ARCA Town: News From Around the ARCA World
The Season is Ready to Wrap Up at The
Rock... After a Champion is Crowned
Compiled From ARCA Series, Track and Team Reports

ARCA Title Contenders Lofton, Kligerman by the Numbers Headed to the "Rock"

With just one race remaining, the ARCA RE/MAX Series championship has come down to the final race of the season this Sunday at Rockingham Speedway where the American 200 takes center stage.

It's hard to imagine that after 20 events there are just 15 points that separate point leader Justin Lofton and rookie Parker Kligerman.

By the numbers, Kligerman leads with a season-high eight wins to Lofton's six. Kligerman also has a better average finish - 5.2 to Lofton's 5.3.

However, in two other key categories - poles and laps-led - Lofton leads. And both categories award championship points. In the case of poles (15 for 1st, 10 for 2nd & 5 for 3rd), Lofton has the clear advantage with a season-high five Menards Pole Awards whereas Kligerman has none. Ironically, Kligerman earned the pole Saturday in his career-first Nationwide Series attempt at Kansas.

Lofton also leads in the lap-leader category which pays five points to any driver who leads a lap and five additional points to the driver who leads the most laps. Lofton has led 1005 laps in 15 races. Kligerman has led 659 laps in 14 races.

After all that, and all the variables that go with it, it comes down to a duel on a high-banked, historic mile oval in Rockingham, North Carolina where the series will crown its national champion in dramatic fashion this Sunday. As close as it is, it could come down to a lap led or tick of the clock in qualifying. However, it goes down, you'll need to follow all the action from start to finish to keep up with this one.

Coverage of Championship Weekend at Rockingham will be featured in live streaming audio at ARCAracing.com. In addition to live timing and scoring, live steaming audio coverage begins Saturday afternoon, October 10th with practice from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM followed by Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell at 2:30.

The Sunday afternoon American 200, scheduled for 1:00 PM, will also feature live streaming audio coverage at ARCAracing.com.

The American 200 will also air same-day on SPEED at 10:00 PM.

For more information about the Carolina ARCA RE/MAX 200 or to order tickets, please contact the speedway at (910) 205-8800 or visit the website at www.rockinghamspeedway.com.

Sharp, Lofton Win 2009 Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge Championship

Car Owner Jessica Sharp, Driver Justin Lofton and the No. 6 Eddie Sharp Racing Lofton Cattle Toyota Team clinched the 2009 Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge with their second-place finish at Kansas Speedway on Thursday.

The Superspeedway Challenge, which is a separate $75,000 point fund for races on speedway ovals greater than one mile in length, kicked off with the Lucas Oil Slick Mist ARCA 200 at Daytona on February 7. Other superspeedway challenge events on the 2009 schedule include Talladega Superspeedway (April 24), Kentucky Speedway (May 9 and July 18), Pocono Raceway (June 6 and August 1), Michigan Int'l Speedway (June 12), Chicagoland Speedway (August 28) and Kansas Speedway (October 1).

With the exception of a 30th-place finish at Michigan Int'l Speedway in June, Lofton has not finished worse than eighth on a speedway in 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series competition. The superspeedway portion of his 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series season included wins at Talladega and Chicagoland, second-place finishes at Kentucky and Pocono, a third place finish at Kentucky in July, a sixth-place finish at Pocono in August and an eighth-place finish at Daytona.

Superspeedway Challenge 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.

Heading into Thursday's Kansas Lottery 150, the ninth and final race in the 2009 Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge, Eddie Sharp Racing led the standings with driver Justin Lofton over Kimmel racing with driver Frank Kimmel and Win-Tron Racing, who has utilized drivers James Buescher, Kelly Bires, Matt Merrell, Brad Reithmeyer and Beau Slocum on speedway races in 2009.

Sharp and Lofton join an accomplished list of competitors who have earned the Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge Championship. Last season, Eddie Sharp earned Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge honors with driver Scott Speed. In 2007 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 Lofton will formally accept the 2009 Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge Championship at the ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship Awards Banquet at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in December.

Lofton currently leads the ARCA RE/MAX Series point standings by 15 points over Parker Kligerman with one race remaining in the 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series-the American 200 at Rockingham Speedway on Sunday, October, 11. The race rolls off at 1 p.m. and airs on SPEED at 10 p.m.

