Matt Carter Top 2008 SunTrust Rookie of the Year Contender TOLEDO OH (10-24-08) --Matt Carter, driver of the Larry Clement-owned No. 46 Ford Fusion, has emerged as the leading candidate for the 2008 SunTrust Rookie of the Year title in the ARCA...
Matt Carter Top 2008 SunTrust Rookie of the Year Contender
TOLEDO OH (10-24-08) --Matt Carter, driver of the Larry Clement-owned No. 46 Ford Fusion, has emerged as the leading candidate for the 2008 SunTrust Rookie of the Year title in the ARCA RE/MAX Series. The Denver, North Carolina, native is on track to pick up the SunTrust Rookie title and its $10,000 cash prize at the ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship Awards Banquet at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington, Kentucky on December 6th.
SunTrust Rookie points are accumulated based on a driver's best 15 finishes in the 21-race ARCA RE/MAX Series. Carter's 2008 rookie season was highlighted by a win at Toledo Speedway in May, second place finishes at Salem (September) and Toledo (October), a third place finish at Salem (April), fourth place finishes at Iowa, Pocono (August) and Springfield, fifth at Berlin, sixth at Cayuga and DuQuoin, seventh at Kentucky (July), eighth at Rockingham, ninth at Nashville, tenth at Talladega and 11th at Kansas.
In all, three drivers took turns leading the 2008 SunTrust Rookie Standings in 2008, including Carter, Scott Speed and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Speed led the standings following each of the final eight races of 2008 but emerged from the Series' season finale tied with Carter in the SunTrust Rookie Standings. The final determination of the SunTrust Rookie of the Year is based on a combination of points earned and the vote of a competition committee, with consideration to both driver conduct and performance.
"Over the long term, we have considered the Sun Trust Rookie of the Year title to be much more than an on-track, performance based award," said ARCA president Ron Drager. "The criteria for the Sun Trust Rookie of the Year Award include the candidate's demeanor, conduct and character which represents the best interests of the series."
Carter finished third in driver's points in only his first season on the tour to post the highest points finish by a rookie. 2008 featured one of the most competitive rookie classes in recent history, with six first year drivers occupying positions in the top-10 in the final point standings and three additional SunTrust rookies finishing in the top-20.
Carter, driving for the same Larry Clement-owned team that fielded cars for each of Frank Kimmel's record nine ARCA RE/MAX Series championships, competed in the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series with primary sponsorship from Hantz Group, Nu South Lemonade, Stine Seeds and Ft. Dodge Animal Health. His father Travis Carter, a former car owner and crew chief in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, served as crew chief.
The ARCA RE/MAX Series has honored a top rookie at the ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship Awards Banquet each consecutive year since 1957. A total of five ARCA Rookie of the Years have gone on to capture ARCA RE/MAX Series championships later in their careers, including Benny Parsons, Dave Dayton, Bill Venturini, Frank Kimmel and Bill Baird. Parsons holds the distinction of being the only ARCA Rookie of the Year who has gone on to win season-ending championships in both the ARCA RE/MAX Series (1968 and 1969) and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (1973).
Kimmel, whose storied racing career has included nine ARCA RE/MAX Series championships, an invitation to compete in the International Race of Champions (IROC) Series, along with forays into the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NACAR Craftsman Truck Series, was the 1992 ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookie of the Year.
1984 ARCA Rookie of the Year Davey Allison went on to claim the 1987 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year award.
Other former winners of the ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookie of the Year award include Michael McDowell, Blake Bjorklund, Joey Miller, TJ Bell, Jason Jarrett, Glenn Brewer, Lee Raymond and Charlie Glotzbach, to name a few.
2008 marks the first year that SunTrust Banks, Inc. has joined the ARCA family of corporate sponsors and the series' Rookie of the Year Program.