Four-time Daytona winner Bobby Gerhart, who recently announced he would be returning to the RE/MAX Series tour in 2007 to compete for the championship, leads the way with a fleet of Chevy Monte Carlos en route.
Gerhart also announced he was taking six cars to the open test for five drivers. The drivers he named that will be testing under the Bobby Gerhart Racing banner include AJ Henriksen, 2006 NASCAR Grand National West champion Eric Holmes, Ohio late model racer Tony Marks and Brad Coleman. Coleman, the ARS winner at Kentucky Speedway over the summer, has recently been signed to a contract with Joe Gibbs Racing to compete in the Busch Series in 2007.
Gerhart, entering his 20th season of ARCA competition in 2007, also announced that Lucas Oil would return as title sponsor for 12 events. Gerhart also said the team would be soon announcing another sponsor that would serve as title sponsor for six events and associate sponsor for the entire tour. Gerhart will make that announcement at the Motorsports Race Car Show 2007 at the Atlantic City, New Jersey Convention Center January 12 through 14 where two of his Chevy Monte Carlos, each sporting a different sponsor, will be on display. One car will be in the Lucas Oil booth, and the other in the Pocono booth.
This weekend’s on-track activity marks the beginning of the 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series race season, which consists of 23 events in twelve states. In addition to Gerhart, Frank Kimmel, Steve Wallace, Billy Venturini, Erin Crocker, Josh Wise, Mario Gosselin and Matt Hagans are among those scheduled to turn laps around the 2.5-mile paved oval during the three-day test session.
Wise, the 2006 USAC National Sprint Car Series champion, is expected to test a Toyota Camry under the Eddie Sharp Racing/Michael Waltrip Racing banner.
ARCA/Daytona Connection More Than 40 Years Strong
The ARCA RE/MAX Series made it’s first appearance at Daytona International Speedway in 1964, signaling a major stepping stone to national recognition for the series, which was founded in 1953 as the Midwest Association for Race Cars. The format of the initial ARCA race at Daytona was patterned after NASCAR’s Daytona 500, with a pair of 50-lap qualifying races to determine the inside and outside rows of the main event, which was shortened to 250-laps for the ARCA RE/MAX Series race.
The race marked ARCA’s first ever superspeedway event, and the starting field included such recognizable names as Jack Bowsher, Ramo Stott, Danny Byrd, Nelson Stacy, Paul Clark, Jim Cushman, Ernie Derr, Eddie Myers, H.B. Bailey, Iggy Katona, Jack Shanklin, Paul Parks and race winner Earl Balmer.
Crocker, Theriault, Among Those Testing
Wilbraham, Massachusetts’s Erin Crocker and Bristol,
Connecticut’s Michelle Theriault are among those
scheduled to participate in this weekend’s ARCA
RE/MAX Series test session. While Theriault is new to
the ARCA RE/MAX Series, Crocker is a very familiar
face. Driving under the Evernham Racing banner,
Crocker has three career Pork Pole awards in ARCA
RE/MAX Series competition. In addition, the 24-year-old
driver has a pair of second place finishes, tying her with
Shawna Robinson as the highest-finishing females in
ARCA RE/MAX Series history.
Tentative Daytona Test Entries
NODRIVER 1Bill Catania 1Mark Swan 1Ted Olswfski 1John Graham 2Michael McDowell 3Jeremy Clements 4Tim Andrews 5Bobby Gerhart 6Dexter Bean 7AJ Henriksen 9Matt Hagans 11Bryan Silas 12Mario Gosselin 14Michael Faulk 19Kevin Wood 22Josh Wise 25Billy Venturini 27Dicky Williamson 29Brian Keselowski 30Terry Jones 34Darrell Basham 35Chuck Barnes, Jr. 37Michelle Theriault 37Damon Lusk 38Mike Harmon 46Frank Kimmel 48Roger Carter 50Chase Pistone 51Brandon Whitt 59Justin South 61Steve Wallace 64Josh Allison 65Justin Marks 66Tony Ave 72JR Heffner 74Josh Krug 75Billy Tanner 79Mike Koch 85Greg Barnhart 87Skip Cummins 89Chuck Maitlen 89Juan Penaruiz 95Benny Chastain 98Erin Crocker 00Ed Kennedy 05Ian Henderson 07Jason Basham Tony Marks Brent Cross David Green Chris Cockrum Patrick Sheltra Gerry Bruce Brian Weber George Brunnhoelzl Butch Jarvis James Roberson Brent Raymer Leilani Munter Joey McCarthy Scott Lagasse, Jr.