Friday, February 5, 2010

James Buescher roars to pole for Daytona ARCA opener

Apart from the standard NASCAR activities at the Daytona International Speedway during the period called Speedweeks, the 58st season of the ARCA Racing Series presented by REMAX and Menards opens on the 2.5 mile high-banks.

A staple to Daytona Speedweeks since 1964, this race is renowned for being a dicey affair as a multitude of young, eager drivers are making their first major stock car start. While many of those drivers get initiated with the lessons of high-speed incidents with other competitors as well as the Daytona walls, some first-time at Daytona drivers have broken through including Kyle Petty in 1979 and his late son Adam in 2000.

With speeds of over 190 miles per hour, these ARCA cars compare closely to the speed potentials of NASCAR Nationwide and even Sprint Cup cars.

Qualifying for the 2010 running of ARCA Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona International Speedway saw last year's race winner James Buescher return in prime position for an encore effort. Committed to the full NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule in 2010 with Phoenix Racing #1 car, Buescher will be running a Toyota for the ARCA event before making the transition to Chevrolet. However, these 2010 plans could change as Phoenix Racing's long-time sponsor Miccosukee Resort and Gaming announced a swift bailout from their auto racing support.

Fastest in first Thursday practice in his #51 Toyota, Buescher's pole sitting run nicked 26 year old Mikey Kile driving for Venturini Motorsports. Kile has been closely matching James Buescher throughout Thursday and Friday with his team's #25 Toyota. Rounding out the top 5 includes Joey Coulter, Dakoda Armstrong and Bryan Silas.

In total, a record 6 female drivers will be starting in the Daytona ARCA race. Leading the women's contingent is the popular IndyCar driver Danica Patrick. Finding that her attention has probably grown 3-5 times from already trumping numbers who follows her #7 Andretti Autosport IndyCar team, Patrick has placed her #7 Chevrolet in 12th place in qualifying for her first stock car race.

Thanks to this event being a restrictor plate race, the outcome to the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 is by no means predictable. Drivers and teams affiliated with leading NASCAR organization (Patrick's #7 Chevrolet, Nelson Piquet #6 Toyota and Grant Enfinger #09 Ford) certain to have the resources for strong runs within the 80 lap event. With that said, there is always a game changing move that allows ARCA regulars like Frank Kimmel or Bobby Gerhart to counter the efforts of NASCAR's rising stars.

While rain showers are blowing through the Daytona, Florida area Friday night, the skies will be perfectly clear for the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 scheduled for 4:30PM Saturday.

ARCA Racing Series Presented by REMAX and Menards
Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona International Speedway

1. James Buescher #51 Toyota
2. Mikey Kile #25 Toyota
3. Joey Coulter #16 Chevrolet
4. Dakoda Armstrong #22 Dodge
5. Bryan Silas #11 Ford
6. Mark Thompson #66 Toyota
7. Nelson Piquet #6 Toyota
8. Bobby Gerhart #5 Chevrolet
9. John Wes Townley #35 Toyota
10. Steve Arpin #55 Toyota

Other notables

11. Patrick Sheltra #60 Dodge
12. Danica Patrick #7 Chevrolet
13. Frank Kimmel #44 Ford
14. Ricky Carmichael #4 Toyota
17. Bill Baird #52 Chevrolet
19. Ali Owens #15 Chevrolet
20. Grant Enfinger #09 Ford
25. Leilani Munter #59 Dodge
41. Milka Duno #90 Toyota

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