The ARCA RE/MAX Series returned to recently built Iowa Speedway Saturday in preparation for the second annual Prairie Meadows 250. The track built by ARCA RE/MAX Series owner Rusty Wallace sets the only track on the '07 schedule with a track...
The ARCA RE/MAX Series returned to recently built Iowa Speedway Saturday in preparation for the second annual Prairie Meadows 250. The track built by ARCA RE/MAX Series owner Rusty Wallace sets the only track on the '07 schedule with a track length of 7/8 of a mile. Saturday's lone practice was held under mostly sunny skies and comfortable temperatures. The session serves as the prelude to ARCA SIM Factory pole qualifying set for this afternoon (4:00pm Local Time). The anticipated 38-car field will take the green flag tonight under the lights shortly after 8:00pm Local Time with live television coverage on SPEED.
Here is what some of the drivers are saying from the practice session.
MICHAEL ANNETT, NO. 32 TMC DODGE CHARGER
Michael Annett will make his ARCA RE/MAX Series debut Saturday night at Iowa Speedway behind the wheel of the No. 32 Country Joe Racing Dodge Charger.
Annett, with sponsorship from local supporter TMC plans to attempt a few ARS races this season. Annett, a promising driver from the W. Des Moines, Iowa area hopes to steer CJR (Country Joe Racing) to their second win of the season, becoming the second youngster behind the wheel of the No. 32 to sweep victories in their first career ARCA start.
Today, Annett notched an impressive fourth in practice whipping up a lap of 23.735 seconds at 132.715 MPH.
Bean drew the 29th position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"The car is really good. I want to thank Country Joe Racing and my sponsor for all their hard work. They are a great bunch of people. The car they have given me is strong and I'm looking forward to qualifying and the race."
DEXTER BEAN, NO. 6 FIVE STAR TELECOM CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO
Dexter Bean, a sophomore driver on the ARCA RE/MAX Series tour posted the ninth fastest time of the day with a quick lap of 24.156 seconds at 130.402 MPH.
The Westby Wisconsin native enters Iowa with four top-10 finishes in the last six events which have propelled the 20-year old to fourth in the championship standings entering his second Iowa start.
Last year, Bean started 19th before roaring to the front of the field to finish seventh. Bean also went into the record books last year by winning the first ARCA RE/MAX Series practice session and setting the fastest lap of the race.
Entering the ninth race of the season, Bean trails third place Bobby Gerhart competitor by 45 points. He trails second place runner Justin Allgaier by 60 points and a feasible 130 points from first, held by eight-time ARCA RE/MAX Series champion Frank Kimmel.
The BlackJack Racing team brought the same Chevrolet Monte Carlo the team competed with last season at Iowa Speedway. It is also the same automobile that Bean has competed with at Nashville Superspeedway, Kansas Speedway and most recently Kentucky Speedway. Bean has collected two top-10 efforts this season with this same automobile with ninth and 10th respectively at Nashville and Kansas.
Bean drew the 10th position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"We weren't as strong as we would have liked, but we were taking it a little easy too. The car is in great shape and I'm just glad to be back in Iowa. Not sure why we had all the incidents in practice, but we'll look to improve in qualifying and be a threat for the race."
DAN BRODE, NO. 48 TUCSON-FREEFEDS.org DODGE CHARGER
Brode, a native of Mocksville, North Carolina will attempt to make his ARCA RE/MAX Series debut Saturday night in a car fielded by Carter-2-Motorsports operated out of Statesville, North Carolina.
The 22-year old is a successful late model competitor from the Carolinas joins the C2M (Carter-2-Motorsports) driver development program for the remainder of the 2007 season.
Brode has attempted to make the last two ARCA RE/MAX Series events at Kentucky Speedway and Toledo Speedway but failed to make the starting lineup.
The rookie is carrying sponsorship from Tucson and FreeFeds.org this weekend.
In his second practice session of his ARCA career, Brode mounted the 26th fastest lap with a time of 25.502 seconds amounting to a speed of 123.520 MPH.
Brode drew the 27th position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"We took it real easy today in practice. I think our car will be just fine for qualifying and the race. There were a lot of spins and crashes in practice and we didn't want to take the chance of anything like that happening to us. I want to thank my guys for all their hard work, we're looking forward to the rest of today."
DOMINICK CASOLA, NO. 1 A. CASOLA FARMS FORD TAURUS
Casola, a newbie on the ARS will make his first career start at Iowa Speedway Saturday night. The New Jersey native is driving for veteran car owner Andy Belmont, who will serve as both crew chief and spotter today.
Casola enters the eighth race of the 2007 ARS season on the heels of a two straight top-20 finishes with a 18th place finish two weeks ago at Toledo and notching a career best 16th last month at Kentucky Speedway.
The former USAR (United Speed Alliance Racing) Series competitor looks to net his first top-10 effort tonight.The team is carrying sponsorship from A. Casola Farms, a family-owned business based out of New Jersey.
In practice today, Casola turned a time of 24.914 seconds at 126.435 MPH putting him on the 22nd practice rundown overall.
Casola drew the 14th position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"We're going to be fine. We didn't give 100 percent during practice today. The real focus is qualifying and the race. Andy Belmont has given me a good car and I'm looking forward to racing under the lights tonight at Iowa Speedway." MIKE HARMON, NO. 38 EVOSHIELD CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO SS
Harmon, a veteran on the ARCA RE/MAX Series tour enters Toledo looking to make his 80th career start at a track where he has one previous start
The Birmingport, Alabama native looks to better his previous Iowa best when brought his No. 38 Mike Harmon Motorsports (MHM) Chevrolet collected a devastating 39th place finish last year when engine failure knocked him from competition just 57 laps into competition.