No Bull: Patrick Sheltra Pinked Out For Rockingham

If you see Patrick Sheltra or his No. 60 Buffalo Wings & Rings-Kimmie Cares Toyota Camry in pink this weekend at Rockingham Speedway, you’re not dreaming. For the ARCA RE/MAX Series season finale, Sheltra has decided to lay it all out and go pink to show his support to his charity Kimmie Cares in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness month. The Whitesville, Kentucky team will not carry just any pink – but pink camouflage as its official paint scheme for the 21st race of the year.

The Sheltra Motorsports team is used to having one of the most colorful cars on the track but this weekend serves a great purpose and the Indiantown, Florida native isn’t afraid of being stereotyped.

“Real men wear pink,” joked Sheltra, whose Buffalo Wings & Rings uniform will also carry a pink camouflage layout for Sunday’s ARCA RE/MAX American 200 at Rockingham Speedway. “We announced last week at Kansas Speedway that we were partnering with Kimmie Cares to raise awareness for Breast Cancer and this is probably one of the coolest way to do it. I’m actually really honored to have a Pink car and uniform for Rockingham this weekend.”

The Kimmie cares doll, book, from The Partners For A Cure Foundation address two critical and often overlooked issues for women with cancer - helping moms explain the effects of cancer to their small children, and helping both child and adult share their fears and feelings so they can remain close during this time of illness.

While many other organizations fund cancer research, donating money for equipment, new medicines and scientists' salaries, the The Partners For A Cure Foundation takes a somewhat different approach. Proceeds generated from the sale of the Kimmie Cares doll as well as donations collected through other means are distributed not to scientists, but to individuals with cancer. PFACF helps patients who are struggling financially from the high costs of cancer treatment and related cancer care expenses.

The loss of a loved one to Breast Cancer hits close to home especially within the Sheltra Motorsports and Buffalo Wings & Rings tier as fellow team member and Buffalo Wings & Rings franchisee owner Leonard Ranieri tragically lost his wife, Eliza Ranieri last October to the disease. The team is racing in her honor this weekend at Rockingham Speedway.

The team has revamped their team logo while Buffalo Wings & Rings has added the traditional Breast Cancer ribbon around their logo for the month of October. The Buffalo Wings & Rings signage on the racecars will also boast the same layout.

To remember Eliza, the team has leaned on long-time Sheltra Motorsports supporter, totalracebabe.com who has created special “Together We Can Make A Difference” bracelets which are available to friends, family and associates who want to show their support of Breast Cancer. The bracelets are available now through Sunday, November 15th through the team’s website at PatrickSheltra.com or BuffaloWingsandRings.com and KimmieCares.com. A large percentage of each bracelet will be donated to Kimmie Cares through the Eliza Ranieri Foundation. Race fans will also have the opportunity to purchase the bracelets this weekend at Rockingham Speedway.

“This is a special weekend for Leonard,” added Sheltra, who finished second at Rockingham Speedway in April. “We’ve been working on this project since July and I think we’ve put together something that we’re all proud of all the way around. I’m racing for many reasons this weekend but I’m hoping that we can pull off a win for Leonard and Eliza on Sunday.”

Following Sunday’s season finale, Sheltra will auction off the uniform donated by Awesome Racewear with the proceeds going to Kimmie Cares in Eliza Ranieri’s honor.

In his final NASCAR Nationwide Series race of the year at Homestead-Miami Speedway next month, Sheltra is gunning to donate $25,000 dollars to Kimmie Cares between the “Together We Can Make A Difference” bracelets and the uniform auction.

“Humpy” Wheeler to Serve as Grand Marshal for Sunday’s American 200 at Rockingham

Legendary race promoter H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler will serve as the Grand Marshal and will wave the green flag for Sunday’s running of the ARCA RE/MAX American 200 at the Rockingham Speedway.

Wheeler, the former President and General Manager of Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, currently is the chairman of The Wheeler Company, a consulting management firm focusing on general business, professional sports, and motorsports he founded last year with his son, Trip. The Wheeler Company has been involved with the Rockingham Speedway through a driver development program, Humpy’s Heroes, which has used the facility for testing and practice for its young drivers.

