161 laps at Salem on Sept. 19), and dirt (40 laps at the Illinois State Fairgrounds on August 23). He posted six wins, 15 top-5 finishes, 19 top-10 finishes and six Menards Pole Awards presented by Ansell in the ARCA RE/MAX Series this season.
Lofton was followed in the Aaron's Lap Leader Standings by rookie Parker Kligerman, who led 725 laps in 15 races and provided Lofton's biggest challenge in the ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship Point Battle this season. Ken Schrader led 184 laps in one race (Rockingham on April 19) and rookie Joey Coulter led 156 laps in three races (Iowa on July 11, Toledo on Sept. 4 and Salem on Sept. 19).
2009 marks the third consecutive year in which Eddie Sharp Racing has led the ARCA RE/MAX Series in laps led. In 2008 Scott Speed earned Aaron's Lap Leader honors, leading 407 laps in 14 races. In 2007 Michael McDowell led 822 laps in 15 races in Sharp's No. 2 ARCA RE/MAX Series entry.
In addition to sponsoring the Aaron's Lap Leader Award, Aaron's sponsors the ARCA RE/MAX Series' Lucky Dog program. Aaron's is the nation's leader in the rental, sales and lease ownership, and specialty retailing of residential and office furniture, consumer electronics and home appliances and accessories. For a large selection of brand name furniture, appliances, Electronics and computer sales or leasing, calls Aaron's at 1-800-950-7368, or visit www.aaronrents.com.
The Aaron's Lap Leader Award will be presented at the ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship Awards Banquet at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington, Kentucky on Saturday evening, December 5. The banquet is open to the public and tickets are available by calling Shalene Williams at the ARCA Office (734) 847-6726.