Sharp, Speed Win 2008 Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge Championship TALLADEGA AL (10-5-08)--Veteran ARCA RE/MAX Series car owner Eddie Sharp and driver Scott Speed clinched their career first Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge Championship...
Sharp, Speed Win 2008 Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge Championship
TALLADEGA AL (10-5-08)--Veteran ARCA RE/MAX Series car owner Eddie Sharp and driver Scott Speed clinched their career first Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge Championship for the No. 2 Red Bull Toyota team at Talladega Superspeedway this weekend.
The Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge is a $75,000 total point fund for races on speedway ovals greater than one mile in length and included ten races in the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series. With the exception of a 39th place finish at the ARCA 200 at Daytona in February and a 23rd place finish in Friday's ARCA RE/MAX 250 at Talladega Superspeedway, Speed's worst speedway finish in the ARCA RE/MAX Series this year was a fourth place finish at Michigan Int'l Speedway in June. He earned top-five finishes in eight of the ten superspeedway challenge events this season, including three wins (Kansas Speedway in April, Kentucky Speedway in July and Nashville Superspeedway in August), three runner-up finishes (Kentucky Speedway in May, Pocono Raceway in June and July) and one third-place finish (Chicagoland Speedway in September).
Sharp, a veteran car owner in the ARCA RE/MAX Series and a former racecar driver himself, currently fields three full time teams in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with Speed in the No. 2 Red Bull Toyota, Justin Lofton in the No. 20 Lofton Cattle Dodge and Ken Butler, III in the No. 22 Aaron's Lucky Dog Dream Machine Toyota. Heading into this year's ARCA RE/MAX 250 at Talladega, three teams were mathematically eligible to clinch the year-end award, including Sharp's No. 2 and No. 22 teams and the No. 99 Aflac Ford driven by Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and owned by Jack Roush.
Superspeedway Challenge Championship points are awarded to car owners based on race points, with the winner of a Superspeedway Challenge race earning 200 points and points decreasing in increments of five. Speed's 23rd place finish at Talladega was higher than Stenhouse's 28th place finish and Butler's 36th place finish. All three drivers were involved in separate incidents during the 94 lap/250-mile race, which was slowed by seven cautions.
Sharp and Speed join an accomplished list of competitors who have earned the Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge Championship. Last season, ARCA RE/MAX Series car owner Ray Evernham and driver Erin Crocker earned Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge honors, marking the first time that a female driver has earned the award. Car Owner Larry Clement is a five-time Superspeedway Challenge Champion with driver Frank Kimmel (1998, '01, '03, '05, '06). Other winners include Davey Allison ('84, '85), Lee Raymond ('86), Bill Venturini ('87, '91), Tracy Leslie ('88), Ben Hess ('89), Bob Brevak ('90), Bob Keselowski ('92), Jeff Purvis ('93, '94), Mike Wallace ('95), Tim Steele ('96), Mark Gibson ('97), Chad Blount ('02), Bobby Gerhart ('04), Blake Feese ('04) and Kyle Krisiloff ('04).
The ARCA RE/MAX Series has recognized a superspeedway challenge champion each consecutive year since 1984. Sharp and Speed will formally accept the 2008 Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge Championship at the ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship Awards Banquet at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in December. Speed currently leads the ARCA RE/MAX Series point standings by 85 points over Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. with one race remaining in the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series--the Hantz Group 200 presented by Belle Tire and Federated Car Care at Toledo Speedway.