Jesse Smith Tops ARCA RE/MAX Series Open Testers at Kentucky Speedway SPARTA KY (4-29-09) - Wildwood, Missouri driver Jesse Smith, in the no. 25 Venturini Motorsports Chevrolet, posted the top speed in ARCA RE/MAX Series open testing Wednesday...
Jesse Smith Tops ARCA RE/MAX Series Open Testers at Kentucky Speedway
SPARTA KY (4-29-09) - Wildwood, Missouri driver Jesse Smith, in the no. 25 Venturini Motorsports Chevrolet, posted the top speed in ARCA RE/MAX Series open testing Wednesday afternoon at Kentucky Speedway.
Smith, among 24 drivers who tested, circled the 1.5-mile Sparta, Kentucky speedplant in 30.752 seconds, for an average speed of 175.598 mph. The open test served in preparation for the next event on tour - the Drive Smart Buckle-Up Kentucky 150 Saturday, May 9th.
The series' most recent winner Justin Lofton, in Eddie Sharp's Lofton Cattle Toyota, was second fastest overall with a speed of 174.836. "We were very good right off the trailer, so we really didn't make any big changes," said Lofton. "We didn't need to. We worked on a lot of little stuff, and we know the track's going to change quite a bit by the time we come back in May. Main thing is, is that we've got a really good base-line set-up, so we can tighten or loosen as necessary from there." Penske development driver Parker Kligerman, in the Cunningham Motorsports Dodge, was third overall (174.752) after struggling in the morning session.
"We weren't very good at the onset," said Kligerman, who is still in high school in his hometown of Westport, Connecticut. "We just couldn't get off the corners. But the Cunningham crew worked and worked on it and got it much better."
Kligerman, in six series starts, has not finished out of the top-10. His most recent finishes include third at Salem, fifth at Rockingham and seventh at Talladega.
Frank Kimmel, a late arrival, was fourth quickest overall at 174.345. Kimmel, a four-time Kentucky winner, has not won at Kentucky since May, 2005.
Newcomer Brian Ickler, in a second Venturini Motorsports entry, was fifth fastest overall at 174.289.
There were three separate on-track incidents throughout the day involving Chad Hackenbracht, Jimmy Weller and Justin Boston. All three drivers made contact with the wall; however, there were no injuries.
The Drive Smart Buckle-Up Kentucky 150, the 18th appearance of the ARCA RE/MAX Series at Kentucky Speedway since its 2000 debut, is scheduled to roll off at 8:00 PM ET Saturday, May 9. Practice and Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell precede the race action Saturday afternoon.