Lofton Earns fourth Victory of 2009, Gains ARCA RE/MAX Series Point Lead Eddie Sharp Racing's Justin Lofton (No. 6 Lofton Cattle Toyota) led 55 of 100 laps on Friday evening at Chicagoland Speedway, surviving a last lap restart to win the Ansell ...
Lofton Earns fourth Victory of 2009, Gains ARCA RE/MAX Series Point Lead
Eddie Sharp Racing's Justin Lofton (No. 6 Lofton Cattle Toyota) led 55 of 100 laps on Friday evening at Chicagoland Speedway, surviving a last lap restart to win the Ansell Cut Protection 150 over a hard charging Grant Enfinger (No. 83 BeasleyAllen.com-Roush Performance Parts Ford), Hal Martin (No. 4 Cunningham Motorsports Dodge), Brian Ickler (No. 51 Brianickler.com Toyota) and Frank Kimmel (No. 44 Ansell-Menards Ford). It marked his fourth ARCA RE/MAX Series race win of 2009 and also allowed the second year ARCA driver to take the ARCA RE/MAX Series point lead from rookie Parker Kligerman. He heads into the next race on the schedule-the ARCA RE/MAX 200 presented by Federated and Belle Tire, leading Kligerman by 55 points in the Championship race.
Lofton finished second at Toledo in May and currently holds the one-lap track qualifying record at Toledo with a 113.493 mph lap around the half-mile short track in October of 2008. Lofton's main points challengers, Parker Kligerman (-55 points) and Frank Kimmel (-330 points) each have experienced past success at Toledo. Kligerman earned his first of six 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series race victories at Toledo in May and Kimmel is the all-time ARCA RE/MAX Series winner at Toledo with nine victories.
A pair of drivers with connections to the state of Alabama posted podium finishes in the ARCA RE/MAX Series on Friday at Chicagoland Speedway, with Fairhope, Alabama's Grant Enfinger finishing second in his own No. 83 BeasleyAllen.com-Roush Performance Parts Ford and Galliano, Louisiana's Hal Martin, a weekly Late Model racer at Alabama's Mobile Int'l Speedway, finishing third in the No. 4 Cunningham Motorsports Dodge.
It was Enfinger's second time finishing second in the ARCA RE/MAX Series this year. He also finished second at Kentucky Speedway in July after battling side-by-side for the lead with Parker Kligerman for 30 laps. Enfinger was the CGS Imaging Hard Charger of the Race at Chicagoland, advancing from his 16th place starting position to second during the 150-mile/100 lap race.
Meet Hal Martin
Hal Martin finished third in his ARCA RE/MAX Series speedway debut on Friday night at Chicagoland Speedway driving the No. 4 Cunningham Motorsports Dodge. While Martin was adjusting to ARCA RE/MAX Series speedway racing, the Warner Bros' movie Final Destination was debuting in theaters across the country. Last year Martin, the 2007 Late Model Track Champion at Mobile Int'l Speedway in Alabama, joined five other weekly racers as a stunt driver in the movie, which was partially filmed at Mobile.
In addition to his 2007 championship accolades at Mobile, Martin finished third in points in 2008 despite missing two races so that he and his family could evacuate their home in Louisiana as that state braced for a Hurricane. His next scheduled ARCA RE/MAX Series race is the Kansas Lottery 150 at Kansas Speedway on October 1. He plans to prepare for the race by participating in the ARCA Open Test at Kansas on Tuesday. In between his busy racing schedule, Martin attends the University of New Orleans where he is scheduled to graduate in December with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Joey Coulter Highest Finishing Rookie at Chicagoland
Joey Coulter finished sixth in the No. 16 Darrel Gwynn Foundation-Tempest Cycles Chevrolet to earn highest finishing rookie honors in the Ansell Cut Protection 150 at Chicagoland Speedway. With 15 of 21 ARCA RE/MAX Series races complete, Parker Kligerman leads the rookie of the year standings.
The ARCA RE/MAX Series is in the midst of a busy stretch of six races in four weeks that began at the Illinois State Fairgrounds on August 23. This week is particularly hectic for ARCA RE/MAX Series teams, with an ARCA Open Test at Kansas Speedway on Tuesday, September 1, the ARCA RE/MAX 200 presented by Federated and Belle Tire on Friday, September 4, and the Southern Illinois 100 at the DuQuoin State Fairgounds on Monday, September 7 (Labor Day).
