Series mid-season review

ARCA's First Half Closes with Stretch Run on Horizon (TOLEDO, Ohio) - Saturday's Tim Richmond Memorial 200 at Mansfield Motorsports Park marked the halfway point of the 2010 ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards season, and the ...

ARCA's First Half Closes with Stretch Run on Horizon

(TOLEDO, Ohio) - Saturday's Tim Richmond Memorial 200 at Mansfield Motorsports Park marked the halfway point of the 2010 ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards season, and the intensity is only rising as the season's second half is just 12 days away.

Following a weekend off, the series will return to action July 31 at Pocono Raceway in the 50-lap Weis Markets 125. The event - the first return visit to any ARCA Racing Series track this season - will lead a stretch of 10 races in 11 weeks to close the season.

The Weis Markets 125 begins at 3 p.m. on July 31, with live television coverage provided by SPEED. will host live timing and scoring and live audio coverage of all on-track action from Pocono, starting with practice at 10:15 a.m. on July 30.

The race will be the 51st since the series' 1983 debut on the 2.5-mile oval at Pocono Raceway.

With speedways, short tracks, a road course, and ARCA's trademark dirt events still to come, versatility will be important as the October 9 season finale approaches.

Gresham the Youngest Winner in 2010: Max Gresham's win on Saturday at the age of 17 years, 78 days made the Griffin, Ga. driver the youngest ARCA Racing Series winner in 2010. Chris Buescher, the winner at Toledo in May, held the season's previous mark of 17 years, 206 days.

Up and Down Night for Series Leaders: Justin Marks' 10th-place finish was good enough to help him keep the ARCA Racing Series standings lead, but the result was not without its challenges. A flat right front tire on Lap 36 caused Marks to collide with Mikey Kile in Turns 1 and 2 after making contact through the frontstretch. The incident swept Marks from the lead lap, and another cut tire and a late collision with Tim Cowen caused the points leader to finish four laps off of the pace. Marks, who previously led Patrick Sheltra by 70 points, now leads Craig Goess by 50 points. Goess finished second and Kimmel third at Mansfield in a reflection of their new positions in the standings.

Sheltra finished 21st, his second consecutive finish outside the top 20 after eight finishes in the top 10, to drop from second to fourth in the new standings. Sheltra's day ended after he completed only 92 laps, the result of a rear end failure. He now stands tied in the standings with Iowa winner Tom Hessert, who finished eighth.

George Emerges on Short Track, Others Shine: Tim George Jr. started fifth and finished fourth at Mansfield, both career bests in ARCA Racing Series short track action. George's finish was the third top-five of his career and stands behind only his third-place finish at Talladega in April.

Dakoda Armstrong finished fifth to make the top five for the second consecutive week, and remained in seventh place in the process. Armstrong trimmed his margin under Mikey Kile for sixth place from 35 points to just 15.

Chad McCumbee's sixth-place finish gave him a top-10 for the first time in his second stint with owner Andy Belmont, along the way marking a season-best for Belmont.

Kimmel Consistent and Rising: Frank Kimmel's third-place finish was his 50th such result and the 178th top-three finish of his career. Even amid Kimmel's consistent recent success (fourth at Toledo, fifth at Pocono and Michigan, sixth at Iowa, third at Mansfield), he remains the only driver inside the top 10 without a single lap led.

Kimmel has shown a very steady progression toward the top of the standings. After exiting the season's second race at Palm Beach in 11th place, he left Salem in 10th, Texas in ninth, and Talladega in eighth. Kimmel jumped to sixth after Toledo but stayed there following the June event at Pocono, all before advancing to fifth at Michigan and fourth at Iowa just last week. Kimmel now stands third in the ARCA Racing Series standings, 35 points behind Craig Goess for second and 85 points away from Justin Marks' series lead.

Buescher Tops Special Awards Charts: Though Max Gresham led 110 laps to seize the Aaron's Lap Leader Award at Mansfield, Chris Buescher moved into the top spot in the overall season standings. Buescher's 83 laps at the front of the Mansfield pack have him at 209 laps led in 2010, 51 more than previous leader Steve Arpin.

With his second top qualifying effort at an Ohio track, Buescher also became the first driver this season to win multiple poles. Following Buescher's Menards Pole Award wins at Toledo and Mansfield and cousin James Buescher's top effort at Daytona in February, the Buescher name holds three of the nine poles contested in 2010.

Bowsher Strong in ARCA Return: Todd Bowsher, son of three-time ARCA Racing Series champion Jack Bowsher, finished 12th in his first start since last September's race at Salem. Bowsher had been driving toward at least a sixth-place finish when his engine expired after just 195 of the scheduled 200 laps.

Arpin 13th in First Week Away: Steve Arpin started 26th and finished 13th in NASCAR Nationwide Series action at Gateway (Ill.) International Raceway Saturday. The weekend was Arpin's first of two away from ARCA while pursuing the NASCAR opportunity with JR Motorsports.

Victory Variety: Max Gresham became the eighth new ARCA Racing Series winner in the series' 10 events this season, and is the ninth driver to win this year.

-source: arca

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Frank Kimmel , Andy Belmont , Todd Bowsher , Justin Marks , Tim Cowen , Tom Hessert , Chad McCumbee , Tim George Jr. , Patrick Sheltra , Steve Arpin , James Buescher , Mikey Kile , Craig Goess , Dakoda Armstrong , Max Gresham , Tim Richmond , Chris Buescher
Teams JR Motorsports