Driver Development Programs Strong in ARCA RE/MAX Series: MIS Next TOLEDO OH (6-2-06)--Last August, Steve Wallace, in his superspeedway debut, earned his career-first ARCA RE/MAX Series victory and became the youngest winner in the history of...
Driver Development Programs Strong in ARCA RE/MAX Series: MIS Next
TOLEDO OH (6-2-06)--Last August, Steve Wallace, in his superspeedway debut, earned his career-first ARCA RE/MAX Series victory and became the youngest winner in the history of Michigan International Speedway. Wallace, who competed in limited ARCA RE/MAX Series events in 2005 as a developmental driver for Rusty Wallace Inc., has since increased his racing efforts to include both ARCA and NASCAR Busch Series events for 2006.
In a trend that has seen several young up-and-coming drivers make their way through the ARCA RE/MAX Series as part of a career path to NASCAR, several NASCAR teams have pre-entered ARCA's first Michigan International Speedway event of 2006, the Hantz Group 200, scheduled for Friday evening, June 16.
The event will be broadcast LIVE on SPEED beginning at 5:00 pm ET.
Leading the pack of talented young developmental drivers entered for this June's Hantz Group 200 is sprint car standout Erin Crocker, who has made two career ARCA RE/MAX Series starts this year as part of a driver development program for Evernham Motorsports.
In eight career ARCA RE/MAX Series starts, Crocker has four top-5 and five top-10 finishes. She finished a career-best second at Kentucky Speedway in July of 2005.
Other developmental drivers are eager to learn the finer points of stock car auto racing in ARCA RE/MAX Series competition--several others have already entered the Hantz Group 200 at Michigan International Speedway.
Included in the line-up for the Michigan race is Brad Coleman, of Houston, Texas. Coleman is driving a No. 62 Ford Taurus fielded by Brewco Motorsports, the same team that fields cars in the NASCAR Busch Series for David Green.
In addition, Scott Lagasse, Jr., of St. Augustine, Florida, has entered the Hantz Group 200 in a No. 4 Dodge Motorsports Dodge as part of a driver development program utilizing Cunningham Motorsports equipment.
Lagasse is also competing in several NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events this year as part of his development program.
Also, subbing for Steve Wallace in the RWI, Inc Dodge at Michigan will be Ganassi Racing's David Stremme, who tested the RWI Nu South Lemonade Dodge in the open ARCA RE/MAX Series test at MIS in late May. Wallace has a prior commitment in the NASCAR Busch Series that weekend.
The ARCA RE/MAX Series has continually been known as the place to send young and talented NASCAR hopefuls. The list of current and former NASCAR superstars who won their career-first superspeedway wins while competing with the ARCA RE/MAX Series is long and impressive.
Kyle Petty, Ryan Newman, Adam Petty, Reed Sorenson, Davey Allison, Tracy Leslie, Ernie Irvan, Dick Trickle, Jeff Purvis, Darrell Waltrip, Mike Wallace, Kenny Irwin, Kirk Shelmerdine, Adam Petty, David Keith, Ron Hornaday, Lyndon Amick, Kerry Earnhardt, Damon Lusk, Casey Atwood, Kyle Busch, Casey Mears, Paul Menard, Blake Feese, Ryan Hemphill, Scott Riggs, Joe Ruttman, Mark Martin, Chase Montgomery, Benny Parsons, Ken Schrader, and Michael Waltrip have all won ARCA RE/MAX Series races over the course of the series' rich 54-year history.
However, if this year's crop of developmental drivers are to taste victory at ARCA's hometown superspeedway, they will have to battle a robust field of ARCA RE/MAX Series full-time competitors and veterans, including defending and seven-time ARCA RE/MAX Series champion Frank Kimmel, who won at MIS just one year ago.
The Hantz Group 200 at the 2.0-mile Michigan International Speedway rolls off on Friday evening, June 16, at 5:00 pm. The race serves as a prelude to Saturday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race and Sunday's NASCAR Nextel Cup Series event.
Michigan International Speedway season and single-event race tickets are on sale now and can be reserved by phone at (800) 354-1010, or online at mispeedway.com.