ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship TBD at the Rock on Sunday Justin Lofton and Parker Kligerman are the only two drivers mathematically eligible to earn the 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship and just 15 points separate the two. Past precedence...
ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship TBD at the Rock on Sunday
Justin Lofton and Parker Kligerman are the only two drivers mathematically eligible to earn the 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship and just 15 points separate the two. Past precedence may be on point leader Lofton's side as there are only two times in the past 20 years in which the point leader heading into the final event of the ARCA RE/MAX Series Season failed to clinch the title.
The most recent example occurred just last season when the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship Points Standings came down to the last race of the year at Toledo Speedway. Five drivers entered Championship Weekend with a mathematical chance to earn the title with Eddie Sharp Racing's Scott Speed leading the standings by 90 points over Roush Fenway Racing's Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and 110 points over Just Allgaier. Speed was the point leader at the conclusion of the nine consecutive races leading into Toledo but finished fifth in the final point standings after a series of on-track altercations between Speed and Stenhouse eliminated both from contention. Meanwhile, Allgaier won the Toledo race, his sixth of the season, to earn the 2008 championship for his Illinois-based family team by 50 points over Frank Kimmel.
In 1989, Bob Brevak entered the final event of the year 15 points ahead of Bob Keselowski but lost the title by 65 to Keselowski. In 1995 Bobby Bowsher and Andy Hillenburg were tied in the point standings heading into the 19th and final event of the year at Salem Speedway and Hillenburg clinched the title by 45 points.
The 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship will be determined in the American 200 at Rockingham Speedway on Sunday, October 11, 2009. The race is on SPEED at 10 p.m. Eastern.
Close Final Point Championships
- Justin Allgaier over Frank Kimmel by 50 points in 2008
- Tim Steele over Frank Kimmel by 90 points in 1997
- Andy Hillenburg over Bobby Bowsher by 45 points in 1995
- Bobby Bowsher over Bob Keselowski by 40 points in 1992
- Bob Keselowski over Bob Brevak by 65 points in 1989
- Bob Dotter over Bill Venturini by 25 points in 1984
- Bob Dotter over Bill Venturini by 15 points in 1983
- Larry Moyer over Marvin Smith by 10 points in 1981
- Bob Dotter over Marvin Smith by 60 points in 1980
- Marvin Smith over Moose Myers by 60 points in 1979
- Marvin Smith over Delmar Clark by 35 points in 1978
- Dave Dayton over A. Arnold by 80 points in 1976
- Ron Hutcherson and Dave Dayton tied to form ARCA's only co-championship team in 1974
- Ramo Stott over Tom Bowsher by 30 points in 1971
- Benny Parsons over Les Snow by 20 points in 1968
- Iggy Katona over Nelson Stacy by 4.5 points in 1957
The largest points spread in the final championship standings occurred in 2001 when Frank Kimmel won the title over Jason Jarrett by 1,180 points.
Driver Performance: Rockingham
In their Last appearance at Rockingham Speedway, Justin Lofton finished 22nd in the No. 6 Lofton Cattle Toyota after starting fifth and Parker Kligerman finished fifth in the No. 77 Cunningham Motorsports Dodge after starting 19th. Lofton also competed with the ARCA RE/MAX Series at Rockingham Speedway in 2008 where he started third but finished 43rd after he was involved in a lap 63 accident.
History of the 25 Car
Venturini Motorsports has a history of success with the No. 25 car at Rockingham Speedway-winning the last two ARCA RE/MAX Series races at Rockingham with the same chassis. In April, Sean Caisse won in a Venturini Motorsports No. 25 and in May of 2008 Joey Logano won the ARCA race at Rockingham in a Venturini Motorsports No. 25, leading 257 of 312 laps and earning the pole award.