“I am so glad my good friend Humpy Wheeler has accepted this honor for Sunday’s race,” said Rockingham Speedway President Andy Hillenburg. “While I still have a lot to learn about race promotions, Humpy has been a great mentor to help me and Rockingham Speedway get where we are at this point. I am truly appreciative for all he has done.”

ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookie Parker Kligerman Clinches 2009 Bill France Four Crown

19-year-old Parker Kligerman officially clinched the 2009 Bill France Four Crown in the ARCA RE/MAX Series by winning Thursday's Kansas Lottery 150 at Kansas Speedway. The prestigious award consists of four distinct tracks on the ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule-a short track, a road course, a dirt track and a superspeedway- and is designed to highlight the diverse nature of the ARCA RE/MAX Series.

En route to the 2009 Bill France Four Crown, Kligerman posted two wins and two second place finishes. He won at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds mile-dirt track on September 7 in just his second career start on a clay oval. He finished second at New Jersey Motorsports Park, a 2.6-mile road course, on September 13 and second at the half-mile Salem Speedway short track on September 19. Kligerman's most recent race win occurred on Thursday afternoon at Kansas Speedway, where the Penske Development driver used a green-white-checker restart to pass Eddie Sharp Racing's Justin Lofton in the closing laps of the Kansas Lottery 150.

"This Bill France Four Crown Award is prestigious," said Kligerman. "I wanted to win it because I think we've had a great run these last four weeks and this shows it with that award. The ARCA RE/MAX Series has a really diverse schedule and I have learned from racing at all of the different types of tracks we race at. There isn't anywhere else that you can race on short tracks, speedways, road courses and dirt. Justin Lofton and I have been going hard at it this season and I think by battling together so closely throughout this season we have improved each other."

Kligerman, a Penske Development Driver for Cunningham Motorsports, leads the 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series in race wins with eight. He is in the midst of a tight points battle with Eddie Sharp Racing's Justin Lofton that concludes next weekend at Rockingham Speedway.

Heading into Thursday's Kansas Lottery 150, seven drivers were mathematically eligible to clinch the 2009 Bill France Four Crown, including Kligerman, Lofton, Frank Kimmel, Joey Coulter, Tom Hessert, Robb Brent and Kory Rabenold.

Kimmel has won the Bill France Crown a total of six times, including the last two consecutive years, and is the all-time winner of the award.  Other former recipients include Blake Bjorklund, Brent Sherman, Jason Jarrett, Tim Steele, Bill Baird,Harris DeVane, Bob Hill, Bob Keselowski, Bobby Bowsher, Bill Venturini, Bob Keselowski, Tracy Leslie, Grant Adcox, Lee Raymond and Davey Allison.

2009 marks the first year that the Bill France Crown consists of four race events, as Series officials added the 2.6-mile New Jersey Motorsports Park Road Course to the mix this season. In past years, the Bill France Crown has consisted of three race events to include a short track, a speedway and a dirt track.

The Bill France Four Crown award winner has been honored at the ARCA RE/MAX Series National Championship Awards Banquet each consecutive year since 1984.

Bill France Four Crown Champions, 1984-2009

2009  Parker Kligerman
2008  Frank Kimmel
2007  Frank Kimmel
2006  Blake Bjorklund
2005  Frank Kimmel
2004  Brent Sherman
2003  Jason Jarrett
2002  Frank Kimmel
2001  Frank Kimmel
2000  Tim Steele
1999  Bill Baird
1998  Frank Kimmel
1997  Tim Steele
1996  Tim Steele
1995  Harris DeVane
1994  Bob Hill
1993  Bob Keselowski
1992  Bobby Bowsher
1991  Bowsher-Venturini
1990  Bob Keselowski
1989  Tracy Leslie
1988  Grant Adcox
1987  Grant Adcox
1986  Lee Raymond
1985  Lee Raymond
1984  Davey Allison

Qualifying at Rockingham Crucial for ARCA Title Contenders Lofton, Kligerman

ARCA RE/MAX Series point leader Justin Lofton started out the 2009 season with the Menards Pole Award presented by Ansell at Daytona Int'l Speedway. The Westmorland, California driver hopes to end his season with the same at Rockingham Speedway, and for good reason.

