The ARCA RE/MAX Series takes center stage over the famed Gateway Arch Friday at Gateway International Raceway in preparation for the 18th event on the 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule, the Gateway ARCA 150. This morning into early afternoon, over...
The ARCA RE/MAX Series takes center stage over the famed Gateway Arch Friday at Gateway International Raceway in preparation for the 18th event on the 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule, the Gateway ARCA 150. This morning into early afternoon, over 40 teams participated in the lone practice session in preparation for ARCA SIM Factory Pole qualifying set for later this afternoon. Following qualifying, the anticipated 41-car field will be impounded in preparation for the only Friday night short track race under the lights. Teams battled warm temperatures during practice but will enjoy cooler conditions when the race waives shortly after 8:00pm local time
Here is what some of the drivers are saying from the practice session.
MICHAEL ANNETT, NO. 32 TMC TRANSPORATION DODGE INTREPID
Fresh off an American Speed Association (ASA) Late Model event last weekend at The Milwaukee Mile, Michael Annett returns to the ARCA RE/MAX Series behind the wheel of the No. 32 TMC Transportation Dodge Charger.
Last year Country Joe Racing finished sixth after starting ninth with driver Blake Bjorklund aboard. In 2005, the organization won the event after delivering a second place qualifying effort with ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookie-of-the-Year driver Joey Miller.
Annett will make his third ARS start for CJR this season. In his previous two outings, Annett scored the ARCA SIM Factory pole award at Iowa Speedway before finishing a very stout third.
Earlier this month, Annett made his ARS speedway debut at Nashville Superspeedway. After qualifying third, Annett persevered throughout the event to turn in a very respectable eighth.
Now Annett returns to the short tracks and will make his ARCA RE/MAX Series debut at Gateway International Raceway.
Following Gateway, Annett will return to the wheel of the No. 32 at Chicagoland on September 8 for the Chicagoland ARCA 200.
When not competing in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, Annett is showing strong results in the ASA Late Model Challenge Series driving the TMC Transportation entry.
Country Joe Racing sits seventh in the 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series car owner standings entering Gateway. The organization, who has fielded a car for a number of drivers this season, is 205 markers from sixth place controlled by car owner Clarence Brewer (No. 47). The team jumped a spot from last week, passing car owner Grace Sheltra (No. 60).
During the practice session today, Annett mounted the second quickest lap racking in a time of 33.739 seconds at 133.377 MPH.
Annett drew the 20th position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"The car is great. We unloaded off the truck very strong, so I am not surprised by our efforts. I can't say enough about this Country Joe Racing team. Every time I climb in their car, we always quick. We're going to tweak the car for qualifying and I really think we can claim our second ARCA SIM Factory pole award this afternoon. We dabbled with race runs too and the car responded very well, I'm looking forward to the race."
DEXTER BEAN, NO. 6 FIVE STAR TELECOM CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO SS
Dexter Bean, a sophomore driver on the ARCA RE/MAX Series tour posted the fifth fastest lap with a time of 33.942 seconds at 132.579 MPH.
The Westby, Wisconsin native enters Gateway International Raceway after netting an eighth place finish at his home track, The Milwaukee Mile last Sunday. The previous week, Bean finished fifth on the dirt at Springfield. The result was a personal best for Bean in three previous dirt track starts.
With his superb finish last weekend, Bean tallied another top-10 finish to his season, accumulating his ninth top-10 in 17 races so far this season.
Bean is on a stretch of four consecutive top-10 efforts (Nashville Superspeedway, Pocono Raceway, Illinois State Fairgrounds and The Milwaukee Mile.)
Entering the 17th race of the season, Bean trails second place Michael McDowell by 150 markers and 245 points from the top spot currently held by reining ARCA champion Frank Kimmel.
The BlackJack Racing team has brought the same Chevrolet Monte Carlo the team competed with at Nashville Superspeedway earlier this month. It is also the same automobile that Bean grabbed his career best ARS finish of second at Pocono Raceway in June.
Bean drew the 29th position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"The car is real good. We kept working on the car from the start of practice and the last run we went out the car really came to life. I'm proud of all the hard work the BlackJack guys have done and we're looking forward to the rest of the day."
