Short-tracks, Dirt-Tracks & Superspeedways Up Next TOLEDO OH (8-4-06) -- The ARCA RE/MAX Series, in its 54th consecutive year, is having one of its most competitive seasons in history. From tight point battles to different winners, there's ...
Short-tracks, Dirt-Tracks & Superspeedways Up Next
TOLEDO OH (8-4-06) -- The ARCA RE/MAX Series, in its 54th consecutive year, is having one of its most competitive seasons in history. From tight point battles to different winners, there's a lot to talk about from ARCAville while the series prepares for a very busy late-summer surge that takes the tour to a unique combination of short-tracks, dirt-tracks and major league superspeedways.
With 13 races in the books, there have been 11 different winners in 2006 including seven first-time winners. In fact, seven-time series champion and current point leader Frank Kimmel is the only repeat winner so far with victories at Winchester Speedway, Kansas Speedway and Pocono Raceway. First-time winners include Stephen Leicht at Nashville, Billy Venturini at Salem, Brad Coleman at Kentucky, Brad Keselowski at Berlin, David Stremme at Michigan, Chase Miller at Pocono and most recently Cale Gale at Gateway.
Headed to Nashville Superspeedway for the ARCA RE/MAX 200 on Saturday, August 12th, Kimmel leads four-time Daytona winner Bobby Gerhart by 60 markers in national championship points. Kimmel also leads Gerhart in Superspeedway Challenge points; however, the gap is even closer in the superspeedway category with just 10 points separating the two veterans.
The race for ARCA Rookie of the Year is even closer with 18-year-old Lowell, Arkansas rookie Ryan Foster leading the charge by just 4 points over Ryan Howard and Brett Rowe, who are tied for second. Foster is a teammate to Kimmel in 2006.
The ARCA RE/MAX 200 at Nashville is the sixth race of a grueling 13-race stretch (in 11 weeks) that began at Kansas on July 1 and ends on the Salem Speedway short-track September 16. In between is a unique combination of short-tracks, on both dirt and pavement, and superspeedways. The event at Michigan Int'l Speedway on Friday afternoon, August 18 is followed by the annual Allen Crowe Memorial 100 on the mile-dirt at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield just two days later on Sunday afternoon, August 20.
The aforementioned grueling stretch also includes the Bill France Triple Crown, a separate point fund for 3 very diverse tracks (Toledo short-track, DuQuoin mile-dirt & Chicagoland Superspeedway) all in the space of 9 days. Kimmel is the all-time Bill France Triple Crown winner with four Triple Crown titles. Other Triple Crown champions include Tim Steele, Bob Keselowski, Bobby Bowsher, Tracy Leslie, Lee Raymond, Grant Adcox and Davey Allison.
Frank Kimmel is the all-time modern-day dirt-track winner having won nine of the last 12 dirt-track races between Springfield and DuQuoin. Kimmel is also the all-time Springfield lap-leader (420 in 8 races) since the renowned central-Illinois fairgrounds track started hosting stock car events in 1950. Dean Roper is next in the Springfield lap-leader category with 333 followed by Don White with 330. Kimmel has also won four of the last five races at Springfield including a record four consecutive from 2000 through 2003.
Kimmel's DuQuoin stats are equally impressive with victories in four of the last five events there. Only Tony Stewart's victory at DuQuoin in 2003 prevented Kimmel from winning five consecutive. Ken Schrader has filed an entry for this year's Southern Illinois 100 at DuQuoin.
The ARCA RE/MAX Series tested at Michigan Int'l Speedway on Thursday, August 3 in preparation for the upcoming Hantz Group 200 on Friday, August 12. Rookie Joey Logano unofficially posted the quickest laps with a time of 39.600 seconds around the 2-mile Michigan oval, a speed of 181.818 mph. The open test was the ninth open test of the year for ARCA RE/MAX Series teams. In addition to serving as pre-race preparation, the tests also allow series officials to evaluate rookie superspeedway drivers looking to gain clearance to race on superspeedways in ARCA RE/MAX Series competition.
The brand new Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa is nearing completion, so much so that Hoosier Racing Tire is conducting a two-day test session on Monday and Tuesday, August 7 and 8. Frank Kimmel is scheduled for the test. The ARCA RE/MAX Series will conclude the 2006 season at Iowa on October 15.
The fourth Annual Women in the Winner's Circle went off without a hitch Thursday, August 3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. ARCA PR reps' Don Radebaugh and Jackie Franzil attended the event hosted by veteran racer Lyn St. James, of the Lyn St. James Foundation. One year ago, ARCA co-founder Mildred Marcum, at 92 years young, received the first ever Pioneer Award, which was duly named thereafter in her honor. The 2006 recipient of the Mildred Marcum Pioneer Award was the late Barbara Parks, who co-founded the NHRA alongside her husband Wally Parks.