Lessons from the Classroom: Kligerman Wins at Michigan Cunningham Motorsports' Parker Kligerman, a development driver for Penske Racing, spent the weekend between his Senior Prom at Staples High School in Westport, Conn., and high school final...
Lessons from the Classroom: Kligerman Wins at Michigan
Cunningham Motorsports' Parker Kligerman, a development driver for Penske Racing, spent the weekend between his Senior Prom at Staples High School in Westport, Conn., and high school final exams winning the Racing for Wildlife 200 ARCA RE/MAX Series race at Michigan Int'l Speedway. It was Kligerman's second win of the 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series and seventh top-10 finish in eight starts this season. Austin Dillon, who finished a career best second in a No. 31 RCR Chevrolet, just recently completed his senior year of high school.
As a rookie in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, Kligerman has not previously competed at a majority of ARCA RE/MAX Series host racetracks. The 18-year-old driver recently explained his reasoning for succeeding in new environments in his high school speech class.
"This is all about expectations," said Kligerman. "I just gave a speech in my high school speech class about this. When I head into a race weekend I don't know anything about the track or the car so I really don't have any expectations about how I am going to do or how the weekend will turn out. That is how I have been able to do so well."
Kligerman heads into the next event on the ARCA RE/MAX Series Schedule-the Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA RE/MAX 200 at Mansfield Motorsports Park on June 20-as the Series' Point Leader. Austin Dillon, who finished second in the Racing for
Youth Excels at Michigan
The average age of the top-5 finishers in Friday's Racing for Wildlife 200 at Michigan Int'l Speedway is 19 years old and four of the top-5 finishers are still considered teenagers. At 22-years-old, third-place finisher Chase Miller is the oldest of the top-5 finishers and no driver who finished in the top-10 has yet reached their 30th birthday.
Twelfth-place finisher Frank Kimmel, easily the most recognizable name in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with nine championships and 378 career starts, made his career first ARCA RE/MAX Series start at Toledo Speedway on July 1, 1990--one month before race winner/current point leader Parker Kligerman was born.
Mechanical Woes for Lofton; Still second in points
Justin Lofton headed into the ARCA RE/MAX Series race weekend at Michigan leading the point standings but relinquished the Series' lead to Parker Kligerman after posting a 30-place finish in the Racing for Wildlife 200, his first finish worse than 30th since finishing 36th at New Jersey Motorsports Park in September of 2008. Lofton led the first 39 laps of Friday's race before mechanical issues forced him into the garage area.
Lofton, who debuted a new paint scheme for sponsor Valvoline Instant Oil Change this weekend, has led or tied the ARCA RE/MAX Series point standings at the conclusion of five of eight race weekends this season.
Qualifying Rained Out (Again and again and again)
The starting field for Friday's Racing for Wildlife 200 was set by current Car Owner Points after track officials cancelled on-track activity at Michigan Int'l Speedway as a result of heavy rain showers in Brooklyn, Michigan, and the surrounding area on Thursday. The last four consecutive Menards Pole Qualifying Sessions presented by Ansell (Kentucky, Toledo, Pocono, Michigan) have been scratched due to uncooperative weather. This is the only time in ARCA's 57-year history that four consecutive qualifying sessions have been scratched.
Owens Just Misses Third Consecutive Top-10 Finish
Alli Owens was on-track to earning her third consecutive top-10 finish in the ARCA RE/MAX Series this weekend but finished 16th after her engine expired on the final lap of the race while running eighth. She was still able to finish on the lead lap in her No. 12 ElectrifyingCareers.com Toyota fielded by D'Hondt Motorsports.
"Unfortunately the motor blew on the final turn of the last lap," said Owens. "It didn't give any warning; it just let go all at once. Our motors have been strong all year and have been a big part of our success. Sometimes these things happen. We won't let this get us down. We'll be back next time and get the finish we deserve."
Fulltime ARCA RE/MAX Series competitor Patrick Sheltra, driver of the No. 60 Buffalo Wings & Rings Toyota, also experienced engine woes at Michigan, a track notoriously rough on motors. Sheltra completed 73 of 100 laps and finished 33rd-just one week after earning an impressive third-place finish at Pocono Raceway. Other drivers with engine troubles listed as the official "reason out" in the Michigan Post-Race report included Michael Simko (No. 27 Wolverine Power Systems Chevrolet/finished 29), Jesse Smith (No. 25 Lloyd's BBQ/Hormel/Venturini Motorsports Chevrolet/finished 31 after leading three laps) and Darrell Basham (No. 34 Anti Monkey Butt Powder Chevrolet/finished 34).
Back to the Short Tracks for ARCA RE/MAX Series Competitors
After back-to-back speedway races at Pocono Raceway and Michigan Int'l Speedway, the diverse ARCA RE/MAX Series returns to short track competition for the Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA RE/MAX 200 presented by National Speed Sport News on Saturday evening, June 20. Several ARCA RE/MAX Series drivers-including Patrick Sheltra, Chris Buescher and Stephan McCurley-are testing at the half-mile short track Monday in preparation for Saturday's race.
ARCA RE/MAX Series Hauler Parade through Mansfield Friday
The ARCA RE/MAX Series will kick off the Mansfield race event weekend with a hauler parade through Mansfield, Ohio on Friday, June 19. Haulers will stage at Mansfield Motorsports Park beginning at 3 p.m. on Friday for a 4 p.m. departure.
Up to 20 ARCA RE/MAX Series Team Haulers will depart Mansfield Motorsports Park, travel South on Main Street and turn West on State Route 30 to the Richland Mall in Ontario. The Haulers will return to Mansfield Motorsports Park via Park Avenue, North Diamond Street and North Main Street as a tribute to the late Tim Richmond in his home state of Ohio. Race fans are invited to watch the Hauler Parade from any point along the parade route.
Also on Friday, race fans that have purchased advance tickets to the Tim Richmond Memorial 200 presented by National Speed Sport News are invited to a 7 p.m. celebration at the track. Several ARCA RE/MAX Series drivers will be in attendance.
Discount advance tickets to Saturday's Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA RE/MAX 200 presented by National Speed Sport News are available at www.mansfieldmotorsportsonline.com or by calling (419) 524-0183 for $20. Tickets purchased the day of race tickets are $25.
WAM Poker Run to Benefit ARCA Crew Member Matt Daniels
The Women's Auxiliary of Motorsports, Inc. will host a Poker Run on June, 27, 2009 at Pat Rogers Speedway Harley Davidson, 10049 Weddington Rd., Concord, NC 28027 (704-979-0529). The cost is $20 per person, $30 per couple and $5 per extra hand. All proceeds will benefit Matt Daniels, an ARCA RE/MAX Series crew member from Eddie Sharp Racing who is currently hospitalized as he battles Guillain-Barre Syndrome, an uncommon inflammatory disorder. For more information on the Poker Run contact Julie Seligman (firstname.lastname@example.org, 704-799-9299) or Michelle Thompson (email@example.com, 704-609-6871).