DOMINICK CASOLA, NO. 1 A. CASOLA FARMS FORD FUSION
For ARCA RE/MAX Series Dominick Casola, Friday night's opportunity at Gateway International Raceway provides another opportunity to put himself in the top-10.
Casola, the Holmdel, New Jersey native enters Friday's activities after spending Thursday sightseeing around Illinois.
For the fourth time this season, Dominick Casola will race on Friday night. The previous three races on the 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule have consisted of tracks 1.5-mile or higher, thus making Friday's fight the first and only short track event to be held on Friday night.
Crew Chief Andy Belmont has elected to bring Casola "Nina" to Gateway International Raceway this weekend. This is the same Ford Fusion that Casola piloted at Pocono Raceway and Nashville Superspeedway earlier this month. It is also the same automobile that Casola netted his first career top-10 finish at Pocono Raceway.
The Holmdel, New Jersey is also scheduled to pilot this chassis at Chicagoland Speedway next Saturday in the Chicagoland ARCA 200. The team's backup machine is nicknamed "Big Bird".
Competing in 16 of the 17 races on the 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule, Casola sits 16th in the championship standings. 70 points separate Casola from overtaking the 15th position controlled by Jason Hedlesky. Casola only sits 100 points from moving into 14th held by veteran Mike Harmon.
The team is carrying sponsorship from A. Casola Farms, a family-owned business based out of New Jersey.
In practice today, Casola turned a time of 35.221 seconds at 127.765 MPH putting him 25th on the practice rundown overall.
Casola drew the second position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"I'm very comfortable. Andy Belmont and the guys did a great job again setting up our A. Casola Farms Ford Fusion. We're going to make some adjustments and I think they will pay off for the race in qualifying and the race. The track seems like a lot of fun, so the fans are really in for a treat tonight."
MIKE HARMON, NO. 38 SOLERA SPA-THE WESTIN, ST. LOUIS
CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO SS
Harmon, a veteran on the ARCA RE/MAX Series tour enters Gateway International Speedway looking to make his 89th career start at a track where Harmon loves.
The Richardson-Netzloff-Harmon Racing team looks to bounce back from a very stout run last weekend at The Milwaukee Mile. During the course of the Governor's Cup 200, Harmon blasted his way to the front to take the lead for 11 laps before being relegated to the garage with engine problems.
Richardson-Netzloff-Harmon Racing is running two cars this weekend at Gateway International Raceway. In addition to the normal No. 38, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Ricky Gonzalez will drive the team's No. 94 entry.
The team is looking for sponsorship for the remainder of the 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series season.
**NOTE:** Richardson-Netzloff-Racing lost their primary motor during practice today. The team is swapping out engines in preparation for ARCA SIM Factory pole qualifying this afternoon.
In practice today, he posted the 38th fastest time with a time of 41.007 seconds at 109.737 MPH.
Harmon drew the ninth position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"We're really disappointed. We thought we had the motor problem fixed and it turned out not to be. We're not quitters. We're going to put the backup motor in and really hope for the best."
CARL LONG, NO. 48 FREEFEDS.ORG DODGE CHARGER
Veteran NASCAR driver Carl Long will make his 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series debut at Gateway International Raceway Friday evening.
Long takes the helm from Dustin Delaney who is unable to participate in the Gateway ARCA 150 due to his age. Delaney will return to the seat on Monday at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds.
Crew chief is Motorsports veteran Jonathan Sykes.
The Free Feds Foundation (FreeFeds.org) will sponsor Long for Friday's 18th event on the 2007 schedule.
FreeFeds.org's sole purpose is to gain public support for adding parole for non-violent, non repeat offenders to the federal prison system. They are of the belief that the federal justice system is in need of a total reform. The organization, however, is mainly interested in working toward adding a system of parole for non-violent offenders as part of that overall reform.
In addition to FreeFeds.org, Explore America, The Idaho Observer, RVrentToGo.com, 100fold.net, and Accelerating Developments International (ADI) will join the team's effort in the sixth RE/MAX Series event held at Gateway International Raceway.
Carl Long joins Roger Carter II, Nick Tucker, Dan Brode, Rance Hume, James Hylton and Dustin Delaney as drivers of the No. 48 machine this season.
