Nashville: Series round 14 preview

On the Heels of Pocono; Speed Leads Headed to Nashville; 6 Rookies in Top-10 ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship Points NASHVILLE TN (8-5-08) -- On the heels of the 2.5-mile Pocono triangle, the ARCA RE/MAX Series steers for Nashville...

On the Heels of Pocono; Speed Leads Headed to Nashville; 6 Rookies in Top-10 ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship Points

NASHVILLE TN (8-5-08) -- On the heels of the 2.5-mile Pocono triangle, the ARCA RE/MAX Series steers for Nashville Superspeedway this weekend for the Toyota 150, LIVE on SPEED Saturday, August 9th at 4:30 PM ET.

And for the first time since early May, there is a new point leader atop the ARCA RE/MAX Series national championship point standings headed to Nashville.

With 13 of 21 races in the books, six SunTrust Rookies occupy positions in the top-10 national championship points including the top three spots. Here's a look at the top-10 in points coming to Nashville. At present, 47 top-notch entries are signed up for the Toyota 150 at Nashville, the 15th appearance of the ARCA RE/MAX Series at Nashville since its 2001 debut.

Scott Speed: Rookie. Drives no. 2 Red Bull Toyota for Eddie Sharp Racing. Veteran of the Formula 1 tour. Following his 2nd place finish at Pocono, leads national championship points by a margin of 95 over rookie Matt Carter. Has 3 victories this year at Kansas Speedway, Kentucky Speedway and Berlin Raceway. 3-time SIM Factory Pole winner at Pocono Raceway twice and Michigan Int'l Speedway. In 13 starts, has 8 top-5 finishes and 11 top-10s. Has led the most laps in 2008 with 336 laps-led in 11 races. Speed, along with car owner Eddie Sharp, also leads the Superspeedway Challenge championship standings. Speed also leads the SunTrust Rookie of the Year standings. Has never raced at Nashville.

Matt Carter: Rookie. Drives no. 46 Stine Seed Ford for Larry Clement Racing, Frank Kimmel's former ride. Currently 2nd in national championship points. After 13 series starts, has 5 top-5 finishes and 8 top-10s including a short-track win at Toledo back in May. Coming off career-best superspeedway finish of 4th at Pocono. Has led 245 laps this year in 3 races. Son of renowned/longtime NASCAR SPRINT Cup Series team owner/crew chief Travis Carter, who currently serves as Matt's crew chief in ARCA RE/MAX Series competition. Has never raced at Nashville.

Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.: Rookie. Development driver for Roush Fenway Racing no. 99 Ford. After DNF at Pocono, fell from 1st to 3rd in national championship points. In 13 career series starts in 2008, has 6 top-5 finishes and 9 top-10s, including two victories at Kentucky Speedway and Pocono Raceway. Has led 136 laps this year in 4 races. Open-wheel background. USAC Silver Crown winner at Springfield mile-dirt in 2007 driving for Tony Stewart. Has never raced at Nashville.

Justin Allgaier: Veteran. Drives no. 16 Chevrolet for family-owned team out of Springfield, Illinois. Currently 4th in national championship points. Most recent winner on the tour with a victory at Pocono last Saturday, his first superspeedway victory of his career. Also won at Cayuga Motor Speedway in late June. Also has victories at hometown Springfield mile-dirt in 2006 and back-to-back wins at Salem in 2007 and 2008. Finished career-high 4th in national championship points in 2007. Started season with career-best superspeedway finish of 2nd at Daytona Int'l Speedway. Best finish at Nashville 11th in 2007.

Frank Kimmel: Veteran. Drives no. 44 Ford for himself -- Kimmel Racing, a newly-formed team in 2008 after parting ways with longtime car owner Larry Clement. 9-time ARCA RE/MAX Series national champion with 71 career wins, second all-time to Iggy Katona, who has 79. Fell from 3rd to 5th in national championship points after a DNF at Pocono resulting from bad wreck. Currently 220 points out of lead. First time since 1999 that that Kimmel has trailed by this much this late in the season. Only 3-time winner at Nashville with consecutive victories in 2001 and 2002. All-time lap leader at Nashville with 442 laps-led in 10 races. Also finished 2nd at Nashville in 2001, 2nd in 2003, 3rd in 2004, 3rd in 2006, 3rd in 2007 and 4th in 2004.