Toledo ARCA History Impressive
The historic, half-mile high-banked Toledo Speedway is considered ARCA's hometown short track due to its close proximity to ARCA's home offices and current ownership group consisting of ARCA president Ron Drager and Toledo area businessman Roy Mott. The track has competed under the MARC/ARCA sanction for more than half of its 50 years. The track, conceived based on the popularity of nearby Toledo Raceway Park, saw its earliest beginnings in the late 1950s in a large tomato field on Benore Road owned by Herb Koester, who also owned the Monroe Asphalt Paving Company. Koester and associate Jim Bournes decided to replace the tomatoes with a dirt go-kart track, eventually paving the small oval in what is now the track's parking lot. Buoyed by his success and the interest generated, in 1960 Koester constructed a high-banked half-mile dirt oval. The track has seen several owners throughout the years, including Koester (1959-1977/John Marcum's ARCA served as track promoter during this time), Sonny Adams (1978-1998) and Ron Drager/Roy Mott (1999-present).
Frank Kimmel is the all-time ARCA RE/MAX Series race winner at Toledo Speedway with nine victories at the half-mile paved oval. The ARCA RE/MAX Series made its first appearance to Toledo in 1963 and in addition to Kimmel, former winners include Bobby Bowsher (five), Tom Bowsher (four), Bruce Gould (four), Ken Schrader (four), Dave Dayton (three), Iggy Katona (three), Benny Parsons (three), Bob Strait (three), Jack Bowsher (two), Moose Myers (two), Les Snow (two), Blaise Alexander, Justin Allgaier, Ken Butler III, Matt Carter, Jim Cushman, Joy Fair, Woody Fisher, Ed Hage, Andy Hampton, Ron Hutcherson, Bob Keselowski, Parker Kligerman, Larry LaMay, Michael McDowell, Howard Rose, Ramo Stott, Scott Stovall, Bill Venturini, Bobby Watson and Dave Weltmeyer.
A 1969 Holman Moody Ford Torino used by Benny Parsons to win the 1968 and 1969 ARCA Championships will be on display at Toledo Speedway on Friday, September 4 as part of the ARCA RE/MAX 200 presented by Federated and Belle Tire race weekend. The car, which looks exactly like it just pulled off the track in 1969, will be displayed in the concourse area and current owner Barry Miller will make a lap around the half-mile Toledo Speedway in the car during pre-race ceremonies.
Parsons holds the distinction of being the only driver who has won championships in both the ARCA RE/MAX Series and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Bowling for Bill
In conjunction with the ARCA RE/MAX 200 presented by Federated and Belle Tire at Toledo Speedway,there will be a charity fundraiser/bowling tournament on Thursday, September 3 from 7-9:30 p.m. at New Glass Bowl Lanes in Toledo, Ohio (5133 Telegraph Rd, Toledo, OH 43612). Several of the top-10 ARCA RE/MAX Series point contenders, including Parker Kligerman, Justin Lofton, Tom Hessert, Patrick Sheltra and Joey Coulter, plan to participate in the event. Toledo Walleye Hockey Coach Nick Vitucci will also be in attendance.
Cost is $10 per bowler and the event is designed to raise money for ARCA Chaplain Bill Krick of Focus Motorsports Ministries. Krick and his wife Diane travel to each ARCA RE/MAX Series race and provide support to drivers and teams throughout the year. Thursday's bowling tournament will include a raffle featuring various racing memorabilia and other prizes, including a 32 inch HD LCD TV compliments of Aaron's. To register, contact Jackie Franzil at ARCA (419-574-2685/ email@example.com). Individual and group (groups of five) bowling sign-up is available.
Nine-time ARCA RE/MAX Series Champion Frank Kimmel will sign autographs at Menards in Oregon, Ohio (3100 Brown Road, Oregon, Ohio 43616; phone 419-693-0799) on Thursday, September 3 from 4-6 p.m. and at the Menards in Holland, Ohio (7001 Orchard Centre Road, Holland, Ohio 43528; phone 419-865-1898) on Thursday from 7-9 p.m. His no. 44 Ansell-Menards Ford Fusion Show Car will also be on display at both locations.
Sponsor for New Jersey Race Announced
New Jersey Motorsports Park officials have announced that the September 13 ARCA RE/MAX Series race will be sponsored by 22 building and construction trade associations and be titled the South Jersey Building Trades 150. The race marks the ARCA RE/MAX Series' second appearance to the 2.6-mile road course.
Chicagoland: Tim George Jr race report
Chicagoland: Tom Hessert race report