Speed Tops ARCA Practice

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LONG POND, Penn. - ARCA RE/MAX Series SunTrust Rookie Scott Speed, who heads into this weekend's Pocono 200 on the heels of earning a career first victory in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at Dover last weekend, bested 36 drivers during a one hour, 40 minute practice session on Friday morning, circling the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway in 53.75 seconds (167.442 mph).

Speed, who posted his fast lap late in the session during a qualifying run, plans to depart Pocono Raceway for Texas Motor Speedway directly after this afternoon's SIM Factory qualifying session so that he can compete in tonight's Sam's Town 400k NCTS race in the No. 22 Bill Davis Racing Toyota. The former Formula One driver, who is currently sixth in ARCA RE/MAX Series points in the No. 2 Red Bull Toyota fielded by Eddie Sharp Racing, plans to return to Pocono Raceway in time for Saturday's 1 p.m. Pocono 200 ARCA RE/MAX Series race. ARCA 200 at Daytona race winner Michael Annett is at Texas practicing and qualifying Speed's NCTS entry for him.

"The car was tight all day," said Speed. "Patrick [Donahue, crew chief] and the guys worked all day and did a great job making adjustments. We went out at the end of practice with the changes and a new set of tires and made a mock run that put us on top. The car will be really good in race trim. After qualifying today I'll change quick and hop into Kyle's [Busch] plane and head to Texas. We'll helicoptor to the track and run the NASCAR Craftsman Truck race tonight. Then back here after that! It's going to be a busy 24 hours, but. I think we can definitely put this Red Bull Toyota in victory lane here at Pocono tomorrow."

Justin Allgaier, in the No. 16 Hoosier Tire Midwest-AG Tech-Auto Express Chevrolet, was second, followed by Robb Brent in the No. 00 Orchard Chrysler Dodge Jeep Chevrolet and Dexter Bean in the No. 37 Glock Chevrolet. Nine-time and defending ARCA RE/MAX Series champion Frank Kimmel, who headed into Pocono with uncertainty but was able to secure a last minute sponsor, was fifth quickest in a No. 44 Codemasters GRID Ford.

Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. was sixth quickest. His team opted to change engines in the No. 99 Con-Way Freight Ford before this afternoon's ARCA RE/MAX Series SIM Factory qualifying session. Jesse Smith, in the No. 30 Lloyd's Barbeque-Spam-Hormel-Jones Group Dodge, and John Graham, in the No. 14 Kickbutt Energy Ballz Ford, were both in the garage area evaluating whether or not they would need to make an engine change as well.

SIM Factory Pole Award Qualifying is scheduled to take place at 1:45 p.m. Friday. The qualifying session will help determine the starting lineup for Saturday's Pocono 200. The Pocono 200 rolls off at 1 p.m. (ET) on Saturday. The race will be aired on SPEED beginning at 10 p.m. (ET).

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Friday, October 04, 2013

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