Series notebook 2008-12-08

COVINGTON KY (12-6-08) - As a preamble to the 56th annual ARCA RE/MAX Series championship awards banquet at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center, several key announcements took center stage during the annual series press conference in...

COVINGTON KY (12-6-08) - As a preamble to the 56th annual ARCA RE/MAX Series championship awards banquet at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center, several key announcements took center stage during the annual series press conference in Covington, Kentucky Saturday afternoon.

ARCA, SPEED ANNOUNCE 2009 TV SCHEDULE

Officials of the ARCA RE/MAX Series and SPEED released the 2009 SPEED TV schedule for the ARCA RE/MAX Series to include 10 events, eight of which will be live, and the remaining two will be same-day-delayed.

The announcement is part of an agreement under which SPEED TV will air a minimum of 10 ARCA RE/MAX Series events each season through 2011.

"SPEED viewers really connect with the ARCA RE/MAX Series," said SPEED President Hunter Nickell. "There is a true grassroots feel ... a volatile mix of up-and-coming talent and old-school veterans that delivers consistent viewership for the network. We look forward to the 2009 season and many more years of ARCA racing on SPEED."

SPEED's coverage of the ARCA RE/MAX Series in 2009 begins at Daytona Int'l Speedway Saturday, February 7 with live, flag-to-flag coverage of the 46th ARCA 200 at Daytona at 4:00 pm eastern, and concludes with the season championship finale at Rockingham Speedway October 11.

In addition to Daytona and the Rockingham finale, events scheduled for live coverage in '09 include Rockingham on April 19, Talladega Superspeedway on April 24, both events at Pocono Raceway on June 6 and August 1, Michigan Int'l Speedway on June 12, Kentucky Speedway on July 18, Chicagoland Speedway on August 28 and Kansas Speedway on October 1.

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENTS

Eddie Sharp Racing

Eddie Sharp Racing (ESR) announced that the team would field three full-time programs in the ARCA RE/MAX Series in 2009. Greenville, North Carolina's Craig Goess will pilot the No. 81 Greenville Toyota Camry in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with 2008 Cometic Crew Chief Patrick Donahue calling the shots from the pit box. The crew behind the car are the same that took Michael McDowell (2007) and Scott Speed (2008) to Victory Lane a total of eight times, and netted 12 pole positions. Goess competed in the NASCAR Camping World Series East Division in 2008 for ESR. In addition, ESR announced that Justin Lofton would be returning to the ESR stable in 2009 for a full season in the Lofton Cattle entry. Lofton, as a rookie, won at Michigan Int'l Speedway in 2008 and earned two pole awards at Cayuga Motor Speedway and Toledo Speedway with new track records. ESR would not, however, reveal who would be driving the remaining full-time team. Fort Frances, Ontario's Steve Arpin has also signed with Eddie Sharp Racing to drive a partial season in the ARCA RE/MAX Series in 2009. The Open-Wheeled Dirt Modified phenom from Canada will drive for ESR in the 12 speedway events at Daytona International Speedway, Rockingham Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Kentucky Speedway, Pocono Raceway, Michigan International Speedway, Iowa Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, and Kansas Speedway.

Sheltra Motorsports Announces Full Campaign for 2009

Sheltra Motorsports announced that it would be returning to the ARCA RE/MAX Series for the third-consecutive full-time season with Patrick Sheltra behind the wheel of the team's No. 60 Dodge Charger beginning with the ARCA 200 at Daytona in February. Sheltra Motorsports also announced that it would be fielding Dodge Chargers in a minimum of 18 events and go with the Chevrolet nameplate in the remaining four. Additionally, Sheltra Motorsports will compete in a limited NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule.

Andy Belmont Racing

Andy Belmont Racing (ABR) announced that the team would be returning to the ARCA RE/MAX Series full-time in 2009 with Tom Hessert III as the driver, the same owner/driver combination that finished eighth in points in 2008. ABR also announced that veteran crew chief Dave Leiner had just signed a five year contract with ABR, and would be returning as the team's crew chief.

