Series Berlin spotlight - The rookies

Off the Heels of Kentucky Speedway, Rookies Rule Headed to Berlin Raceway Short-Track; 6 Rookies in Top-10 Championship Points MARNE MI (7-16-08) - Sandwiched in between Kentucky Speedway and Pocono Raceway, the upcoming July 26th Berlin...

Off the Heels of Kentucky Speedway, Rookies Rule Headed to Berlin Raceway Short-Track; 6 Rookies in Top-10 Championship Points

MARNE MI (7-16-08) - Sandwiched in between Kentucky Speedway and Pocono Raceway, the upcoming July 26th Berlin ARCA RE/MAX 200 offers racers a short-track treat like no other.

Coming off the heels of the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway the week before, the ARCA RE/MAX Series will steer for Berlin Raceway, the shortest track on the series schedule, before it takes off for the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway.

Halfway through the season, six rookies occupy positions in the top-10 national championship points, including the first three positions. Here's a look at the top-10 in points coming to Berlin (prior to 7-18-08 event at Kentucky).

Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.: Rookie. Development driver for Roush Fenway Racing no. 99 Ford. Leads national championship points and the SunTrust Rookie of the Year standings. In 10 career series starts in 2008, has 6 top-10 finishes and 8 top-10s, including two victories at Kentucky Speedway and Pocono Raceway. Short-track finishes in 2008 are 3rd at Rockingham Speedway, 3rd at Cayuga Motor Speedway, 6th at Salem Speedway, 7th at Toledo Speedway and 19th at Iowa Speedway. Open-wheel background. USAC Silver Crown winner at Springfield mile-dirt in 2007 driving for Tony Stewart. Never raced at Berlin.

Scott Speed: Rookie. Drives no. 2 Red Bull Toyota for Eddie Sharp Racing. Veteran of the Formula 1 tour. Currently 2nd in national championship points with 1 victory at Kansas Speedway among 5 top-5 finishes and 8 top-10s. SIM Factory Pole winner at Pocono Raceway and Michigan Int'l Speedway. Short-track finishes in 2008 are 5th at Salem Speedway, 6th at Iowa Speedway, 6th at Toledo Speedway and 8th at Cayuga Motor Speedway and 35th at Rockingham Speedway. Never raced at Berlin.

Matt Carter: Rookie. Drives 46 Stine Seed Ford for Larry Clement Racing, Frank Kimmel's former ride. Currently 3rd in national championship points. After 10 series starts, has 3 top-5 finishes and 5 top-10s including a short-track win at Toledo back in May. Short-track finishes in 2008 are 1st at Toledo Speedway, 3rd at Salem Speedway, 4th at Iowa Speedway, 6th at Cayuga Motor Speedway and 8th at Rockingham Speedway. Son of renowned/longtime NASCAR SPRINT Cup Series team owner/crew chief Travis Carter, who currently serves as Matt's crew chief in ARCA RE/MAX Series competition. Never raced at Berlin.

Frank Kimmel: Veteran. Drives no. 44 Ford for himself -- Kimmel Racing, a newly-formed team in 2008 after parting ways with longtime car owner Larry Clement. 9-time ARCA RE/MAX Series national champion with 71 career wins, second all-time to Iggy Katona, who has 79. Currently 4th in national championship points coming off strong runs at Michigan Int'l Speedway (finished 3rd) and Cayuga Motor Speedway (finished 2nd). 3-time Berlin Raceway winner in 1999, 2003 and 2004. in 9 starts at Berlin, Kimmel's only finished out of the top-5 once, which was a 7th place finish in 2007. Short-track finishes in 2008 are 2nd at Cayuga Motor Speedway, 3rd at Iowa Speedway, 4th at Salem Speedway, 10th at Rockingham Speedway and 12th at Toledo Speedway.

John Wes Townley: Rookie. Drives no. 09 Zaxby's Ford for RAB Racing. Currently 5th in national championship points. After 10 races, has 1 top-5 finish and 3 top-10s with career-best 5th place finish at Kentucky Speedway. Short-track finishes in 2008 are 7th at Salem Speedway, 9th at Cayuga Motor Speedway, 12th at Iowa Speedway, 12th at Rockingham Speedway and 16th at Toledo Speedway. Also finished 11th in series debut at Daytona Int'l Speedway. Never raced at Berlin.

Justin Allgaier: Veteran. Drives no. 16 Chevrolet for family-owned team out of Springfield, Illinois. Currently 6th in national championship points. One of the most recent winners on the tour with a victory at Cayuga Motor Speedway in late June. Also has victories at hometown Springfield mile-dirt in 2006 and back-to-back wins at Salem in 2007 and 2008. Finished career-high 4th in national championship points in 2007. Started season with career-best superspeedway finish of 2nd at Daytona Int'l Speedway. Short-track finishes in 2008 are 1st at Salem Speedway, 1st at Cayuga Motor Speedway, 2nd at Iowa Speedway, 4th at Toledo Speedway and 27th at Rockingham Speedway. Has raced at Berlin.