It's All About Making Good Decisions, Says Sharp
Veteran ARCA RE/MAX Series car owner Eddie Sharp, a former driver himself, has watched up-and-coming racecar drivers battle for championships the last three consecutive years-in 2007 with Michael McDowell, in 2008 with Scott Speed and this year with Justin Lofton. Sharp made a visit to the media center after the Kansas Lottery 150 on Thursday to discuss his driver development program in the ARCA RE/MAX Series and the 2009 Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge, which his team clinched this weekend. He also discussed his mentality heading into ARCA's Championship race:
"I'm telling Justin Lofton the same thing that I have told him all year," said Sharp. "Our philosophy this year is about making good decisions. We have the race team, we have the equipment, we have the driver. It's all there. It's just about making good decisions and when you do that it all comes together. I would almost rather be in this tight point race than a situation that has a little bit more of a cushion because you tend to get off your game when you have a large buffer. You tend to think that you can go there and just ride around. And that's not what got us here. Racing like we did at Kansas, and like we did at Salem, that's what got us here and that's what you have got to do. And if we walk out of Rockingham second in points and we gave it 100 percent-which we will-and we just got beat than that is the way it is. That's better than just trying to coast through it. That's just it. It's just another race and you just make good decisions."
Lofton has earned six wins, 14 top-5 finishes and 18 top-10 finishes for Eddie Sharp Racing this year.
A Glance Back: Rookie Champs
Point leader Justin Lofton is a second-year veteran of the ARCA RE/MAX Series but Parker Kligerman, who trails Lofton by a mere 15 points heading into championship weekend, is a first year ARCA competitor and currently leads the rookie of the year standings over Joey Coulter. A rookie has won the ARCA RE/MAX Series points championship only four times in the 57-year-old history of the tour: Larry Moyer in 1981, Tracy Leslie in 1988, Tim Steele in 1993 and Andy Hillenburg in 1995. Per the ARCA Rulebook, a rookie competitor cannot earn the championship and the rookie title in the same year.
Kimmel Winless in 2009
Veteran ARCA RE/MAX Series driver Frank Kimmel, the all-time active winner in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, remains winless in 2009. Kimmel has won at least one race each consecutive race season since 1996 including two seasons with a career-high ten race wins in a single season in 2002 and 2001. The last time Kimmel acquired just a single victory in a race season was 1997. Overall, Kimmel has 74 career wins and is just five wins shy of tying Iggy Katona as the winningest driver in ARCA RE/MAX Series history. He has not made a trip to victory lane since Salem last year.
PK in P1
In just his career first NASCAR Nationwide Series attempt, ARCA RE/MAX Series rookie Parker Kligerman earned the pole award at Kansas Speedway on Saturday afternoon. The Penske Development driver, who entered Kansas with no previous Nationwide Series experience under race or test conditions, finished the 300-mile race on the lead lap and led several laps in the beginning of the event, finishing 16th. Fellow fulltime ARCA RE/MAX Series competitor Patrick Sheltra also competed in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this weekend, finishing 37th after an early race incident.
ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookie of the Year contender Tim George Jr. also pulled double duty this weekend. The experienced road course racer traveled from Kansas Speedway to Virginia Int'l raceway to compete in the Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge, finishing 11th in a Rehagen Racing Ford Mustang GT.
Sharp, Lofton 2009 Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge Champions
Eddie Sharp Racing and driver Justin Lofton won the 2009 Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge Championship over Kimmel Racing and driver Frank Kimmel this past week at Kansas Speedway. The Kansas Lottery 150 marked the ninth and final race in the Challenge, which is a separate $75,000 total point fund within the ARCA RE/MAX Series designed to test a driver's ability on tracks greater than one mile in length. This year's Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge included race events at Daytona Int'l Speedway (Feb. 6), Talladega Superspeedway (April 24), Kentucky Speedway (May 9 and July 18), Pocono Raceway (June 6 and August 1), Michigan Int'l Speedway (June 12), Chicagoland Speedway (August 28) and Kansas Speedway (October 1).
Kligerman Bill France Four Crown Champion
Parker Kligerman clinched the 2009 Bill France Four Crown this past week at Kansas Speedway. The Bill France Four 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 7), a road course (The South Jersey Building Trades 150 at New Jersey Motorsports Park, September 13), a short track (The Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA Fall Classic at Salem Speedway, September 19) and a speedway (The Kansas Lottery 150 at Kansas Speedway, October 1).
In previous years, the Bill France Four Crown Series consisted of three diverse races on the schedule and was known as the Bill France Triple Crown. The Series has honored a Bill France Champion at the Championship Awards Banquet each consecutive season since 1984.