Record 57 ARCA RE/MAX Series Entries Head For Toledo's Hantz Group 200; Kimmel, Schrader, Gerhart, Blount, Jarrett, Miller Lead Parade TOLEDO OH (5-19-05) -- A record 57 top-notch ARCA RE/MAX Series teams, including NASCAR veteran Ken ...
Record 57 ARCA RE/MAX Series Entries Head For Toledo's Hantz Group 200; Kimmel, Schrader, Gerhart, Blount, Jarrett, Miller Lead Parade
TOLEDO OH (5-19-05) -- A record 57 top-notch ARCA RE/MAX Series teams, including NASCAR veteran Ken Schrader, are steering for Toledo Speedway for this Sunday's (May 22) Hantz Group 200 presented by Federated Car Care.
As a result, the competition promises to be at an all-time high as entrants compete for the 34 starting positions in the 200-lap contest.
Located just minutes from ARCA's Temperance, Michigan-based home office, Toledo Speedway has been the ARCA RE/MAX Series' hometown short track since 1963. And for more than 40 years, the half-mile paved oval has been a favorite stopping ground for numerous series competitors.
"Toledo has always been a favorite track of mine since the first time I raced there in 1988," said veteran Bobby Gerhart, who plans to enter his #5 Lucas Oil Chevrolet in Sunday's Hantz Group 200. "Toledo is one of the few short tracks that's extremely competitive, yet there's room to maneuver."
Although Gerhart has three wins at Daytona Int'l Speedway, he is still looking for that elusive Toledo Speedway victory.
"It's a lot of fun to race at Toledo," said Gerhart. "It's a very nostalgic racetrack; it has a long, long history."
In fact, Sunday's Hantz Group 200 will mark the 57th time that the RE/MAX Series has competed at the track, which is currently owned and operated by ARCA.
"We're always thrilled to have the ARCA RE/MAX Series visit Toledo Speedway," said ARCA President Ron Drager. "The track is rich in ARCA history."
Over the years, several drivers have enjoyed tremendous success at Toledo Speedway. Iggy Katona, Benny Parsons, Bruce Gould, Moose Myers, Bob Strait and Bobby Bowsher all have multiple wins at the track. Defending and six-time series champion Frank Kimmel has eight Toledo Speedway wins.
Although Kimmel's Tri-State Motorsports, Advance Auto Parts-Pork-sponsored team is currently spending tremendous time and energy working to strengthen their intermediate track program, Kimmel says that a win at Toledo is just as special as a win at any track on the tour.
"A win at Toledo to me is just as special as a win at an intermediate track or a superspeedway," Kimmel said.
"The very first place I ever raced at in an ARCA car was at Toledo Speedway," said Kimmel. "Our short track program has been really strong."
Other ARCA RE/MAX Series competitors put an equal amount of emphasis on winning at short tracks such as Toledo.
Chad Blount, who drove his #67 ML Motorsports Foretravel Motorhomes Chevrolet to a second-place finish in last Sunday's Harley-Davidson of Cincinnati 150 at Kentucky Speedway, spent Monday testing at Toledo.
"We're coming off of a good test yesterday," said Blount, who has raced at Toledo Speedway in everything from the ARCA RE/MAX Series to late models. "You want more than anything to be able to win on a short track because it shows that the race team is able to run on a variety of tracks, from superspeedways and intermediate tracks right down to short tracks."
Blount has already won two of four events (Nashville & Salem) this year and is currently third in points headed to Toledo behind Kimmel and rookie Joey Miller. Kimmel leads Miller in points by just 20.
The Hantz Group 200 at Toledo Speedway kicks off on Sunday, May 22 at 2:00pm. Tickets are available by calling the Toledo Speedway ticket office at (419) 727-1100. A full weekend schedule is available online at www.arcaracing.com.