Kimmel, Lofton, Kligerman Take ARCA Title Fight to Salem; Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA Fall Classic Saturday Night, Sept 19 SALEM IN (9-10-09) - It resembles Bristol; probably acts more like Darlington, but it is markedly Salem. And when the...
Kimmel, Lofton, Kligerman Take ARCA Title Fight to Salem; Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA Fall Classic Saturday Night, Sept 19
SALEM IN (9-10-09) - It resembles Bristol; probably acts more like Darlington, but it is markedly Salem.
And when the night lights shine down upon the ARCA RE/MAX Series modern-day gladiators, race fans are in for a treat when the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA Fall Classic 200 rolls out Saturday night, September 19th at Salem Speedway.
Rough and abrasive, the track surface on the historic Salem high-banks is certainly not for the timid or weak at heart. It's a 200-lap wrestling match with an old, quirky oval set in her ways; then add 30-plus 3,400 lb steel tanks at a lightning-quick pace and the sparks fly and the tempers flare.
"It's part of Salem," said nine-time Salem winner Frank Kimmel. "You've got to race the race track; not so much each other. When people get to racing each other too soon, they usually get the hook out and haul 'em away. It's not an easy track - one of the more challenging ones we go to, but, without question, it's a blast to drive."
Born and raised in nearby Clarksville, Indiana, Kimmel honed many of his racing skills early on in his career at Salem.
"It's also our home track, so the place carries special meaning for us," added the nine-time series champion. "About half the fans there are rooting for us, and the other half aren't. It's kinda cool."
Kimmel also understands that you need as much luck as you do experience when it comes to Salem.
"You've got cars bouncing off the wall and each other all night. Then you've got the pit road thing too. It's so tight down there; you can just as easily lose the race down there as you can on the track. Experience definitely plays a roll, but luck is also a big factor when it comes to Salem."
Kimmel, whose last series victory came at Salem one year ago, has 74 career wins, just five shy of Iggy Katona's all-time win mark of 79. The southern-Indiana stock car legend also eclipsed the 10,000 laps-led mark in late August. After leading 34 laps on the Springfield mile-dirt, Kimmel's current all-time lap-leader total is an astonishing 10,028 laps led.
Kimmel Chasing Youngsters Lofton and Kligerman in Championship Battle Westmorland, California driver Justin Lofton has been swapping the points lead back and forth with 19-year-old Westport, Connecticut rookie Parker Kligerman all season long. Lofton has a slim 35-point lead over Kligerman (pre-NJMP). Lofton and Kligerman have also swapped victory lane honors most of the year with Kligerman leading with a season-high seven wins to Lofton's five. Since Kligerman's victory lane reign began at Toledo back in mid-May, there have been no other winners on the tour other than Lofton and Kligerman with the exception of Joey Logano who won at Pocono on June 6.
Salem 3rd Leg of Bill France Four Crown
Salem also marks round three of the 2009 Bill France Four Crown. a separate point fund within the 21-race ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule that tests drivers on a challenging combination of venues, including a dirt track (The Southern Illinois 100 at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds, September 7), a road course (The South Jersey Building Trades 150 at New Jersey Motorsports Park, September 13), a short track (The Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA Fall Classic at Salem Speedway, September 19) and a speedway (The Kansas Lottery 150 at Kansas Speedway, October 1).
Former Bill France Four Crown winners include Davey Allison, Frank Kimmel, Tim Steele, Bob Keselowski, Jason Jarrett and Bill Venturini to name a few.
In addition to the ARCA RE/MAX Series, the ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series will join the raceday slate with a 50-lap main event. The ARCA Truck race will mark the season championship finale for the 11-year tour.
Practice for the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA Fall Classic 200 is from 1:05 PM to 2:35 PM followed by Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell at 4:00 PM. The ARCA Lincoln Welders 50 goes at 5:30 followed by prerace and driver introductions for the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA Fall Classic, scheduled to roll just after 7:00 PM.