Goess and Kimmel Tighten Points Race As Series Travels to Berlin (TOLEDO, Ohio) - Craig Goess (No. 81 Greenville Toyota of N.C. Toyota) briefly mentioned disappointment upon finishing third in Saturday's Weis Markets 125 and not backing up his...
Goess and Kimmel Tighten Points Race As Series Travels to Berlin
(TOLEDO, Ohio) - Craig Goess (No. 81 Greenville Toyota of N.C. Toyota) briefly mentioned disappointment upon finishing third in Saturday's Weis Markets 125 and not backing up his June ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards win at Pocono Raceway, but quickly turned his mood to optimism.
That's no wonder, considering that Goess trimmed his margin in the series standings to leader Justin Marks (No. 32 Construct Corps Toyota) by 20 points. With nine races remaining on the schedule, Goess now trails Marks by a margin of 30, 2675 to 2645, down from 50 after the July 17 race at Mansfield Motorsports Park.
Third-place driver Frank Kimmel (No. 44 Ansell/Menards Ford) also drew closer to the lead, cutting his margin to first place from 85 points to 70. Though Kimmel finished seventh, two positions below Marks, he qualified for the pole to earn 15 bonus points and led the most laps to earn 10 additional points, which helped him to make up the 10-point race margin on the points leader.
Kimmel on the Board: After winning the Menards Pole Award presented by Ansell Friday afternoon - his first overall since 2008 and his first on a superspeedway since 2006 - Frank Kimmel led the first 20 laps in Saturday's Weis Markets 125, marking the first laps led in 2010 for the nine-time ARCA Racing Series champion. Each driver inside the top 10 in the series standings has led laps this season, with Tom Hessert the leader among that group with 152 laps led over four different races.
Chris Buescher leads the overall standings for the Aaron's Lap Leader Award, however, having led 209 laps between the two races at Toledo and Mansfield.
Drivers Reach Highs: Brandon McReynolds, son of former NASCAR crew chief and current television analyst Larry McReynolds, finished 10th in the Weis Markets 125, a career high. McReynolds made his third career start under the close watch of his father, who was equipped with a headset in the No. 6 Eddie Sharp Racing pit box.
Chad Hackenbracht also achieved a career high by finishing 13th.
Back on Track: Following a two-race hiatus from ARCA Racing Series competition, Chase Mattioli started 22nd and improved to a 12th-place finish upon returning to the No. 17 Roulo Brothers Racing Ford, tying a career high achieved in his series debut at Salem Speedway in 2008 and at Toledo Speedway in May. Mattioli - racing at his home track as the grandson of Pocono Raceway owners Dr. Joseph and Rose Mattioli - had driven in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race earlier in the day. He finished 30th in his series debut.
In addition to Mattioli, Donny Lia and Chad McCumbee drove in both halves of Saturday's doubleheader on the 2.5-mile triangular track. Lia finished 22nd in the Truck Series before encountering a first-lap accident in the ARCA nightcap, completing only a single lap, and finishing 39th. McCumbee finished 17th in the Weis Markets 125 after a 31st-place result in the Truck Series event.
Variety Continues: With his win in the Weis Markets 125, Robb Brent (No. 36 Orchard Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Dodge) became the 10th different race winner in 2010 and the ninth driver to earn his career first series victory. In 11 races, only Steve Arpin has won multiple times (Salem, Texas).
Though the race winner total is five away from the 15 different winners in 23 races in 2007, the nine first-time winners in 11 races is very close to the total of new winners three seasons ago. Of the 15 drivers who visited Victory Lane that year, 10 were first-time ARCA Racing Series winners.
Frank Kimmel's pole made him the ninth different Menards Pole Award winner in 10 qualifying sessions this season. (Qualifying at Texas Motor Speedway in April was cancelled for severe weather.) Eight drivers with one pole each are tied for second place in the season-long Menards Pole Award standings behind Chris Buescher, who qualified first at Toledo and Mansfield.
TV Comes Through for Absent Family: Carol Brent, mother to Robb Brent, is one of the most visible parents in the ARCA Racing Series garage. An ardent supporter of the Weis Markets 125 winner throughout his racing career, Carol Brent missed the trip to Pocono over the weekend in favor of several days at her Michigan home with her mother, and daughter Lauren, 21.
"I have two kids, and it's part of being a mom," said Carol Brent. Upon realizing she would miss the race, she said her daughter warned her that a trophy could be on the way to the family.
"You know Robb's going to win," said Lauren.
Thankfully for the family, the SPEED television broadcast allowed the Brents to monitor Robb's progress throughout the afternoon.
"We were all shaking, jumping around, screaming, and yelling. I was receiving texts of congratulations from so many people," Carol said.
Drawing a parallel, Carol Brent mentioned that she had also missed Robb's first win in the Panoz Racing Series in the winter of 2006.
"(Robb) started winning more after that," she said.
Special Causes Mark Debuts: Dillon Moltz, making his ARCA Racing Series debut after winning the Richard Petty Driving Experience's Driver Search program, started 16th and finished 20th as the first driver off of the lead lap. Moltz, 19, drove at Pocono under the supervision of Petty himself. The seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and winner of 200 races at that level joined SPEED commentators Rick Allen, Phil Parsons, and Darrell Waltrip in the television booth early in the Weis Markets 125.
The Richard Petty Driving Experience plans to hold another search contest, with the winner set to earn a ride in the ARCA Racing Series season finale at Rockingham Speedway on October 9.
Also making his ARCA Racing Series debut at Pocono was Ricky Byers, a two-time cancer survivor who mentioned cyclist and fellow survivor Lance Armstrong as his inspiration for competing on a national level. Byers, 39 years old and of Leeds, Ala., has recovered from squamous cell (skin) carcinoma and laryngeal (throat) cancer, and drove under the Racing for a Cure campaign for James Hylton before finishing 36th.
From Super to Short: The ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards visits Berlin (Mich.) Raceway, near Grand Rapids, on Saturday, August 7. The 200-lap, 88-mile Berlin ARCA 200 begins at 8:30 p.m. Eastern, with live timing and scoring on ARCARacing.com and live audio coverage presented by the BAS Racing Network available on ARCARacing.com. Frank Kimmel is the leading winner at the track, with three victories (1999, 2003, 2004).
The race is the first of four in pursuit of the Bill France Four Crown, the season-within-a-season contest which rewards drivers for success on a diverse slate of tracks. The Four Crown schedule is comprised completely of the ARCA Racing Series races scheduled for August, to be held at Berlin (short track), New Jersey Motorsports (road course; August 15), the (Springfield) Illinois State Fairgrounds (dirt track; August 22), and Chicagoland Speedway (1.5-mile speedway; August 27). Parker Kligerman won Four Crown honors last season before finishing second in the final series standings.