His effort this weekend is being sponsored by Evoshield. Evoshield (formally All Sports Amour) was established in 2000. The initial team was comprised of a chemist, a cardiologist, and a group of intelligent former collegiate and professional athletes with a mutually unconventional idea; comfortable sports equipment.
In practice today, he posted the 21st fastest time with a time of 24.874 seconds at 126.638 MPH.
Harmon drew the 18th position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"We battled handling issues early, but we were able to overcome those to better our efforts. We're going to make some more changes and hope they work for ARCA SIM Factory pole qualifying this afternoon. We're working hard to change our season around, I hope it starts here."
PHILLIP MCGILTON, NO. 47 SIPERFORMANCE FORD FUSION
Hoping to rebound from his frustrating performance at Toledo Speedway two weeks ago, Phillip McGilton looks to also better his ARS performance at Iowa Speedway where engine failure forced the current ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookie-of-the-Year lead to exit from the event just 29 laps into the 250-lap event.
Now, with a team and solid performances thus far this season, McGilton is hoping to turn things around with his first-victory Saturday night.
The Marion, Illinois native bolted around the Newton, Iowa based track in a time of 23.687 seconds amounting to a speed of 134.162 MPH, locking him third on the charts.
McGilton drew the 25th position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"We have a great SIPerformance Ford this weekend. Our car is really strong and we still have a lot left. We're going to be a threat tonight, I guarantee you that. I'm really proud of everyone on this Brewco Motorsports team. Tonight could really be our night."
PATRICK SHELTRA, NO. 60 FLORAGANICS-BRADY RANCH CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO SS
ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookie Patrick Sheltra will make his 11th ARCA RMS start on Saturday night driving for Premier Motorsports, owned by businessman Dan Kinney.
Rolling into Iowa, Sheltra sits ninth in the championship standings in seven races of a possible eight races this season, while also collecting a career best top-10 finish at Kentucky Speedway last month.
Sheltra, nicknamed "Mr. Showtime" will make his ARS debut at Iowa Speedway tonight.
His team is led by crew chief John Hayden, a former ARCA RE/MAX Series driver.
In practice, the Florida native maneuvered a time 24.859 seconds equaling a speed of 126.715 MPH positioning himself 20th on the charts.
Sheltra drew the 23rd position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"We're working on it. I think we have a lot more left in our Premier Motorsports Chevrolet. This is a nice facility. We're making changes for qualifying and I think they will work. I also think it's going to be a very competitive race and we plan to be a part of the mix.
BRYAN SILAS, NO. 11 NORTRAX, SHELL ROTELLA T, HOLLAND PUMP,
PALM BEACH GRADING (PBG) CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO
Bryan Silas fresh off a solid showing at Toledo Speedway two weeks ago is ready for his Iowa revenge. After qualifying strong and running solid in the inaugural ARS event, Silas finished 26th after being involved in a late race incident.
Driving for two-time ARS champion Andy Hillenburg, the team sits 10th in the championship standings heading into the ninth race of the 2007 season. Silas, a native of Stuart, Florida posted the 16th fastest time with an effort of 24.427 seconds equaling a speed of 128.956 MPH.
Silas drew the 17th position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"We did not make a qualifying run, so I really think that we're going to be a lot stronger. I'm really proud of everyone on the Fast Track Racing crew. They told me we had a good car this weekend and we do. I'm really looking forward to the rest of the day. I'm excited and I think we're going to run in the top-10 all night." BILLY TANNER, NO. 07 CHEAPCARIBBEAN.COM CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO
After scoring two consecutive top-20 finishes at Kentucky Speedway and Toledo Speedway, Billy Tanner looks to build on his the momentum and reward his Stott Classic Racing (SCR) with a career-finish tonight.
Tanner has three previous starts in the ARS at Daytona International Speedway, Kentucky Speedway and Toledo Speedway. CheapCaribbean.com will sponsor the team's efforts for the ninth race of the 2007 season.
Tanner, a promising driver from Newtown, Pennsylvania will make several starts for Stott Classic Racing (SCR) this season. Following Iowa, the team will also attempt the next two events from Pocono Raceway and Michigan International Speedway.
The rookie destroyed his primary car early in his first lap of today's practice forcing the SCR team to pull out the backup automobile.
During the only practice today, Tanner clicked off the 25th fastest lap in his backup machine with a time 25.478 seconds equaling a speed of 123.636 MPH.
Tanner drew the 12th position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"I think something broke on the primary car which caused our wreck. Our backup is okay. We're going to make some changes and put the same setup we had on the primary car for tonight's race. My guys are the best, we were able to unload the backup and get it on the track before the end of the session, I'm really proud of them. I'm sorry to our sponsor for our problems in practice, but we'll bounce back, I promise."
The Prairie Meadows 250 (200 laps/168 miles) is the ninth of 23 events on the 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule. This second annual Prairie Meadows 250 is a one day show. ARCA SIM Factory pole qualifying is slated for later this afternoon at 4:00pm Local Time. The event will take the green flag under the lights beginning at 8:00pm Local Time. The race will be televised live on SPEED with additional race coverage online at arcaracing.com
-credit: chris knight