Series notebook 2008-09-08

Chicagoland Victory Leads to Toledo Speedway Test Session for Venturini Motorsports TOLEDO OH (9-8-08)--Fresh off of a race victory with driver Scott Lagasse, Jr. at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday, Venturini Motorsports tested at Toledo...

Chicagoland Victory Leads to Toledo Speedway Test Session for Venturini Motorsports

TOLEDO OH (9-8-08)--Fresh off of a race victory with driver Scott Lagasse, Jr. at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday, Venturini Motorsports tested at Toledo Speedway on Monday in preparation for the October 12 ARCA Championship Weekend.

Venturini Motorsports, led by car owners Bill and Cathy Venturini and their son, crew chief/former driver Bill Venturini, have earned two ARCA RE/MAX Series victories in 2008, the first coming in May at Rockingham Speedway with up-and-coming NASCAR driver Joey Logano and the second coming this past weekend at Chicagoland Speedway with Scott Lagasse, Jr. The team plans to enter the fall ARCA RE/MAX Series race at Toledo Speedway with Boise, Idaho's Brian Scott, a full-time competitor in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

Venturini Motorsports was joined at the test session by DGM Racing and driver Alli Owens, also in preparation for the ARCA RE/MAX Series' upcoming season finale at Toledo Speedway. Jack Bowsher and Associates Motorsports participated in the full day test session on Monday from 9 a.m. until approximately 5 p.m.

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What's the Deal with 1.5-mile Tracks?

With his victory in Saturday's Chicagoland ARCA 200, Scott Lagasse, Jr. now has two career ARCA RE/MAX Series victories, one at Kansas Speedway in 2007 and one at Chicagoland Speedway, both 1.5-mile speedways. Despite his successes on the two similarly-configured speedways, Lagasse feels that there are several differences between the two tracks.

"They [Kansas and Chicagoland] do have some similarities but the quarks to find that last little bit are quite a bit different between the two places," said Lagasse. "Chicagoland has a little bit of a bow down both straight-a-ways so you have to turn the steering wheel a little bit. It's neat for me to come to Chicagoland because I have always liked 1.5-mile tracks and for the Venturinis it's their hometown so I know they're glad to be there. This car was just amazing and I think Billy [Venturini, Crew Chief] threw everything he had at it when we fell off the pace a little bit in the middle portion of the race. I can't say enough about Pro Motors. That was the first time I ran with a Pro Motor and it was very, very stout."

As the most recent winner on the ARCA RE/MAX Series tour, Lagasse, Jr. will be a featured guest on Inside ARCA Radio sponsored by Team GLOCK Racing on Tuesday night, September 9th. The show streams live on arcaracing.com from 7-8:30 p.m. and is broadcast live from the Toledo Speedway Bar and Grill.

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Points Contenders Stenhouse, Speed finish 2-3 at Chicagoland

The 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series championship points race continues to heat up with four races remaining on the season schedule. Following Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Scott Speed's second and third place finish in Saturday's Chicagoland ARCA 200, just 50 points separate the top-two SunTrust rookies and top-two points contenders heading into this weekend's Eddie Gilstrap Motors 200 by Advance Auto Parts at Salem Speedway. Speed leads the points with 4125, followed by Stenhouse. Matt Carter is in third, 160 points out of first, followed by defending champion Frank Kimmel (245 points out of first) and Justin Allgaier (265 points out of first).

"Scott [Speed] is a good racecar driver and he's in here learning just like I am," said Stenhouse. "We have a pretty tight points battle here and I am just looking forward to seeing how that plays out for the rest of the year. I don't really know what he thinks about the ARCA RE/MAX Series but I think it would be pretty cool to win a points championship here and put my name on the list with some of the other guys that have won."

Drivers aiming for the ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship will need to adapt to a combination of tracks that emphasize the Series diverse nature, including Salem Speedway on Sept. 13th (a .555-mile short track), New Jersey Motorsports Park on Sept. 28th (a 2.3-mile paved road course), Talladega Superspeedway on October 3rd (a 2.66-mile speedway) and Toledo Speedway on October 12th (a .5-mile paved short track).

Unofficial Top-10 ARCA RE/MAX Series Points After The Chicagoland ARCA 200 at Chicagoland Speedway (9-6-08); 1) Scott Speed, 4125; 2) Ricky Stenhouse Jr, 4075; 3) Matt Carter, 3965; 4) Frank Kimmel, 3880; 5) Justin Allgaier, 3860; 6) Tom Hessert III, 3385; 7) Ken Butler III, 3350; 8) Tayler Malsam, 3330; 9) John Wes Townley, 3310; 9) Patrick Sheltra, 3310.

