ARCA Daytona Practice Notes
A Five-Hour Practice Session Gets Things Going
ARCA RE/MAX Series PR Report
Five Hour ARCA RE/MAX Series Practice Session at Daytona Productive

Matt Carter was fastest among 54 ARCA RE/MAX Series drivers who participated in a five-hour-long practice session at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday afternoon. The session was designed to prepare drivers for Saturday’s Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200, which is scheduled to air live on SPEED beginning at 4 p.m. Eastern on Saturday and marks the first of 22 events in the 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series.

Carter, in a Larry Clement-owned Stine Seed-Liberty Link Ford, posted his best time of 49.187 seconds (182.975 mph) around the 2.5-mile paved oval late during the session despite missing a three-day ARCA RE/MAX Series test session at Daytona in December.

“That was the draft,” said Carter. “We had a pretty decent car. We didn’t get to come test and basically during the first four hours of practice we just worked on the car and tried to make it better. Then we worked on the draft with Annett and Buescher and Logano and those guys late during the session and I think anyone could have pulled a lap like that in that draft. I’m really excited though because I think we have a good racecar.”

Last year’s ARCA Daytona race winner Michael Annett was second quickest in Shigeaki Hattori’s No. 01 Visit Japan Campaign Toyota.

"The car is pretty good in qualifying runs,” said Annett. “I'm excited about the race because we were able to do some drafting at the end of practice. The car turned out to be better in a pack than it was by itself."

Carter and Annett were followed by James Buescher in the No. 32 Wolfpack Rentals Toyota fielded by Win-Tron Racing and Venturini Motorsports teammates Joey Logano, Ryan Fischer and Brian Scott. Tom Hessert, JR Heffner, Justin Lofton and John Ferrier rounded out the top-10.

Anatomy of an ARCA RE/MAX Series Racecar

ARCA RE/MAX Series racecars are similar to the cars used in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series before the Car of Tomorrow debuted and many of the chassis that teams are using at Daytona this weekend have an interesting history. Frank Kimmel’s No. 44 Ansell/Menards Ford Fusion was previously run by Matt Kenseth in the Cup Series in 2007.

Tom Hessert, III, driver of the No. 1 Buddy’s Home Furnishing Ford for Andy Belmont Racing, is competing in a racecar that his crew has named “Awesommo 5000” for the popular television show South Park.

“This was a junk car we pulled from the weeds,” said Belmont. “We straightened the chassis on a frame machine and put on a used body from the JTG Nationwide Team. It’s just a bucket of bolts that runs pretty good.”

Hessert’s Andy Belmont Racing teammate Brett Butler, who is driving the No. 14 Ford, will be competing in a racecar that was previously raced by Christi Passmore in the ARCA RE/MAX Series.

Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 First of Nine Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge Races in 2009

The Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge is a $75,000 total point fund for races on speedway ovals greater than one mile in length and includes nine races in the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series: Daytona (February 7th), Talladega Superspeedway (April 24th), Kentucky Speedway (May 9th and July 18th), Pocono Raceway (June 6th and August 1st), Michigan Int’l Speedway (June 12th), Chicagoland Speedway (August 28th) and Kansas Speedway (October 1st).

Since ARCA began honoring superspeedway challenge champions at the end-of-season Championship Awards Banquet in 1984, an accomplished list of competitors have earned the award.  Last season, ARCA RE/MAX Series car owner Eddie Sharp and driver Scott Speed 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), Kyle Krisiloff (’04) and Erin Crocker (’07).

Menards Pole Award presented by Ansell Scheduled for Friday

The 43-car starting field for Saturday’s Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona will be set following the Menards Pole Award presented by Ansell qualifying session, which begins at 12 Noon Eastern on Friday. The fastest 32 cars from the qualifying session will be locked into the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200. Positions 33 through 36 are reserved for car owners based on final 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series Car Owner Point Standings, while positions 37-42 are reserved for “Golden A” eligible teams who competed in 100 percent of the Series’ races in 2008. Position 43 is made available for a past ARCA RE/MAX Series champion. If no past champion is in need of a provisional, the position is made available to a Golden A eligible team who competed in 100 percent of the Series’ races in 2008. If no additional Golden A teams are eligible for a provisional, the position will go to the next eligible team based on the final 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series Car Owner Point Standings.

46th Annual Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona Live on SPEED

The ARCA RE/MAX Series’ Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 will be aired live on SPEED beginning at 4 p.m. on Saturday, February 7th. The race marks the ARCA RE/MAX Series’ 46th appearance to Daytona since the Series made its superspeedway debut at the track in 1964. In addition to SPEED’s live coverage of the race, live timing and scoring and audio coverage of the race will be available on beginning at 4:15 p.m.

Michael Annett won at Daytona in 2008 and he was second quickest in practice on Thursday.  (ARCA Photo)