Speed and Lofton Make it an All ESR Front Row at MIS BROOKLYN, Mich. (June 12, 2008) - Teammates Scott Speed and Justin Lofton dominated ARCA SIM Factory Qualifying today at Michigan International Speedway. Scott Speed ripped off a 38.895 ...
Speed and Lofton Make it an All ESR Front Row at MIS
BROOKLYN, Mich. (June 12, 2008) - Teammates Scott Speed and Justin Lofton dominated ARCA SIM Factory Qualifying today at Michigan International Speedway. Scott Speed ripped off a 38.895 second lap to earn him his second consecutive SIM Factory Pole Position. Lofton followed closely with a 39.133 second lap to round off the ESR front row.
"This team knows exactly what to do with these cars at the speedways," said Speed. "We were fast in practice and came to qualifying knowing that we were the car to beat. The car felt great. I just drove it in, knowing it would stick. I think we will be just as good tomorrow in the race and am looking forward to starting and finishing up front. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what happens out there. We are very lucky to get to do this for a job. Even on the worst day, how can you leave the track in a bad mood? We drive race cars for a living!"
"We have made such an improvement the last couple of weeks," stated Lofton. "Even though last week's finish did not show, that was the best race we ran all year. I like MIS. It's a lot of fun and fast. I'm really looking forward to starting on the front row tomorrow. I think we have the car and the team to win this. We had it last weekend and unfortunately, things did not work out as we would have liked. But, you'll have that in racing, and now it is time to move on to this race."
With the summer sun beating down, the ARCA RE/MAX Series practiced and qualified in the Irish Hills of Michigan. Practice ran from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. True MIS Rookies, Scott Speed and Justin Lofton turned their first laps on the 2-mile track. Ken Butler, III, driver of the No. 22 Aaron's Lucky Dog Toyota is the lone veteran this weekend from the ESR camp. Speed topped practice for the teammates in the second position with a practice lap of 38.988 seconds, with Lofton following in the seventh position with a lap of 39.558 seconds. Ken Butler, III struggled in during the session and ended the afternoon in the 30th position with a 40.978 second lap.
As temperatures continued to rise in the afternoon sun, the teams lined up on the grid for qualifying. Scott Speed, driver of the No. 2 Red Bull Toyota was the first of the Eddie Sharp Racing teams to qualify. Speed quickly set the pole position with a 185.114 mph lap.
Lofton immediately followed Speed off the grid and turned a 183.988 mph lap, falling only 0.2 seconds short of his teammate and locking in the all ESR front row. Lofton's qualifying effort also earned him his ARCA RE/MAX Series career-best starting position.
Rounding out the ESR team for qualifying was Ken Butler, III. Butler knew he had to improve on his practice so his goal was to go out and run wide open. He did exactly that, running a 39.831 second lap to give him a 14th place starting position.
"I'm just really proud of all three of these teams," said team owner Eddie Sharp. "These guys work so hard week in and week out so that we can put quality cars on track. To have two on the front row, and all in the top 15 is a compliment to their hard work and the talent of these young drivers."
Driver Introductions for the Racing for Wildlife 200 begins tomorrow, Friday, June 13, 2008 at 5:00 p.m., immediately following the Sprint Cup Qualifying. The green flag for the 100-lap race at Michigan International Speedway drops Friday at 5:15 p.m. and will be broadcast LIVE on SPEED starting at 5:00 p.m. All times listed are EASTERN.