Brent Sherman Returns to ARCA RE/MAX Series
Brent Sherman will make a return to the ARCA RE/MAX Series at Salem Speedway in the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 presented by Federated Car Care on April 5. Sherman, a rising star in the ARCA RE/MAX Series in the early 2000's, has not started an ARCA RE/MAX Series race since winning at Michigan International Speedway in 2006. He has entered the Salem event in a Doug Stringer-owned No. 90 Tracker's Lodge Chevrolet.
"After I stopped racing ARCA full time I stayed very busy racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the Indy Pro Lights Series," said Sherman. "But I couldn't pass up an opportunity to return to ARCA because I have always loved racing here. It's just such a competitive, fun series. My last ARCA win was a one-off race at Michigan in 2006 and I won the race. My son Cooper was a one-year-old at the time. My daughter is one right now so I am hoping that is the magic number and we can win at Salem in April."
In 72 career starts since 2001, Sherman has 19 top-5 finishes and 33 top-10s. He finished second in the final point standings in 2004 and fourth in 2003.
Salem Could End 15-Year Streak
While Brent Sherman will make a return to the ARCA RE/MAX Series at Salem Speedway, one very familiar car could be absent from the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 starting field. Car owner Larry Clement, who currently holds the record for most consecutive race starts as a car owner with 314 starts, has not yet filed an entry for the No. 46 Ford.
Clement is recognized by race fans as the car owner for each of Frank Kimmel's nine ARCA RE/MAX Series championships and, most recently, as the car owner for 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookie of the Year Matt Carter. From November 1994 through February 2008, Clement amassed 314 starts as car owner of the No. 46 to include race wins with Bob Hill (4 wins), Kimmel (69 wins) and Carter (1 win).
The last time that a No. 46 Larry Clement-owned racecar was not on the starting grid for an ARCA RE/MAX Series race was at Winchester Speedway in October of 1994. Other ARCA RE/MAX Series car owners with notable current consecutive start streaks include Norm Benning with 269 and Andy Belmont with 245.
First Short Track Race of 2009 Brings Early Season Points Shake-up The ARCA RE/MAX Series Point Standings will likely look very different following the second of 22 races on the schedule as only one of the current top-5 ARCA RE/MAX Series point contenders--Eddie Sharp Racing's Justin Lofton--plans to compete at Salem. As a diverse stock car tour that competes on paved short tracks, speedways, road courses and dirt tracks, many ARCA RE/MAX Series drivers pick and choose which races they will compete in each year.
"Salem was my first race last year and I'm looking forward to taking to the track there once again," said Lofton, who plans to compete in all 22 ARCA RE/MAX Series events in 2009. "I'm stoked about being in the top-5 entering into next week's race and I would like to leave Salem with a win and the points lead. Despite the fact that we didn't test in Salem with the rest of the ESR teams, I'm really confident in the No. 6 Lofton Toyota team's short-track abilities."
Lofton's ESR Teammates-Steve Arpin, Craig Goess and Tim George, Jr.-participated in a private test at Salem in order to prepare for the Sping ARCA RE/MAX Series event at the .5-mile high-banked short track. Of the four full-time ESR drivers, Lofton is the only driver that has previous experience at Salem.
Fomer Salem Winners....
Frank Kimmel, the all-time ARCA RE/MAX Series race winner at Salem with nine wins, and Ken Schrader, an ARCA RE/MAX Series race winner at Salem in 1999, are the only former Salem Speedway ARCA winners entered for the April 5 Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200. Other former ARCA RE/MAX Series race winners currently entered include Justin Lofton and Brent Sherman; both drivers are former winners at Michigan International Speedway but have not recorded race wins in ARCA RE/MAX Series short track competition.
Several drivers have recorded their first ARCA RE/MAX Series race win at Salem, including Tobey Butler who was able to do so in 1996 in his career first Series start. Recent first time Series winners at Salem include Shelby Howard in 2003, Blake Bjorklund in 2006 and Billy Venturini in 2006.
On the Road Again...
The ARCA RE/MAX Series has not sanctioned a race since the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona Int'l Speedway in February but the Series will begin a busy stretch of activity beginning with Salem on April 5. Following Salem, many ARCA RE/MAX Series teams and officials will travel to Talladega Superspeedway for a two day ARCA Open Test on April 8 and 9. The ARCA RE/MAX Series will also be on-track for the Carolina 200 at Rockingham Speedway on April 19, the ARCA RE/MAX 250 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 24 and the ARCA Open Test at Kentucky Speedway on April 29. For ticket and broadcast information, visit arcaracing.com.