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Rare Green Flag Pit Stop Opportunity for ARCA RE/MAX Series Teams at Chicagoland

The 200 mile/134-lap Chicagoland ARCA 200 included a long mid-race green flag run, affording ARCA RE/MAX Series teams the opportunity to conduct a rare, green-flag pit cycle. It was a career first for several series drivers, including SunTrust rookie Justin Lofton who was among the top-five contenders all day long but faded late in the race after he was penalized for entering pit road too fast in his No. 20 Lofton Cattle Dodge.

"It was just a very frustrating end to what could have been a great race," said Lofton, who still managed to post a top-10, finishing eighth in the race. "We were really fast. I was able to stay in the top-5 for the entire race until the green-flag pit stop. We kept waiting to see if a caution would come out and couldn't wait any longer. That was my first green-flag stop ever and I sailed it in a little too hard according to ARCA. I want to apologize to my guys for that one. I felt just awful getting the penalty. The caution on lap 115 just killed us. I think we really had a car that could have contended for the lead and the win. We just couldn't get back there after that penalty."

Lofton competed in Saturday's Chicagoland ARCA 200 in the same car that he drove to a career first victory at Michigan Int'l Speedway in June.

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Stenhouse Jr. Finds Luck in the Duck

Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. had a special guest on board his No. 99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford at Chicagoland Speedway--a stuffed duck holding a steering wheel and a helmet to commemorate the team's Aflac primary sponsorship. Since debuting the Aflac sponsorship at DuQuoin on September 1st, Stenhouse has earned two consecutive SIM Factory Pole Awards, breaking the track record at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds on September 1st and at Chicagoland Speedway on September 6th.

ARCA RE/MAX Series SIM Factory Pole Qualifying sessions have produced eight new track records in 2008, including Ken Butler, III at Kansas Speedway (30.799 seconds/175.330 mph), Joey Logano at Rockingham Speedway (24.549 seconds/146.645 mph), Andy Hanson at Toledo Speedway (15.891 seconds/113.272 mph), Justin Lofton at Cayuga Speedway (20.424 seconds/110.165 mph), Justin Allgaier at Berlin Raceway (16.963 seconds/92.955 mph), Frank Kimmel at the Illinois State Fairgrounds (32.878 seconds/109.496 mph),and Stenhouse at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds (32.896 seconds/109.436 mph) and at Chicagoland Speedway (29.995 seconds/180.030 mph).

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Kimmel Leads Bill France Triple Crown

Heading into Salem, Frank Kimmel leads the 2008 Bill France Triple Crown Standings. Kimmel is the defending winner of the Bill France Triple Crown and has won the award a total of five times. Other winners include Blake Bjorklund, Brent Sherman, Jason Jarrett, Tim Steele, Bob Keselowski, Tracy Leslie and Davey Allison, to name a few.

The Bill France Triple Crown is a separate point fund within the 21-race ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule that tests drivers on a challenging combination of venues, including a dirt track (The Southern Illinois 100 at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds, September 1st), a short track (The Eddie Gilstrap Motors 200 by Advance Auto Parts at Salem Speedway on September 13th) and a superspeedway (The ARCA RE/MAX 250 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 3rd).

The ARCA RE/MAX Series has honored a Bill France Triple Crown champion at the end-of-the-year Championship Awards Banquet each consecutive season since 1984.

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Eddie Gilstrap Motors 200 by Advance Auto Parts at Salem Speedway Coming up Next

The ARCA RE/MAX Series, widely regarded for a diverse season schedule, will switch gears from speedway racing to short track racing next weekend when the series heads to the .555-mile Salem Speedway in Southern Indiana for the Eddie Gilstrap Motors 200 by Advance Auto Parts. The 200-lap race is set to roll off at 7:15 p.m. Local Time on Saturday, September 13th. For tickets, call (888) 246-7223.

Frank Kimmel is the all-time ARCA RE/MAX Series winner at Salem Speedway with eight victories. A total of 48 different drivers have won ARCA RE/MAX Series races at Salem Speedway, including April, 2008 race winner Justin Allgaier.

-credit: arcaracing

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Frank Kimmel , Jason Jarrett , Tim Steele , Brent Sherman , Scott Speed , Scott Lagasse Jr. , Tom Hessert III , Ken Butler III , Justin Allgaier , Justin Lofton , Joey Logano , Patrick Sheltra , Brian Scott , Alli Owens , Tayler Malsam , John Wes Townley , Ken Butler , Davey Allison