Merrell, Lofton, to lead off 34-car starting field TOLEDO, Ohio (May 16, 2009)- Win-Tron Racing, the Minnesota-based ARCA RE/MAX Series team that fielded cars for both of James Buescher's ARCA wins this season, will lead off a 34-car starting ...
Merrell, Lofton, to lead off 34-car starting field
TOLEDO, Ohio (May 16, 2009)- Win-Tron Racing, the Minnesota-based ARCA RE/MAX Series team that fielded cars for both of James Buescher's ARCA wins this season, will lead off a 34-car starting field at Toledo Speedway for Sunday's Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care with driver Matt Merrell at the helms.
The grid for Sunday's race was set by current ARCA RE/MAX Series Car Owner Points after Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell was cancelled due to intermittent rain showers throughout the area on Saturday afternoon.
"Matt is an awesome qualifier-he sat on the front row for 4 of the 12 USRA Pro Cup Races he entered last fall-so we really thought we would have been a contender for the pole," said Nate Thiesse, who owns Win-Tron racing along with Kevin Cywinski."The cancelled qualifying session worked out well last weekend for us at Kentucky when James [Buescher] won after starting on the pole and we are optimistic that Matt will be there at the end here at Toledo."
Justin Lofton, in Eddie Sharp Racing's No. 6 Lofton Cattle Toyota, will start on the outside front row. Sean Caisse (No. 25 Superseal Construction Products Chevrolet), Frank Kimmel (No. 44 Ansell-Menards Ford) and Patrick Sheltra (No. 60 Buffalo Wings & Rings Chevrolet), make up the rest of the top-five.
NASCAR veteran Ken Schrader will start 22nd in the No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Dodge. He was among the fastest competitors during an ARCA RE/MAX Series practice session on Saturday afternoon.
Paul Menard, who plans to travel to Toledo Speedway after Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Lowe's Motor Speedway, will start from the rear of the field in a No. 98 Johns Manville Ford Fusion. Fellow Menards driver Matt Crafton, fresh off a third place finish in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Friday night, participated in a 1.5-hour ARCA RE/MAX Series practice session at Toledo on Saturday in an attempt to help get the car ready for Paul for Sunday.
"This Johns Manville Ford Fusion has a lot of speed in it," said Crafton. "I thought the track had a couple different grooves in it but it turns out the only place to be is down low as close to the grass as you can get. We mainly worked on getting the car to handle in the corners. It drives off good, but it was really tight through the middle of the corner early. We worked on it and I really think we got it driving good by the end of practice. We want to give Paul (Menard) a shot at the win so we freed up the center and I think we got it pretty sporty at the end there. The No. 98 team should be good to go for tomorrow."
Frank Kimmel, the all-time winner at Toledo Speedway with nine career ARCA RE/MAX Series victories at the half-mile short track, posted a 16.265-second lap in the closing minutes of the practice session, surpassing Schrader for the fastest time of the day.
"Track position is key at Toledo because the corners are so tight and it's just a really small short track," said Kimmel. "So in addition to being on top of the board and really happy with our car in practice, we're glad to be starting up front for the Menards 200."
Kimmel and Schrader were followed by Justin Lofton, Parker Kligerman, Matt Crafton, Craig Goess, Chad Finley, Chris Buescher, Matt Merrell and Tom Hessert in the practice session.
The Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care rolls off at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Live timing and scoring and audio coverage of the Menards 200 race weekend will be available on arcaracing.com. Race fans who have an ARCA Nation account (free to join at www.arcanation.com) can watch live streaming video coverage of the race.