Beyond the accolades of winning the pole, there is another crucial element to the honor - points. And with only 15 points separating Lofton and rookie Parker Kligerman headed into the ARCA RE/MAX American 200 season finale this Sunday at Rockingham, every possible point matters.

While Lofton leads with a season-high five Menards Pole Awards, Kligerman has not earned a single pole in ARCA in 2009. Now consider the ramifications of the aforementioned. We know that qualifying points are earned for the top three starting positions - 15 for 1st, 10 for 2nd and 5 for 3rd. That means that Lofton has earned twice as many qualifying points as Kligerman has - 100 to 50. Take away qualifying points and Kligerman would be leading the overall championship points by 35 rather than trailing by 15.

"It's really more a testament to our team (Eddie Sharp Racing)," said Lofton. "We are always trying to put ourselves in position to win races, and the best place to do that is from the pole."

Fortunately for Kligerman, qualifying was rained out six times this year, so the spread, given Lofton's qualifying performance, could have been even more.

Kligerman, ironically, qualified for the pole in his career-first NASCAR Nationwide Series attempt last weekend at Kansas Speedway. One of the first things Kligerman said during his post-pole interview was a reference in regards to his ARCA qualifying. "Too bad we couldn't manage to do that in ARCA where we need the points."

While Lofton has the advantage over Kligerman in terms of qualifying success, there are striking parallels between the two up-and-coming racers as both attempt to advance their careers.

For instance, each driver has one career NASCAR Nationwide Series start. Both finished 16th in their Nationwide debuts this year - at Michigan for Lofton, and at Kansas for Kligerman.

If there's one area where Kligerman has surpassed Lofton in 2009, it would be in regards to average finishes. It's the one place that Kligerman has kept Lofton at bay, but it's still incredibly close with one more race on the docket. After 20 events, Kligerman's average finish is 5.2. Lofton's is 5.3.

"I think it shows that Parker and I are pretty close talent and skill-wise, at least at this point in our careers," said Lofton. "We had the same finish in our Nationwide debuts; we both ran good. Parker had me a little getting the pole."

So now it's onto the season finale this weekend at Rockingham where qualifying on Saturday could ultimately prove every bit as important as raceday Sunday.

"The culmination of everything in this race (Rockingham) is more crucial," added Lofton "I mean, we'd much rather head into the race with a 30 point lead rather than a 15 point lead. Or worse, tied, which could happen if we're not on our game in qualifying. Parker has steadily improved his game in qualifying over the second half of the year."

That is definitely a true statement.

Lofton, who started the season with back-to-back poles at Daytona and Salem, earned 45 points over the first half of the year to Kligerman's 5 points earned in the first half. However, in the second half the gap narrowed considerably during which Kligerman earned 45 qualifying points to Lofton's 55.

"I'm just thrilled to go to Rockingham with a tight points battle," added Lofton. "I'd rather see it close rather than a runaway. I think Parker and I have really kept each other at the top of our games. We've had to really focus in every, and all aspects of our program. I think Parker's had to do the same. It's made us both better racers. If it wasn't for Parker, we may have focused more on other things this year - maybe a few more Nationwide starts, or whatever. But, as things played out, we've had to focus everything, for the most part, on this championship, and that's turned out to be very exciting for everyone.

"It's kind of sad that there's only one race left. Too bad we don't have 10 more. It'd probably still come down to the wire."

Coverage of Championship Weekend at Rockingham will be featured in live streaming audio at ARCAracing.com. In addition to live timing and scoring, live steaming audio coverage begins Saturday afternoon, October 10th with practice from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM followed by Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell at 2:30.

The Sunday afternoon American 200, scheduled for 1:00 PM, will also feature live streaming audio coverage at ARCAracing.com.

The American 200 will also air same-day on SPEED at 10:00 PM.




Sheltra's regular green paint scheme at Rockingham.
The story of the year in ARCA has been either Parker Kligerman (#77) chasing Justin Loftin (#6) or vice versa.
Winning at Pocono definately helped Justin Lofton's charge towards the ARCA Superspeedway Challenge championship.
A preview of Patrick Sheltra's pink machine.
Parker Kliigerman