Tom Hessert III: Rookie. Drives no. 1 Ford for Andy Belmont Racing. Currently 7th in national championship points. After 10 series starts in 2008 has 4 top-10 finishes including a season-high 6th place finish in season opener at Daytona. Short-track finishes in 2008 are 7th at Cayuga Motor Speedway, 9th at Rockingham Speedway, 10th at Toledo Speedway, 11th at Iowa Speedway and 15th at Salem Speedway. Son of renowned road course racer/24 Hours of Daytona winner Tom Hessert II. Raced USAC Sprints and Midgets prior to stock car career. Has raced at Berlin in open-wheel cars.

Tayler Malsam: Rookie. Dodge Development Driver with no. 4 Cunningham Motorsports team. Currently 8th in national championship points. After 10 series starts in 2008, has 1 top-5 finish and 2 top-10s including career-best 3rd place finish at Pocono Raceway. Short-track finishes in 2008 are 10th at Iowa Speedway, 11th at Cayuga Motor Speedway, 13th at Toledo Speedway, 14th at Rockingham Speedway and 31st at Salem Speedway. Comes from open-wheel background, mainly winged sprints in the northwest near his Seattle, Washington home. Has never raced at Berlin.

Patrick Sheltra: Veteran: Drives for family-owned Sheltra Motorsports no. 60 Chevrolet/Dodge. Currently 9th in national championship points. Finished career-best 7th in national championship points in 2007. After 10 races in 2008, has 1 top-5 finish and 5 top-10s including career-best 2nd place finish on Toledo Speedway short-track. Short-track finishes in 2008 are 2nd at Toledo Speedway, 9th at Iowa Speedway, 11th at Salem Speedway, 18th at Cayuga Motor Speedway and 34th at Rockingham Speedway. Comes from dirt late model background and still competes regularly in dirt late model competition. Finished 4th in ARCA RE/MAX Series race at Berlin Raceway in 2007.

Dexter Bean: Veteran. Drives no. 37 Glock-sponsored Chevrolets for Spraker Racing Enterprises. Currently 10th in national championship points. Finished career-best 3rd in national championship points in 2007. Plagued by bad luck at the onset of the season, has come on strong at the midway point of the year with a string of 4 top-10 runs starting with Toledo Speedway short-track where he finished 3rd. After Toledo, finished 7th at Pocono Raceway, 9th at Michigan Int'l Speedway and 4th at Cayuga Motor Speedway. Short-track finishes in 2008 are 3rd at Toledo, 4th at Cayuga, 11th at Rockingham Speedway, 22nd at Salem Speedway and 35th at Iowa Speedway. Has 2 previous starts at Berlin Raceway where he finished 12th in 2006 and 15th in 2007.

Also entered for the July 26th Berlin ARCA RE/MAX 200 are Scott Speed teammates' Ken Butler III (Lilburn, Georgia) and Michigan Int'l Speedway winner Justin Lofton (Westmorland, California). Also entered are second-generation ARCA racer Billy Leslie (Mt. Clemens, Michigan), Larry Hollenbeck (Kalamazoo, Michigan), Michael Phelps (Suwanee, Georgia), Gabi DiCarlo (Phoenix, Arizona), Norm Benning (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), Dominick Casola (Holmdel, New Jersey), Brad Smith (Shelby Township, Michigan), Mike Harmon (Birmingport, Alabama), Donny Kelley (Humble, Texas), Bryan Silas (Stuart, Florida) and several more.

Practice for the ARCA RE/MAX Series at Berlin is scheduled from 2:30 -- 4:00 PM ET Saturday, July 26th with SIM Factory Pole Qualifying following at 5:00. The Berlin ARCA RE/MAX 200 is scheduled to go off at 8:30 Saturday night.

Catch all the Berlin ARCA RE/MAX Series action at arcaracing.com offering LIVE Timing & Scoring of all on-track activities as well as LIVE flag-to-flag streaming audio coverage of the race through the ARCA Racing Network exclusively on arcanation.com presented by Team Glock.

Tickets for the ARCA RE/MAX Series at Berlin Raceway are available by contacting the Berlin Raceway Ticket Office at 616-677-5000, or through www.berlinraceway.com.

-credit: arca

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Frank Kimmel , Andy Belmont , Mike Harmon , Larry Hollenbeck , Scott Speed , Norm Benning , Tom Hessert III , Tom Hessert , Ken Butler III , Justin Allgaier , Bryan Silas , Dexter Bean , Justin Lofton , Billy Leslie , Patrick Sheltra , Dominick Casola , Tayler Malsam , John Wes Townley , Donny Kelley , Michael Phelps , Gabi DiCarlo
Teams Roush Fenway Racing