Series Notebook 2008-04-28

Scott Speed Takes Career First Victory in Kansas Lottery $150 Grand Formula One veteran and current ARCA RE/MAX Series SunTrust Rookie of the Year Contender Scott Speed joked with media at Kansas Speedway on Friday afternoon, predicting that he...

Scott Speed Takes Career First Victory in Kansas Lottery $150 Grand

Formula One veteran and current ARCA RE/MAX Series SunTrust Rookie of the Year Contender Scott Speed joked with media at Kansas Speedway on Friday afternoon, predicting that he would win Friday evening's Kansas Lottery $150 Grand by 5.6 seconds. Speed, in a No. 2 Red Bull Toyota owned by Eddie Sharp, went on to win the Kansas Lottery $150 Grand, crossing the checkers 0.791 seconds ahead of Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Jesse Smith, Michael Annett and Robb Brent.

"Check that out; I only won by one second, I'll try harder next time," said Speed after the race when prodded about missing his goal. "We led early, we had the window net come down, we went a lap down, we got back our lead lap, we passed a lot of cars and we won the race. What more can I say. It was good. I'm happy for the boys over at Eddie Sharp Racing. We had a good race.... It's certainly great to win a race, it's been awhile. The goal is to be successful in Cup, so if we are learning a lot here, that's great. Every lap I make on a racetrack is beneficial. This is why I am pushing so hard; because it's beneficial."

Speed's victory also established a new Kansas race record for the ARCA RE/MAX Series, at 1:12:05.

Ken Butler, III, Five Others, Shatter Previous Track Record at Kansas

Ken Butler, III, driver of the Eddie Sharp-owned No. 22 Aaron's Lucky Dog Dream Machine Toyota, earned his career first SIM Factory Pole Award at Kansas Speedway on Friday afternoon, posting a 30.799 second lap (175.330 mph) around the 1.5-mile tri-oval. Butler's qualifying run surpassed the previous track record of 31.323 seconds (172. 397 mph) set by Justin Marks in 2007.

"It was really exciting to get my first pole," said Butler. "I wish we could have finished in the same position, but I'm really happy for Scott [Speed] and the No. 2 team. Our No. 22 Aaron's Lucky Dog Dream Machine was really fast. We sat at the top of the speed charts during practice. And qualifying, I just drove it as hard as I could. Speed laid down a fast lap and I knew it would take something else to knock him off the top. I also knew we had it. It's odd that a top-10 feels so disappointing, but I know the cars we've had are worthy of victory lane. We'll get there soon, I'm sure of that."

Scott Speed, Jesse Smith, Michael Annett and Robb Brent also qualified faster than the previous record.

Career Best Finish for Six of the Top-10 at Kansas

Six of the top-10 finishers in Friday's Kansas Lottery $150 Grand posted their career best series finishes, including race winner Scott Speed (No. 2 Red Bull Toyota) and second place finisher Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. (No. 99 Ford).

"That was a pretty good day for the No. 99 team," said Stenhouse, Jr., who also earned Casite Hard Charger of the Race honors. "We freed it up too much for qualifying so I only qualified 17th which was disappointing but I knew we would be better in the race. At the beginning we were going the wrong way but as the run went on we got better and better and they started coming back to us. I have to thank the Roush Yates engine shop, they gave me the horsepower down the straights, and the body shop for giving me a fast car. We had an old No. 17 Cup car and it was fast."

Jesse Smith finished third in the No. 30 Lloyd's Barbeque-Spam-Hormel Foods Dodge, besting his previous career best of fifth (Iowa Speedway, April 19th, 2008) in only his third career start. Other drivers posting career best finishes at Kansas included Robb Brent (finished fifth in a No. 00 Orchard Chrysler Dodge Jeep Chevrolet), Gabi DiCarlo (finished ninth in the No. 90 Great Clips Toyota) and Ryan Fischer (finished tenth in the No. 25 Venturini Motorsports Chevrolet).

Annett Leads Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge Standings

Following Friday's Kansas Lottery $150 Grand, Bill Davis Racing and driver Michael Annett continue to lead the 2008 Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge Standings. The Superspeedway Challenge, which is a separate point fund for races on speedway ovals greater than one mile in length, kicked off with the ARCA 200 at Daytona on February 9th. In addition to Kansas, superspeedway challenge events on the 2008 schedule include Kentucky Speedway (May 10th, July 18th), Pocono Raceway (June 7th, August 2nd), Michigan Int'l Speedway (June 13th), Nashville Superspeedway (August 9th), Chicagoland Speedway (September 6th) and Talladega Superspeedway (October 3rd). Currently, Annett, who won this year's ARCA 200 at Daytona and finished fourth at Kansas, leads the Superspeedway Challenge with 360 points over Tom Hessert, III (car owner Jennifer Belmont, 315 pts.), Patrick Sheltra (car owner Grace Sheltra, 295 pts.) and Matt Carter (car owner Larry Clement, 290 pts.).

