Among the series regulars entered include nine-time champion Frank Kimmel and five-time Daytona winner Bobby Gerhart. Kimmel, in search of his 10th series championship and 75th career win (just five wins shy of Iggy Katona’s all-time win mark of 79), has never won at Daytona. Kimmel’s nephew Will Kimmel is also entered. Gerhart, after testing at Daytona in December and at Talladega over the weekend, will be looking for an unprecedented 6th Daytona victory. After winning three consecutive (’05, ’06 & ’07), Gerhart finished fourth at Daytona in 2008 with Kimmel trailing in fifth.
Outside of Kimmel, Bill Baird is the only former ARCA RE/MAX Series champion entered. Baird, 59, could become the oldest winner ever at Daytona. Baird, who won the championship in 1999, is entered in a Ken Schrader-owned Dodge.
Baird finished third in last year’s race right behind second place finisher and 2008 series champion Justin Allgaier. Allgaier, who will not be competing in the ARCA race at Daytona, has announced a full NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule in 2009 with Penske Racing. Three of the top-five finishers in last year’s Daytona race (Allgaier, Baird, Kimmel) are former ARCA RE/MAX Series national champions.
From the driver development ranks, Joey Logano and Ricky Carmichael are entered. Logano, entered in a Home Depot Chevrolet under the Venturini Motorsports banner, has never raced at Daytona. Logano plans to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series fulltime in the no. 20
Home Depot Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. Carmichael, planning a part-time season of NASCAR Nationwide Series racing for Kevin Harvick, Inc., is entered in a DeLana Harvick-owned Chevrolet sponsored by Monster Energy. Carmichael is arguably the most successful AMA Motocross rider in history.
Venturini Motorsports has also filed entries with Surrey British, Columbia rookie Ryan Fischer and Boise, Idaho’s Brian Scott. Fischer, in the Venturini-prepared no. 15, has already announced that he would compete fulltime in the ARCA RE/MAX Series under the Venturini Motorsports banner in 2009.
From the rookie ranks, the field is loaded. Eddie Sharp Racing (ESR) has entered four teams, three of which have rookies at the helm. Those rookies include Tim George, Jr., Steve Arpin and Craig Goess. George and Goess are preparing for full seasons in the ARCA RE/MAX Series while Arpin is currently planning on superspeedways only. ESR has entered a fourth team with veteran Justin Lofton driving. The ESR/Lofton combo has announced a full season in the ARCA RE/MAX Series.
Cunningham Motorsports has also filed three entries with rookie drivers’ Nur Ali, the only Asian-American entered, and Parker Kligerman, who is on-track to do some driver development for Penske Racing, which has an affiliation with Cunningham Motorsports. Cunningham Motorsports has also entered veteran Dallas, Texas driver Ken Weaver, who finished third in series points in 2005. Weaver hasn’t raced since mid-season, 2006.
For local flavor, Daytona Beach, Florida native Alli Owens is entered in the no. 19
ElectrifyingCareers.com Toyota for D’Hondt Motorsports as is Mario Gosselin from
Lake Wales. Phoenix, Arizona’s Gabi DiCarlo is also entered in the Great Clips Toyota.
Owens and DiCarlo are currently the only female drivers entered.
Other notable entries include Andy Belmont Racing’s Tom Hessert, Cartersville, Georgia
veteran Mark Thompson, Denver, North Carolina’s Matt Carter, Danville, Virginia’s
Peyton Sellers, Plano, Texas’s James Buescher, Lilburn, Georgia’s Brett Butler,
series veterans’ Patrick Sheltra and Bryan Silas, and James Hylton, the oldest driver
entered at 74.
Defending race winner Michael Annett, who also tested over the weekend at Talladega,
has also filed an entry with Germain Racing. Annett, who won at Talladega in 2007, is
also the defending Daytona winner.
Registration opens at 8:00 am Tuesday, February 3rd before haulers enter the garage
area at 10 am. Tuesday and Wednesday are slated for inspection procedures only prior
to the first on-track activity on Thursday with practice scheduled from 12 noon to 5 pm.
Pole Award Qualifying is scheduled for 12 noon Friday followed by a final practice session from 5:10 to 6:15 pm.
LIVE coverage of the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 begins at 4:00 PM ET on SPEED Saturday, February 7th.
HARD CHARGERS TO BE RECOGNIZED
Officials from CGS Imaging, the Official Wide Format Digital Printing Supplier of ARCA, have announced that they will enhance the company’s presence in the ARCA RE/MAX Series in 2009 through sponsorship of the Hard Charger Award, both on a per-event and year-end basis. In addition, the company will maintain their previously established CGS Race for the Wrap program.
The year-end CGS Hard Charger Award will go to the driver who has attempted to compete in every event on the 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule and has advanced the most spots over official start positions at ARCA RE/MAX Series events during the year, not including provisional starters. The year-end ARCA RE/MAX Series CGS Hard Charger will be offered a complete custom racecar wrap for the 2010 Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona season-opening race.
On a per-race basis, CGS Imaging will offer a $200 per-event product certificate, good towards a custom pit wall banner or other signage needs, to the non-provisional starter advancing the most positions during each event.
In addition to sponsorship of the CGS Hard Charger Award in 2009, CGS Imaging will continue with the CGS Race for the Wrap Program in which the 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship Winning Car Owner will receive a complete custom wrap of the team’s racecar, complements of CGS Imaging.
All awards are contingent on running the sponsor’s decal.
CGS Imaging offers the latest digital printing techniques, materials and equipment. The Maumee, Ohio, based company specializes in wide and super-wide graphic banners, billboards, bus transit graphics and shelters, building wraps, window wraps, fleet graphics, tradeshow and exhibit graphics, and much more.
CGS currently provides signage and graphics for many of the host tracks on the ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule including Daytona International Speedway and Michigan International Speedway.