In practice today, he posted the 24th fastest time with a time of 35.020 seconds at 128.498 MPH.
Long drew the 10th position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"Our FreeFeds.org Dodge is pretty decent. We've been able to make changes on the car and it responded well. We still have a little more on the table. This team needs a good run after last weekend and it's my intent to do everything I can to make that happen."
JULIEN PENARUIZ, NO. 93 RED OIL JEANS-CATCHIT CAM
CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO
Paris France's Julien Penaruiz (pronounced Pen-Da-Ruse) is scheduled to make his ARCA RE/MAX Series debut at Gateway International Speedway tonight.
Penaruiz qualified himself for the Governor's Cup 200 last weekend at The Milwaukee Mile, but engine problems forced the team to withdraw from the event before the green flag flew.
Driving the No. 93 for K&B Motorsports, Penaruiz will utilize several of the remaining events on the 2007 schedule to prepare himself for a much broader racing schedule next year.
Carrying sponsorship from France's Red Oil Jeans, Penaruiz looks to increase the company's intent to move their production line to the United States.
With a background in the Formula-A & Campus Series, this weekend's ARS event sounds as the first opportunity for Penaruiz to make a name for himself in the United States.
When not racing, the 30-year old is a frequent stunt man in California.
In practice today, he posted the 36th fastest time with a time of 38.611 seconds at 116.547 MPH.
Penarulz drew the 38th position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"Timing is everything. We had a late start to practice but we were able to rebound nicely. We're going to try some things for qualifying and see if they work. Tonight's race is pretty crucial for me and I really want to make the best of it. A nice clean and solid run is all that we're looking for in my ARCA debut."
PATRICK SHELTRA, NO. 60 CP CONCRETE PRODUCTS, US CONSTRUCTION, FLORAGANICS-BRADY RANCH CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO SS
Patrick Sheltra comes to Gateway International Speedway looking to redeem himself from a disappointing finish at The Milwaukee Mile last Sunday. After running in the top-10 early, the motor went south in the Sheltra Motorsports machine knocking the Floridian from ARCA competition.
Entering GIR, Sheltra looks to rekindle the magic from his career-best third place finish at Illinois State Fairgrounds two weeks ago. The ARCA RE/MAX Series rookie knows he can do it again under the lights tonight.
Despite only competing 16 of the possible 17 races this season, the Florida native currently sits sixth in the championship standings inching in on fellow rookie Phillip McGilton.
Patrick Sheltra will make his 19th career ARCA RE/MAX Series start on Saturday. In his previous 18 starts, Sheltra has collected two top-fives at Berlin Raceway (July 2007) and Illinois State Fairgrounds (August 2007) while holding an additional top-10 at Kentucky Speedway in June.
Sheltra's crew chief John Hayden is a former ARCA RE/MAX Series driver with 10 starts to his credit. Hayden holds a career best finish of third at Nashville Superspeedway in 2002 as his personal best effort.
In practice, the Florida native maneuvered a time of 34.858 seconds equaling a speed of 129.095 MPH positioning himself 23rd on the charts.
Sheltra drew the 21st position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"We're a little disappointed in the time, but we know we'll pick it up in qualifying. We tackled a lot of issues such as gear and chassis changes in practice, but we're setting the car up for tonight, when it really counts. Our goal heading into qualifying is to put a good lap that will start us in the top-15. We need to rebound a little bit from last weekend and there's no doubt in my mind that our Sheltra Motorsports team will be able to conquer that."
BRYAN SILAS, NO. 11 NORTRAX, SHELL ROTELLA T, HOLLAND PUMP,
PALM BEACH GRADING (PBG) CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO
Bryan Silas will make his inaugural debut at Gateway International Raceway Friday night. For the 11th different time this season, Silas will make his first start at a track he hasn't seen before.
Silas heads to Gateway looking to redeem himself from another race that showed extreme potential but ended in disappointment. After running strong in the top-five, a flat tire inside 25 laps to go pinched the driver to finish in the 13th position.