Last season, ARCA RE/MAX Series car owner Ray Evernham and driver Erin Crocker earned Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge honors, marking the first time that a female driver has earned the award. Other former recipients of the award include Frank Kimmel, Bobby Gerhart, Chad Blount, Bob Strait, Bill Baird, Mark Gibson, Tim Steele and Mike Wallace, among others.

Busy Weekend for Malsam; From Midwest top-15 to West Coast Win

ARCA RE/MAX Series SunTrust Rookie of the Year Contender Tayler Malsam, who finished 14th in Friday's Kansas Lottery $150 Grand, competed in a 360 Sprint Car race in his home state of Washington this weekend, winning the season opener at Skagit Speedway in Alger, Washington. Malsam, who is part of the Cunningham Motorsports stable of drivers in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, was also the fastest qualifier in his division at Skagit on Saturday.

"We got up at 3:30 a.m. to leave Kansas and were back home in Seattle by early afternoon," said Malsam." We drove straight to Skagit Speedway where the Rudeen Racing boys had my car waiting. My crew put an amazing car underneath me, I don't think I lifted the entire feature. This was a big win for us and hopefully the momentum carries into Rockingham."

In five career ARCA RE/MAX Series starts, Malsam has a career best finish of 11th, which he earned at Iowa Speedway on April 19th.

New Series Points Leader Headed to Rockingham

With four of 21 races on the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule complete, the championship points battle is tight. less than 200 points separate positions one through ten. Justin Allgaier, driver of the No. 16 AG Tech-Hoosier Midwest-Simpson Safety Chevrolet, entered the Kansas Lottery $150 Grand as the ARCA RE/MAX Series points leader but is now third (45 points away from the lead) after posting a 30th-place finish at Kansas due to a blown engine.

"Kansas hasn't always been the best track for us," said Allgaier, who has previous Kansas finishes of eighth (2007), 13th (2005) and 38th (2006). "I'm disappointed because I knew we could have another top-10 finish and maintain the points lead. I just hate it for the guys on this team and for all the sponsors onboard with us this weekend. We know that in racing you are going to have a mulligan or two but it still doesn't make it easier. We'll head to Rockingham next week to see if we can get back the Championship Points lead."

The current points leader is SunTrust Rookie of the Year contender Matt Carter, driver of the Larry Clement-owned No. 46 Stine Seed-Ft. Dodge Animal Health-Pork Ford.

ARCA RE/MAX Series Point Standings after the Kansas Lottery $150 Grand (4-25-08): 1) Matt Carter, 805; 2) Frank Kimmel, 765; 3) Justin Allgaier, 760; 4) Scott Speed, 715; 5) Patrick Sheltra, 710; 6) Tom Hessert III, 700; 7) John Wes Townley, 695; 8) Ken Butler III, 670; 9) Ricky Stenhouse, Jr, 660; 10) Bobby Gerhart, 610.

Racing Returns to the Rock; ARCA RE/MAX Series Takes Center Stage

The next event on the ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule is the Carolina 500 at Rockingham Speedway. The race marks a return to auto racing at the Rock for the first time since 2004 and the first ARCA RE/MAX Series appearance at the track since Charlie Glotzbach won a race there in 1973.

The city of Rockingham, North Carolina will kick off the race event weekend with an ARCA RE/MAX Series Hauler Parade through downtown Rockingham on Thursday, May 1st and an ARCA RE/MAX Series driver autograph session from 6-7 p.m. as part of downtown Rockingham's ThunderFest event. Drivers scheduled to participate include Patrick Sheltra, Bryan Silas, Alli Owens, Justin Allgaier, Gabi DiCarlo, James Buescher, Ken Butler, III, Justin Lofton, Michael Phelps, Tom Hessert, III, Dexter Bean, Tayler Malsam and Matt Carter.

The Carolina 500 at Rockingham Speedway will air live on SPEED beginning at 12 Noon Eastern on Sunday, May 4th.

-credit: arca

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Series ARCA
Teams Bill Davis Racing