Lofton Leading ESR Charge
April 23, 2009 | 3:10 P.M. EST
In the longest race on the current ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule, Lofton has made one previous start with the team. He made his track debut there last fall as part of a three-car effort.
Lofton qualified 10th for this first race on a superspeedway, and finished 16th after narrowly missing the big one. He ran in the top 10 for most of that race last October but was relegated to his finish after taking on some damage from contact with Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
"I'm really looking forward to racing at Talladega," Lofton said. "We had a great test here a couple of weeks ago. The guys have been working incredibly long hours for this race and I really appreciate everything they've done.
"This should be an exciting race. You never know what can happen at a superspeedway. Hopefully we can stay out of trouble, avoid the 'Big One' and leave here with the finish this Lofton Cattle team deserves."
Over two days of testing at the track April 8 and 9, Lofton posted the 10th fasted time overall. He was the highest finisher of the ESR stable at the series' season opener at Daytona, after he won the pole position for the event and finished third after leading 35 laps.
In the series' main practice session Thursday afternoon, Lofton was fourth fastest with a speed of 186.217 mph. Currently, Lofton is third in the points after losing his points lead with a 22nd-place finish last weekend at Rockingham Speedway.
Teammate Tim George Jr. is the only other ESR driver to have made a start at Talladega Superspeedway in the ARCA RE/MAX Series.
George Jr. started 29th and finished 20th in the fall with TRG Motorsports.
He finished eighth at Daytona in just his third career start in the series. In practice Thursday, George was 27th fastest.
ESR's other two entries are piloted by rookies Craig Goess and Steve Arpin. They posted the sixth and seventh fastest times, respectively, in practice Thursday. Both are making their track debuts at Talladega this weekend.
Qualifying for the Talladega 250 is set for Thursday evening at 6:05 p.m. (ET). One more short practice session is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. (ET) Friday for those in the race to make limited impound adjustments.
The Talladega 250 takes the green flag at 5 p.m. (ET) Friday night with coverage on SPEED.