Heading into Gateway, Silas has 23 ARCA RE/MAX Series starts to his credit with a career best finish of eighth at Salem Speedway (April 2007) and Kentucky Speedway (July 2007) while holding an additional top-10 performance at USA International Speedway (March 2007). He holds a career best short track time trials effort of seventh at Berlin Raceway (July 2007). A fourth place qualifying effort at Pocono Raceway (June 2007) is Silas's best speedway run to date. He has controlled the ARCA field for 15 laps in one race.
Driving for two-time ARS champion Andy Hillenburg, Silas sits ninth in the championship standings heading into the 18th race of the season.
Following Gateway, Silas will head to DuQuoin State Fairgrounds to make his second career dirt track start in the ARCA RE/MAX Series on Labor Day (Monday).
Silas, a native of Stuart, Florida posted the 15th fastest time with an effort of 34.303 seconds equaling a speed of 131.184 MPH.
Silas drew the 19th position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"We're good. We still have some left on the table. I tell you this team keeps getting better and better each week. Our final time out was our fastest and we still have more to show. I'm really proud of everyone for their hard work and I'm looking forward to the rest of today's activities."
BILLY TANNER, NO. 07 CHEAPCARIBBEAN.COM CHEVROLET
MONTE CARLO SS
For the second consecutive week, Billy Tanner showed extreme potential in the ARCA RE/MAX Series. After running in the top-12 and studying his prey to move into the top-10, the motor seized in the No. 07 Chevrolet Monte Carlo putting the Stott Classic Racing team out of the Governor's Cup 200.
Driving for Stott Classic Racing and car owner Corrie Stott, Tanner will make his 11th career start in the ARCA RE/MAX Series tonight.
Following Gateway, Tanner plans to run in the ARCA RE/MAX Series events at Chicagoland Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway and the season finale at Toledo Speedway.
Tanner's No. 07 entry is sponsored by CheapCaribbean.com. CheapCaribbean.com is owned by COMM Group, Inc (Customer Oriented Marketing and Management Group) which provides wholesale and direct to consumer distribution of vacation packages, resort reservations, and cruises worldwide to Bermuda, the Caribbean, and Mexico, servicing over 250,000 passengers per year.
In practice, the Pennsylvania native maneuvered a time of 36.964 seconds equaling a speed of 121.740 MPH positioning himself 30th on the charts.
Tanner drew the fifth position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"Don't let that time fool you. We are going to be a lot better than that. Corrie, my crew chief set a baseline setup from last year for today's practice. We usually qualify and race a lot better than what we practice. We didn't make a qualifying run either so you have to account that too. I'm not worried, the team has been showing great potential lately and tonight will be another example."
MICHELLE THERIAULT, NO. 37 GLOCK CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO SS
NASCAR Busch East Series (NBES) rookie Michelle Theriault plans to make her fourth career ARCA RE/MAX Series start Friday night at Gateway International Raceway.
In addition to running the full NBES schedule, Theriault and her Spraker Racing Enterprises team will make at least six ARCA starts this season.
The team has made three starts already this season at USA International Speedway, Kentucky Speedway and Nashville Superspeedway. Theriault has impressed many with her stout qualifying efforts, while the results haven't been as successful, the female sensation is hoping to put a period on that stat tonight.
Spraker Racing Enterprises has also been handling Theriault's NBES program.
Theriault is one of three females entered for Friday's Gateway ARCA 150. In addition to Theriault, Gabi DiCarlo (No. 90) and Erin Crocker (No. 98) are scheduled to start Friday night's race.
Theriault is a veteran of the USAR Hooter's Pro Cup Series. Theriault became the first woman in history to ever qualify for the series coveted championship playoffs.
Car owner Jeff Spraker will serve as Theriault's spotter and coach in tonight's event.
In practice, she maneuvered a time of 34.809 seconds equaling a speed of 129.277 MPH positioning herself 22nd on the charts.
Theriault drew the 17th position for SIM Factory pole qualifying set for later this afternoon.
"We'll take that. We didn't test here, so it took me a couple laps to figure out the track and come up to speed. We kept adjusting on the car throughout practice and our times improved considerably. My goal for qualifying is to put ourselves in the top-15. Once we qualify, we'll focus on the race. I want to thank everyone on the Spraker Racing Enterprises team and my sponsor GLOCK for this opportunity."
-credit: chris knight