John Wes Townley: Rookie. Drives no. 09 Zaxby's Ford for RAB Racing. Currently 6th in national championship points. After 13 series starts in 2008, has 1 top-5 finish and 5 top-10s with career-best 5th place finish at Kentucky Speedway. Also finished 11th in series debut at Daytona Int'l Speedway. Has never raced at Nashville.

Tom Hessert III: Rookie. Drives no. 1 Ford for Andy Belmont Racing. Currently 7th in national championship points. After 13 series starts in 2008, has 5 top-10 finishes including a season-high 6th place finish in season opener at Daytona. Son of renowned road course racer/24 Hours of Daytona winner Tom Hessert II. Raced USAC Sprints and Midgets prior to stock car career. Has never raced at Nashville.

Tayler Malsam: Rookie. Dodge Development Driver with no. 4 Cunningham Motorsports team. Currently 8th in national championship points. After 13 series starts in 2008, has 1 top-5 finish and 2 top-10s including career-best 3rd place finish at Pocono Raceway in June. Comes from open-wheel background, mainly winged sprints in the northwest near his Seattle, Washington home. Has never raced at Nashville.

Patrick Sheltra: Veteran: Drives for family-owned Sheltra Motorsports no. 60 Chevrolet/Dodge. Currently 9th in national championship points. Finished career-best 7th in national championship points in 2007. After 13 races in 2008, has 1 top-5 finish and 5 top-10s including career-best 2nd place finish on Toledo Speedway short-track. Comes from dirt late model background and still competes regularly in dirt late model competition. Best finish at Nashville 13th in 2007.

Ken Butler III: Veteran. Drives no. 22 Aaron's Lucky Dog Dream Machine Toyota for Eddie Sharp Racing. Currently 10th in national championship points. In 13 starts this year, has 1 top-5 and 5 top-10 finishes. After a string of finishes out of the top-10, rebounded nicely at Pocono last Saturday where he finished 7th. Has 1 start at Nashville in 2007 with an 11th place finish.

Other Notable Nashville Entrants:

Chad Blount: Nashville winner in 2005. Runner-up championship points finisher in 2002. Has 8 career wins. Entered in no. 30 Jones Group Racing Dodge.

Jeremy Clements: Defending Toyota 150 winner entered in no. 3 Clements Racing Chevrolet.

Billy Wease: Penske Racing Development Driver entered in no. 29 Cunningham Motorsports Dodge.

Austin Dillon: Grandson of Richard Childress entered in no. 31 Team Dillon Racing Chevrolet.

Sean Caisse: Entered in Shigeaki Hattori-owned no. 01 Toyota.

Bobby Gerhart: 5-time Daytona winner entered in his own no. 5 Lucas Oil Chevrolet.

Billy Leslie: Son of 1988 ARCA RE/MAX Series driving champion Tracy Leslie. Entered in no. 18 Titan Tires & Wheels Ford.

Also entered are Justin Lofton (Westmorland, California), Michael Phelps (Suwanee, Georgia), Gabi DiCarlo (Phoenix, Arizona), Norm Benning (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), Dominick Casola (Holmdel, New Jersey), Clay Rogers (Mooresville NC), Brad Smith (Shelby Township, Michigan), Mike Harmon (Birmingport, Alabama), Donny Kelley (Humble, Texas), Bryan Silas (Stuart, Florida) and several more.

Practice for the Toyota 150 is scheduled from 1:30 to 4:30 PM local time Friday afternoon, August 8th. SIM Factory Pole Qualifying goes off Saturday morning at 10:30 AM. The Toyota 150 is LIVE on SPEED at 4:30 PM Eastern Saturday afternoon, August 9th. The Toyota 150 also serves as a preamble to the same-night NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Toyota Tundra 200, also LIVE on SPEED.

Following Nashville, the ARCA RE/MAX Series heads to Illinois for back-to-back dirt track races at the Illinois State Fairgrounds mile-dirt in Springfield August 17th and the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds mile-dirt September 1st.

-credit: arcaracing.com

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Tony Stewart , Shigeaki Hattori , Frank Kimmel , Andy Belmont , Chad Blount , Bobby Gerhart , Scott Speed , Norm Benning , Tom Hessert III , Tom Hessert , Jeremy Clements , Ken Butler III , Billy Wease , Justin Allgaier , Bryan Silas , Justin Lofton , Sean Caisse , Billy Leslie , Patrick Sheltra , Dominick Casola , Tayler Malsam , John Wes Townley , Donny Kelley , Michael Phelps , Gabi DiCarlo , Austin Dillon
Teams Team Penske , Roush Fenway Racing