Back-to-Back Wins for ESR's Lofton Eddie Sharp Racing's Justin Lofton (No. 6 Lofton Cattle Toyota) earned his second consecutive win and third of 2009 on Saturday afternoon at Pocono Raceway. Lofton won the Pennsylvania 200 by a margin of ...
Back-to-Back Wins for ESR's Lofton
Eddie Sharp Racing's Justin Lofton (No. 6 Lofton Cattle Toyota) earned his second consecutive win and third of 2009 on Saturday afternoon at Pocono Raceway. Lofton won the Pennsylvania 200 by a margin of 0.502 seconds over Matt Merrell (No. 32 ColinsHope.org-Red Line Oil Dodge), Craig Goess (No. 81 Greenville Toyota of NC Toyota), Steve Arpin (No. 25 Venturini Motorsports Toyota) and Frank Kimmel (No. 44 Ansell-Menards Ford). He now unofficially leads the ARCA RE/MAX Series Point Standings by a slim, five-point margin over rookie Parker Kligerman.
The ARCA RE/MAX Series has a brief break from racing activity before heading to Springfield, Illinois for the Allen Crowe 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds on August 23. The race marks the first of two dirt track events for the diverse stock car series this season. Several of the top-10 point contenders head into the race with zero experience racing on dirt, including rookie Parker Kligerman, who has led the point standings following seven of the 13 races contested so far this season, Craig Goess, Joey Coulter and Robb Brent.
Qualifying Rained Out (Again)
The starting field for Saturday's Pennsylvania 200 was set by current Car Owner Points after track officials cancelled on-track activity at Pocono Raceway as a result of heavy rain showers in Long Pond, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding area on Friday. Five Menards Pole Qualifying Sessions presented by Ansell (Kentucky, Toledo, Pocono, Michigan, Pocono) have been scratched due to uncooperative weather this season.
PA's Kyle Martel CGS Imaging Hard Charger at Pocono
Kyle Martel finished a career-best 10th at Pocono Raceway on Saturday afternoon, racing his way up from a 37th-place starting position to earn CGS Imaging Hard Charger honors in the No. 43 Hanover Cold Storage-Finish Line Express Chevrolet. Although Martel is from nearby Lebanon, Pennsylvania, the 22-year-old driver admits that his early childhood experiences at Pocono Raceway were limited due to his busy schedule racing Late Models throughout the Midwest.
Other Pennsylvania drivers:
Bobby Gerhart (Lebanon) finished 9th
Kory Rabenold (Slatington) finished 16th
Steve Fox (Hazelton) finished 25th
Brian Kaltreider (Reading) finished 28th
Chase Mattioli (Long Pond) finished 32nd
Eddie Sharp Racing's Goess Earns Career-Best Finish at Pocono
Rookie of the Year contender Craig Goess, who has spent the 2009 season transitioning from Eddie Sharp Racing's NASCAR Camping World East Series Team to the ARCA RE/MAX Series, finished a career-best third this weekend at Pocono Raceway, besting a previous career-best finish of fourth achieved on July 18 at Kentucky Speedway. Goess has just one finish outside of the top-10 (12th at Iowa on July 11) since the Spring Pocono race on June 6.
Goess' former teammate Steve Arpin, who made the transition from Eddie Sharp Racing to Venturini Motorsports beginning with this past weekend's Pennsylvania 200, also posted a career-best finish. Arpin finished fourth in the No. 25 Venturini Motorsports Toyota despite making contact with Parker Kligerman while battling for third inside of five laps remaining.
"It's a bad deal that we got together with Parker [Kligerman] there at the end," said Arpin. "He races all of us clean each and every week and I feel horrible for getting into him, we just got a little tight and got his left rear. He had a shot at winning that race."
Kligerman finished 21st in the final running order, a career-worst for the 18-year-old Penske Development Driver, who competes for Cunningham Motorsports in the ARCA RE/MAX Series.
TOP TEN UNOFFICIAL ARCA RE/MAX SERIES POINTS AFTER THE PENNSYLVANIA 200 AT POCONO RACEWAY ( RACE 13 of 21; 8-1-09);1) Justin Lofton, 3190; 2) Parker Kligerman, 3185; 3) Frank Kimmel, 2900; 4) Craig Goess, 2800; 5) Joey Coulter, 2765; 6) Bryan Silas, 2710; 7) Steve Arpin, 2675; 8) Patrick Sheltra, 2555; 9) Tom Hessert, 2520; 10) Robb Brent, 2335
Lofton Nationwide Ready
Current ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship Point Contender Justin Lofton will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at Michigan Int'l Speedway on August 15 for CJM Racing.
"I hope my past experiences at Michigan racing in the ARCA RE/MAX Series and winning in the Series will help get me respect," said Lofton. "This first Nationwide Race at Michigan will tell a lot-whether I get to race them [the fulltime NASCAR Nationwide Series Drivers] or whether they move me out of the way. I'm running four Nationwide races this year-possibly more-- and the goal is to earn respect and to get my name out there. If I can finish in the top-10 in those races it would be absolutely awesome.
In addition to Michigan, Lofton plans to race for CJM at Lowe's Motor Speedway (October 16), Texas Motor Speedway (November 7) and Homestead-Miami Speedway (November 21).
Kimmel Six Laps Shy of Major Career Milestone
Nine-time ARCA RE/MAX Series Champion Frank Kimmel is just six laps shy of leading 10,000 laps in ARCA RE/MAX Series Competition. Although he has only led 36 laps so far this season, Kimmel heads into the next race on the schedule-the Allen Crowe 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds-as the defending race winner. Kimmel led 83 of 102 laps en route to victory at Springfield last year and set a new one-lap track record at the one-mile dirt track. He is a seven-time race winner at Springfield.
Kyle Busch, David Ragan to Support ARCA-Owned Properties this August NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Kyle Busch and David Ragan will each make appearances at ARCA-owned properties this August. Busch will compete in a 100-lap CRA Late Model race on Friday night, August 14 at Toledo Speedway, which is owned by ARCA President Ron Drager and business man Roy Mott. Ragan will sign autographs for race fans at ARCA-owned Flat Rock Speedway on Saturday night, August 15.