Series Kentucky open test preview

Open Test Wed, April 29 in Prep for Drive Smart Buckle-Up KY 150 Sat, May 9 SPARTA, KY (4-26-09) -- Question: What do Kyle Busch, Frank Kimmel, Ryan Newman, Tim Steele, Steve Wallace and Michael McDowell all have in common? Answer: They are...

Open Test Wed, April 29 in Prep for Drive Smart Buckle-Up KY 150 Sat, May 9

SPARTA, KY (4-26-09) -- Question: What do Kyle Busch, Frank Kimmel, Ryan Newman, Tim Steele, Steve Wallace and Michael McDowell all have in common? Answer: They are all former ARCA RE/MAX Series winners at Kentucky Speedway.

However, only nine-time series champion Frank Kimmel can call himself a four-time Kentucky winner.

"I love Kentucky Speedway," said Kimmel. "We've always loved it right from the start."

For Kimmel, the start reaches back to year 2000 when the Sparta, Kentucky-based superspeedway palace hosted the series for the first time. Three-time series champion Tim Steele won the inaugural event on July 2nd. Since then, the renowned and versatile touring series, in its 57th consecutive season, has been a frequent flyer on the 1.5-mile Kentucky oval.

And so the tradition continues when the 18th appearance of the ARCA RE/MAX Series returns to Kentucky Speedway for the Drive Smart Buckle-Up Kentucky 150 Saturday night, May 9th.

Kimmel, from nearby Clarksville, Indiana, won three consecutive events at Kentucky in 2001 and 2002, and then returned as the victor in May of 2005. Despite Kimmel's championship reign over the years, he hasn't been back to victory lane at Kentucky since.

"Well, we need to change that," added Kimmel in reference to his four-year Kentucky winless streak. "This race is so important to our team. We consider this track our hometown superspeedway. We live about an hour away, so we always have so much support from friends and family for this race. This is a very special place for Kimmel Racing. We've always been treated so well there by entire staff at Kentucky. They really role out the red carpet for us, and we really appreciate that. A win would mean so much to me personally, but to Kimmel Racing for sure."

Prior to the running of the Drive Smart Buckle-Up Kentucky 150, the ARCA RE/MAX Series will conduct an open test this Wednesday, April 29th in conjunction with a media day during which all media are welcome. The open test is scheduled for on-track time between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. local time.

Pre-entries for the Drive Smart Buckle-Up Kentucky 150 race event already include Penske development driver and current series point leader Parker Kligerman. Kligerman, an 18-year-old high school senior from Westport, Connecticut, has a slim 5 point lead over Eddie Sharp Racing's (ESR) Justin Lofton, the series' most recent winner at Talladega.

ESR has also filed entries for rookies' Craig Goess, Tim George, Jr., and Fort Frances, Ontario's Steve Arpin.

Kimmel has also filed an entry as have Floridians' Patrick Sheltra, Bryan Silas and rookie Joey Coulter, Texans' Ken Weaver and Stephan McCurley and Michel Disdier from Nice, France.

The ARCA RE/MAX Series former winners list at Kentucky is impressive to say the least. It includes Kimmel, McDowell, Erik Darnell, Steele, Newman, Chad Blount, Busch, Ryan Hemphill, Wallace, Scott Speed, Brad Coleman and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr..

Practice for the Drive Smart Buckle-Up Kentucky 150 will be Saturday, May 9th from 12 noon to 2:00 PM ET followed by Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell at 4:00 PM. The Drive Smart Buckle-Up Kentucky 150 will follow at 8:00 PM.

Tickets are on sale now and can be reserved online through the track's official Web site, www.kentuckyspeedway.com, by phone at 888-652-RACE (7223) or by visiting the Kentucky Speedway ticket offices at 400 Buttermilk Pike, Suite 100, in Ft. Mitchell, KY.

-credit: arca

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Series ARCA
Drivers Ryan Newman , Frank Kimmel , Chad Blount , Tim Steele , Michael McDowell , Scott Speed , Ryan Hemphill , Ken Weaver , Erik Darnell , Bryan Silas , Justin Lofton , Patrick Sheltra , Steve Arpin , Craig Goess , Joey Coulter , Steve Wallace , Kyle Busch , Michel Disdier