Series spotlight pre-Berlin - Rookies

Stenhouse, Speed, Carter Lead Parade of ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookies to Berlin Short-Track MARNE MI (7-2-08) -- Jam-packed with story lines and a stampede of race-ready rookies, the ARCA RE/MAX Series will soon make the trek to Marne, Michigan...

Stenhouse, Speed, Carter Lead Parade of ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookies to Berlin Short-Track

MARNE MI (7-2-08) -- Jam-packed with story lines and a stampede of race-ready rookies, the ARCA RE/MAX Series will soon make the trek to Marne, Michigan for the Berlin ARCA 200 at Berlin Raceway Saturday, July 26th. The event marks the 21st ARCA RE/MAX Series race at Berlin since debuting on the renowned short-track in 1958.

While nine-time ARCA RE/MAX Series national champion Frank Kimmel has occupied much of the headlines over the last decade, it's the rookies that are stealing the show in 2008.

And it starts with Roush Fenway Racing development driver Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., who, not only leads the SunTrust Rookie of the Year points, the Olive Branch, Mississippi open-wheel graduate also leads the national championship points. Stenhouse, already a winner at Pocono and Kentucky, has never raced at Berlin in a stock car.

"Kentucky was my first ARCA RE/MAX Series win in the No. 99 Ford and my first stock car win so that was pretty big," said Stenhouse. "After that win, Jack (Roush) asked if I could do it again and then we went back out and won Pocono. That was cool. I felt like that win was big too because it showed that we could consistently run up front and win. We weren't just lucky in Kentucky.

"I actually really like the speedways, but if I had to pick between short tracks and superspeedways, I would say short tracks because the driver has more input and they are more challenging. From what I've heard Berlin is very challenging."

Second in championship points is Manteca, California's Scott Speed, a veteran of the Formula 1 circuit, and yet another rookie on the '08 RE/MAX Series tour. Speed drove to victory lane at Kansas Speedway in the Red Bull Toyota back in April.

Rookie Matt Carter, in Kimmel's former 46 car, is currently third in championship points, giving rookies the top three positions.

In fact, six of the top-10 title contenders are rookies, giving shape to the tightest rookie battle arguably ever. Rookies' John Wes Townley, Tom Hessert III and Tayler Malsam are also among the top-10 national championship contenders headed to Berlin.

The stout rookie class poses the most significant threat to Kimmel's championship tenure since Bill Baird, who was not a rookie, knocked Kimmel off the throne in 1999. Kimmel, a three-time Berlin winner, is currently fourth in championship points. Other veterans currently mixing it up inside the top-10 include Justin Allgaier, Patrick Sheltra and Dexter Bean.

Practice for the ARCA RE/MAX Series at Berlin is scheduled from 2:30 -- 4:00 PM ET Saturday, July 26th with SIM Factory Pole Qualifying following at 5:00. The Berlin ARCA 200 is scheduled to go off at 8:30 Saturday night.

Catch all the Berlin ARCA RE/MAX Series action at arcaracing.com offering LIVE Timing & Scoring of all on-track activities as well as LIVE flag-to-flag streaming audio coverage of the race through the ARCA Racing Network exclusively on arcanation.com presented by Team Glock.

Tickets for the ARCA RE/MAX Series at Berlin Raceway are available by contacting the Berlin Raceway Ticket Office at 616-677-5000, or through www.berlinraceway.com.

-credit: arca

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Frank Kimmel , Scott Speed , Tom Hessert III , Justin Allgaier , Dexter Bean , Bill Baird , Tayler Malsam
Teams Roush Fenway Racing