Venturini Motorsports announced that the Concord, North Carolina-based team would be fielding a full-time ARCA RE/MAX Series team in 2009 with Surrey British, Columbia driver Ryan Fischer as the driver. Fischer has nine previous ARCA RE/MAX Series starts in 2007 and 2008 for Venturini Motorsports with a career-best finish of third at Kentucky Speedway in 2008. Venturini Motorsports also announced that veteran crew chief Steve Darne would be crew chiefing for Fischer. In addition, Venturini Motorsports announced a continued alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing under which NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Joey Logano would be running at least two ARCA RE/MAX Series races for Venturini Motorsports in 2009 at Daytona and Pocono.

TRACK ANNOUNCEMENTS:

KENTUCKY OFFICE OF HIGHWAY SAFETY PROGRAMS EXPANDS KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY PARTNERSHIP

SPARTA, Ky. - The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety will expand its successful "Drive Smart Buckle-Up Kentucky" awareness campaign at Kentucky Speedway in 2009 by sponsoring 150-mile ARCA RE/MAX Series events on May 9 and July 18.

The promotional partnership will serve as a platform for promoting initiatives designed to reduce the automobile crash, injury, and fatality rates in Kentucky. Race-related activities will include the return of the "Click It For Tickets" promotion that rewards drivers wearing seatbelts with vouchers that can be redeemed for race tickets; on-site displays such as a rollover simulator as well as appearances by the educational "Vince and Larry" crash dummies along with the Drive Smart! Kentucky Bear.

"The majority of those who do not use their seat belts are men age 18 to 34," said Chuck Geveden, executive director of the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety. "Many people in this group are also race fans. Our partnership with the Kentucky Speedway is a great opportunity for us to reach a very specific audience; however, Click It or Ticket is not about writing tickets. It's about saving lives."

The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety had previously sponsored the 2008 and 2007 May ARCA RE/MAX Series events at the track. Financial terms of the agreement were not released. The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety will receive season-long advertising and promotional considerations under the terms of the partnership.

"We're proud that we'll be able to help the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety deliver its Drive Smart! message not once, but twice, during our 2009 season. This partnership is a solid example of how a unique approach to motorsports sponsorship can benefit cause-related organizations," Kentucky Speedway Director of Sponsorship Development and Client Services Dan Stuart said.

The four-weekend season will mark the facility's 10th year of operation and opens with the first ARCA RE/MAX Series "Drive Smart! Buckle-Up Kentucky 150." The NASCAR Nationwide Series will aim to attract its ninth consecutive capacity crowd for a June 13 300-mile race before the ARCA RE/MAX Series returns for its second "Drive Smart! Buckle-Up Kentucky 150" July 18. The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series "Built Ford Tough 225 Presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers" will follow later that day to complete the first of two doubleheader race days. The 2009 speedway season will conclude Aug. 1 and feature the rocket-like speeds during the Firestone Indy Lights "Kentucky 100" and IndyCar Series "Kentucky 300."

Speedway guests also will be entertained with event-day concerts spotlighting well-known artists. All concerts are included with the price of an event ticket and the line-up will be announced in the coming weeks.

Value-packed Kentucky Speedway season ticket plans are on sale now and from $165 to $255 depending on seat location meaning fans can enjoy a reserved seat for each of the six race events for as little as $27.50. Benefit-rich plans also include VIP parking for each event which can be exchanged for general campground admission for a savings of $30, one cold pit pass for each race day with each ticket purchased and the opportunity to purchase additional race tickets at a discount.

Ticket plans can be reserved and renewed online at www.kentuckyspeedway.com/, by calling 859-578-2300, through Tickets.com outlets including Meijer stores and by visiting the Kentucky Speedway ticket office in Ft. Mitchell, Ky., at 400 Buttermilk Pike, Suite 100 near the Montgomery Inn restaurant or the track Fan Center located off of Interstate 71 Exit 57 and Ky. Hwy. 35 N in Sparta, Ky.

Single race tickets will be placed on sale Jan. 12.

-credit: arca

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Andy Belmont , Michael McDowell , Scott Speed , Tom Hessert III , Justin Lofton , Joey Logano , Steve Arpin , Ryan Fischer , Craig Goess
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing