Pocono, Another ARCA Jewel, Joey Logano Enters....... LONG POND PA (5-22-09) - Since 1983 the ARCA RE/MAX Series has served as the show-opener for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on both Pocono Raceway race weekends. As a result, the RE/MAX ...
Pocono, Another ARCA Jewel, Joey Logano Enters.......
LONG POND PA (5-22-09) - Since 1983 the ARCA RE/MAX Series has served as the show-opener for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on both Pocono Raceway race weekends.
As a result, the RE/MAX Series at Pocono has become a key environment for Sprint Cup Series drivers to perfect their skills on the tricky 2.5-mile, high-speed, triangular-shaped track just in time for the next-day Cup 500-miler.
The latest in search of Pocono seat-time is Sprint Cup Series rookie Joey Logano, who has yet to turn a competitive lap on the Long Pond, PA speedplant - which is why the Middletown, Connecticut driver is entered in the Venturini Motorsports-prepared Home Depot Toyota for the Pocono ARCA 200 coming Saturday, June 6.
With NASCAR's ban on testing in place and no Nationwide and/or Camping World Truck Series races scheduled on the renowned triangle, the need for the likes of Logano to familiarize oneself with the unique Pocono layout could be even more pressing.
Logano is certainly not the only Cup driver over the years to utilize the ARCA RE/MAX Series as Pocono practice/testing for the big show on Sunday.
Kyle Busch, as a development driver for Hendrick Motorsports, raced in the Pennsylvania ARCA 200 in 2003 and still owns the one-lap ARCA track record there with a speed of 170.849 mph. It was also in that same '03 season that Casey Mears, driving for Ganassi Racing at the time, swept both Pocono ARCA races with back-to-back victories.
Ryan Newman, as development driver for Penske Racing, won the ARCA race at Pocono in 2000 after the four-time ARCA winner bumped ARCA regular Bob Strait out of the way three laps shy of the finish.
Scott Riggs, in an MB2 Valvoline Pontiac, held off the ARCA regulars for his career-first superspeedway victory in June, 2004. Travis Kvapil, in a Penske Racing Kodak-sponsored Dodge, held off series regular Frank Kimmel for the win in June of '05.
Other notable ARCA winners over the years at Pocono include Casey Atwood, Kerry Earnhardt, Jimmy Horton, Mike Wallace and a host of series regulars such as Bob Schacht, Bob Keselowski, Tim Steele, Frank Kimmel, Jeff Purvis and most recently Justin Allgaier in August of '08.
This year's Pocono ARCA 200 marks the 49th ARCA RE/MAX Series race on the 2.5-mile Pocono track; however, if you're counting the now defunct three-quarter mile Pocono track, parts of which still occupy space in the infield area, ARCA's tenure at Pocono reaches back even further - to 1969 when Bobby Watson held off Benny Parsons to win the inaugural ARCA race at Pocono.
ARCA veteran Bob Schacht held off the late Davey Allison to win the inaugural ARCA race at Pocono in 1983. That inaugural event also marked the first-ever nationally televised ARCA race when viewers from across America tuned in on ESPN for the LIVE telecast. Schacht would go on to post six victories at Pocono over the next 10 years becoming the all-time winner there until three-time series champion Tim Steele eclipsed the mark with nine wins, including five consecutive in the mid- to late-90s.
Logano, in three career ARCA RE/MAX Series starts since 2008, has never finished worse than second. Logano won in his career-first series start at Rockingham Speedway in May of '08 and finished second in both restrictor plate tracks at Talladega Superspeedway '08 and Daytona Int'l Speedway '09. All of Logano's tenure in the ARCA RE/MAX Series has been in Venturini Motorsports-prepared cars.
On-track activity for the Pocono ARCA 200 starts Friday, June 5 with practice from 10:15 AM to 11:55 AM. Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell follows at 1:45 PM. The Pocono ARCA 200 kicks off Saturday afternoon, June 6 at 1:00 PM and will be televised same-day on SPEED at 8:30 PM.
In addition, the ARCA Racing Network will carry live streaming audio coverage of the Pocono ARCA 200 at ARCAracing.com inside the ARCA Nation.
Tickets for the Pocono ARCA 200, the SPRINT Cup Series event and the entire 2009 Pocono Raceway season are available by contacting the Pocono Raceway Ticket Office at 1-800-RACEWAY (1-800-722-3929), or through www.poconoraceway.com.