ARCA RE/MAX Series Set To Open 2005 Kentucky Speedway Schedule
ARCA RE/MAX Series points leader Frank Kimmel, second-place driver Joey Miller and third-place driver Ken Weaver were among 36 ARCA RE/MAX Series teams testing at Kentucky Speedway today in preparation for the May 14 "Harley-Davidson of Cincinnati 150."
Kimmel, who earned his fifth straight and sixth series title to tie ARCA legend Iggy Katona for the all-time championship lead last season, worked in the race trim that he hopes will help his No. 46 Advance Auto Parts/Pork Producers Ford enter Victory Lane in Kentucky for a fourth time.
Through nine series starts at the track, Kimmel has engineered three wins, six top-five and seven top-10 finishes. That resume also includes a track record three pole awards and two second-place performances. He rebounded from his worst Kentucky finish of 20th last May with a fifth-place performance in the rain- shortened July event at the track.
He will enter "The Harley-Davidson of Cincinnati 150" with a five-point lead over Miller and an improved superspeedway program. Those improvements shown through in the morning portion of the test when he laid down the second-fastest lap in 31.620 seconds (170.778 mph).
"We've really stepped up our superspeedway program," he said. "Back two, three, four years ago when we were winning on the speedways as much as we were on the short tracks, our speedway program was no where near as good as it is today, or last year for that matter. It shows you how much the competition in the ARCA RE/MAX Series has stepped up. At any of the speedways these days, you're running against the top teams in NASCAR - Hendrick Motorsports, Ganassi Racing, Roush, Evernham Motorsports. It's just so hard to win on a speedway anymore considering the level of competition. With that in mind, we're proud of our Kentucky Speedway record. We've won three and feel we're good enough to make it four."
Miller, who drove to seventh- and 33rd-place American Speed Association finishes at Kentucky Speedway last season, will look to continue his ARCA superspeedway success in "The Harley-Davidson of Cincinnati 150." He was fourth quickest in the morning session with a 31.970-second lap (168.908 mph).
"We were able to take an ARCA win at Nashville last season and finished second there this year," Miller said. "We ran well here in ASA last year and, with today's test going well, I think we have enough to run up front next week."
Weaver, who trails Kimmel by 70 points, said he will apply the track knowledge he gained in the 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at the track in next week's 150-mile affair. Weaver was 16th in the morning session after turning his best lap in 32.770 seconds (164.785 mph).
"Longer, faster tracks just seem to suit my driving style," said Weaver, who finished 26th in the July truck race. "You can really drive a truck into the corners here because you have more braking power and different aerodynamics. In the RE/MAX Series car, you have to pedal it in a little bit and really get off the corner taller." Stuart Kirby, of Bowling Green, Ky., led the morning session with a fast lap of 31.440 seconds (171.756 mph).
Season and single event tickets for all Kentucky Speedway events, including the July 30 "Jammin' in the Bluegrass Presented by Meijer" concert featuring Tim McGraw, Trick Pony and Billy Dean, are on sale now. Tickets can be reserved by phone at 888-652-RACE (7223), online at http://www.kentuckyspeedway.com and http://www.tickets.com, through Tickets.com outlets including Meijer stores, and at Kentucky Speedway ticket offices at 2216 Dixie Hwy., Ste. 200, in Ft. Mitchell, Ky., and the speedway Fan Center outside the track in Sparta, Ky.
~ Kentucky Speedway ~