Kentucky Test On Tap
April 28, 2009 | 3:54 P.M. EST
More than 30 drivers have already filed entries for the open test to include a host of fascinating characters - a 9-time champion, an 18-year high school student who happens to be leading the points, this year's Daytona and Talladega winners, a plethora of rookies, rookies and more rookies, and a healthy assortment of veterans.
Penske development driver Parker Kligerman, who is still a senior in high school in Westport, Connecticut, leads the ARCA RE/MAX Series point standings over Westmorland, California's Justin Lofton. Kligerman, in a Cunningham Motorsports Dodge, hasn't finished out of the top-10 yet after six series starts reaching back to the New Jersey Motorsports Park road course where he finished 6th in his debut last September. Lofton, who drives for Eddie Sharp Racing's four-car team, cleaned up last Friday at Talladega with a big win and surged in points to second just five points behind leader Kligerman. Both are entered for Wednesday's Kentucky test.
Other open test entrants from the Cunningham Motorsports stable include Dallas, Texas driver Ken Weaver, entered in a team car to Kligerman. The contrast in age between the teammates is glaring given the fact that Kligerman is 18 while Weaver is 53.
Eddie Sharp Racing has packed up the entire four-car team for the test. In addition to Lofton, ESR's coming loaded up with three full-time rookies: New York, New York's Tim George, Jr., Fort Frances, Ontario's Steve Arpin and Greenville, North Carolina's Craig Goess. All four of ESR's drivers are in the top-10 in points.
Nine-time series champion Frank Kimmel has not exactly had a banner season, yet the four-time Kentucky winner sits third in points, 65 out of first. Kimmel is the only driver entered who has competed in all 17 series events at Kentucky since the series debut there in 2000. The all-time Kentucky lap leader (553 in 11 races) hasn't won at Kentucky in four years, since May of 2005. Apparently, the Clarksville, Indiana driver is bound and determined to change that having filed his entry for the open test.
Also entered for the open test is this year's Daytona winner James Buescher, who also competes part-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series when he's not running ARCA RE/MAX Series superspeedway events with Win-Tron Racing.
Rookie Austin Dillon, the grandson of Richard Childress, is also entered as is Brad Keselowski Racing's Mikey Kile, who finished 4th at Talladega in his second series start. Veteran James Hylton, coming off a 15th place finish at Talladega at 74 years young is entered as is Andy Belmont Racing's Tom Hessert, the polesitter at Talladega.
Stuart, Florida's Bryan Silas, currently fifth in series points, is expected to be at the open test as is a trio of Venturini Motorsports entries with rookies Jesse Smith and Alex Yontz, and New Berlin, Wisconsin's Tom Berte.
The ARCA RE/MAX Series open test at Kentucky Speedway is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET).