Former F1 Drivers Tackle Talladega
September 25, 2007 | 11:30 P.M. EST
Since its inception in 1952, the ARCA RE/MAX Series has enjoyed a connection with drivers from open wheel disciplines, many of whom have used the series to help make the transition into stock car auto racing.
Current NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Rookie of the Year contender Juan Montoya participated in an ARCA RE/MAX Series Open Test at Talladega Superspeedway in 2006. Montoya made two career starts with the series in 2006, finishing third at Talladega after starting second and finishing 24th at Iowa Speedway after starting third.
Prior to Montoya, Champ Car World Series Champion Paul Tracy tested an ARCA car at Daytona Int'l Speedway in December of 2005.
CART/Formula One veteran Christian Fittipaldi, via Petty Enterprises, raced in the ARCA RE/MAX Series in 2003, finishing tenth at Talladega after starting seventh and finishing 31st at Pocono Raceway after starting third.
Renowned open-wheel driver Danny Sullivan made his superspeedway debut in the ARCA RE/MAX Series in 1981, finishing sixth at Talladega Superspeedway. Sullivan went on to win the Indy 500 in 1985.
Rodger Ward earned Indy 500 victories in 1959 and 1962 and won a 150-mile ARCA race at the Milwaukee Mile on August 23rd, 1959.
1958 Indy 500 winner Jimmy Bryan has one ARCA RE/MAX Series victory and 1952 Indy 500 winner Troy Ruttman is a three-time ARCA RE/MAX Series race winner.
Johnny Parsons, Sr. won the Indy 500 in 1950 and went on to win an ARCA event in 1957.
Ragan Unofficially Quickest
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Rookie David Ragan came back to his roots Tuesday afternoon, testing an ARCA RE/MAX Series stock car at Talladega Superspeedway amongst more than 40 other drivers.
The former full time ARCA RE/MAX Series competitor participated in the open test session at Talladega with Roush Fenway Racing teammate Collin Braun, who plans to make his career first restrictor plate start in the October 5th ARCA RE/MAX 250 at Talladega Superspeedway. The race will air LIVE on SPEED beginning at 5 p.m. Eastern on Friday, October 5th.
The full day test session marked Ragan's first ARCA RE/MAX Series appearance since his fourth place finish in the Daytona ARCA 200 in February. One week later, the Georgia native finished fifth in the Daytona 500.
At Talladega on Tuesday afternoon, Ragan unofficially posted a 51.53 second lap around the 2.66-mile speedplant, for a speed of 185.833 mph. Michael Annett, in a TMC Trucking/Bill Davis Racing Toyota, was unofficially second quickest; followed by eight-time series champion and defending Talladega ARCA race winner Frank Kimmel, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates driver Bryan Clauson and Andy Belmont Racing driver Jacob Francis.