ARCA RE/MAX Series Ready to Roll at 'The Rock' ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (April 16, 2009) -- The second annual Carolina 200 is only days away and the ARCA RE/MAX Series teams cannot be more ready. The team haulers will drive in a parade through downtown...
ARCA RE/MAX Series Ready to Roll at 'The Rock'
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (April 16, 2009) -- The second annual Carolina 200 is only days away and the ARCA RE/MAX Series teams cannot be more ready. The team haulers will drive in a parade through downtown Rockingham on Friday at noon before parking in the garage area of the speedway.
The teams will get their first practice laps on Saturday at 11:30 A.M. followed with qualifying at 2:30 P.M. The race will begin at 1:00 P.M. on Sunday April 19th.
Ken Schrader will be back at Rockingham attempting to get his elusive first win at the track. Last year he led with only five laps remaining but was passed by race winner, Joey Logano on fresh tires.
Former Daytona 500 winning driver, Derrike Cope has entered a car in the Carolina 200 with Nur Ali driving. Although Ali is relatively new to stock car racing, he has raced all over the world during his driving career including driving for team Pakistan in A1GP.
"This opportunity came together last week," said Ali. "Derrike and I met through a mutual friend at Texas Motor Speedway. After some discussions, we decided to enter the race in Rockingham. If all goes well, we are considering a more comprehensive schedule. His experience is off the charts and I'm looking forward to working with him."
Also entered is 15-time AMA Motocross champion Ricky Carmichael, whose car owner/boss Kevin Harvick will be waving the green flag to start the race. In search of more experience, the team thought that Rockingham would be the perfect teacher, and decided to add this race to Carmichael's schedule
Nine time ARCA RE/MAX Series Champion, Frank Kimmel is looking forward to racing at the track that not only has two ARCA races he will compete in, but also host two street stock races for the series he started -- the Kimmel Street Stock Series.
"The track has a ton of character and it's a different type of track than the others we go to which makes it fun for the competitors," said Kimmel.
Bryan Silas was the only driver to race in all three of Rockingham's speedway races last season and will be back for year two. Silas raced in the ARCA, Pro Cup as well as the Kimmel Street Stock race on the one-mile track and even ran a Legend race and Thunder Cup race also.
The series newest winner, Patrick Sheltra will be looking to make it two in a row at the Carolina 200 after winning his first race at Salem Speedway just two weeks ago. The win was a tremendous accomplishment considering Sheltra suffered a compressed fracture in his back and a dislocated knee cap during the season opening race in Daytona.
Joey Coulter will be pulling double duty this weekend by running both the UARA-Stars Late Model race as well as the ARCA RE/MAX Series race. Although this will be his first ARCA race at Rockingham, Coulter did race in the Pro Cup race last November.
Last year's winning team will be back in full force, entering two teams with Sean Caisse driving the exact same car Joey Logano won with one year ago and Alex Yontz entering a sister car for the team. Venturini Motorsports will expect nothing less than a win following last season's performance.
The ARCA RE/MAX Series is renowned as a driver development series. From Benny Parsons in his day to Kyle Busch and Justin Allgaier in the modern era, the series has always been a top training ground for up and coming drivers and this weekend's Carolina 200 at Rockingham Speedway will be no exception.
Ryan Crane has announced that he has teamed up with James Finch's Phoenix Racing team for the event. Crane is a Florida State University business law graduate and super late model standout from Panama City, Florida.
"To be partnering up with Phoenix Racing, a team with both Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series ties, for the Carolina 200 is about as good as it gets," said Crane.
Drew Herring narrowly missed winning the Pro Cup race last year but managed to lock up the rookie of the year honors last year at Rockingham. Herring will be back behind the wheel of a Black's Tire Service Chevrolet but this time he will be making his debut in the ARCA Series.
"It's been a little bit different than I thought it was going to be," said Herring. "The horsepower is a little bit different and with the weight and the difference in the tires, it's been a whole lot different than the Pro Cup car. Coming to Rockingham where I had such a good run in the Pro Cup car I thought I would be a little more acclimated and able to jump right into it; but we're not too bad and I have a great crew behind me so I know we'll be able to figure this thing out."
Brian Ickler is a four-time winner of the NASCAR Camping World East Series and the series' most recent winner at Greenville Pickens Speedway on April 11th. Ickler currently leads the Camping World East point standings as he prepares for his ARCA RE/MAX Series debut at Rockingham.
Eddie Sharp Racing will be fielding four cars in the Carolina 200 including the current points leader Justin Loftin. Craig Goess, Steve Arpin and Tim George are the other drivers that will be behind the wheel of the ESR Toyota's on Sunday.
Carolina 200 race weekend kicks off on Friday April 17th with Thunderfest in downtown Rockingham from 11:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. There will be a hauler parade through downtown Rockingham at noon on Friday for the day-long celebration as well as most of the drivers signing autographs at 6:00 p.m.
On track activities begin Friday as well with UARA practice and qualifying. Saturday April 18th will feature the UARA race and practice and qualifying for the ARCA cars. The Carolina 200 is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Sunday April 19th.
Reserved seat tickets for the Carolina 200 start at $20 with kids 12 and under admitted for only $15 in any section with paid adult.
Tickets for the UARA race and ARCA practice and qualifying are only $15 in advance or $20 the day of the race with kids 12 and under free with a paid adult for general admission seating. Friday is free grandstand admission for everyone.
For more information about the Carolina 200 or to order tickets, please contact the speedway at (910) 205-8800 or visit our website at www.rockinghamspeedway.com.