He Said, She Said- ARCA Style – 04/04/07

Race Fans:

Welcome to the third edition of He Said, She Said for the ARCA RE/MAX Series. This is a great column reintroduced to the ARCA RE/MAX Series for the 2007 season. Catchfence.com has lined up a great amount of respected individuals within the ARCA RE/MAX Series and we’re excited to have them aboard. The second race of the season is complete and Nashville is coming fast this Saturday. Everyone is itching to speak their minds.

Next to each name, you will find their specific representation in the ARCA RE/MAX Series.

We’ll break the answers up between the guys and the girls. Feel free to email us and let us know what you think.

1) The first annual Construct Corps-Palm Beach Grading (PBG) 250 took place last Saturday night at USA International Speedway. Any thoughts on the race or winner? Do you also feel that ARCA should make this a yearly event?

Guys:

Chris Knight, Catchfence.com

The USA International Speedway race was a good move for the ARCA RE/MAX Series. The race was decent, we saw TOYOTA shine through and we had a first time winner. I don’t think it gets much better than that. I really wished the event would have been televised. There was some strong cars that finished in the back and some of the underrated drivers march towards the front. Thumbs up to ARCA for adding the event onto the schedule and I hope we’ll be back there next year.

Congratulations to James Buescher, the kid was impressive. He was very quiet during the race but rolled in like a thunderstorm late in the race to take County Joe Racing back to victory lane. I think we’ll be hearing more from this youngster this year.

Daren Havens, ARCA

I believe it should be. There was a good crowd and an exciting event.

Phillip McGilton, driver of the No. 47 SIPerformance Brewco Motorsports Ford

It seemed to be a good race and we had a good finish. I would have liked to see the race had less cautions, the field did a great job at the start and kept off of each other but then the beating and banging really began. I think it was a positive first race at USA International Speedway and I wouldn’t mind racing there again.

Eric Jones, SI Performance Motorsports and former ARCA driver

Congrats to James Buescher, he’s going to be tough as he continues to develop. Danny Gil, race winning NCTS crew chief, is mentoring him in the Hooters Pro Cup series as well. It was a good race, but they were way too many cautions for my liking. I’d like to see ARCA make it a regular stop though.

Joey Dennewitz, Public Relations Eddie Sharp Racing-Michael McDowell

The USA International Speedway is a great place to have a race. The track did a great job promoting the event and was rewarded nicely. ARCA should take a look at putting it on the TV schedule for next year due to its early success. The Lakeland/Tampa market is great, we need some help to really sell that race for what it could be..

Girls:

Jennifer Belmont, car-owner of No. 62 & No. 1 in ARCA RE/MAX Series

I thought the race went well, the re-starts were ugly but we don’t control the flag. Not to knock the winner, but I never heard of him. Great job though. I think twice a year would be great! Once in the spring once in the fall. It is a great facility and I hope they will invite us back!

Bethann Puderbaugh, Ingle Motorsports

Can’t say that I’d ever heard of James Buescher, but I certainly know of him now. He now has the distinct privilege of holding the record of youngest winner in the ARCA RE/MAX Series. I’d definitely like to see the race on the schedule again next season. Some TV coverage would be great.

Shannon Feldman-Wells, Public Relations Representative Mike Harmon Motorsports

I thought it was an exciting race! I hope ARCA decides to add this to their yearly events. I do not know who the winner was. I had to ask around and look on the ARCA website to find out who he was.

Sandy Sparrow, Darrell Basham Racing

The race was good. However, I am not going to put it on my A list. I was surprised at how active everything stayed; I went through three batteries while spotting for Darrell. Overall the race was pretty good to our team we came away with another top 20 finish. However, I was a little disappointed with some of our fellow competitors and how they seemed to just knock people out of the way instead of passing them. Since I don’t like to Gabi about anyone I will not mention any names. I am very happy to see some new names up front giving Frank and Bobby some competition, I just wish it was us.

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2) NASCAR and the Hooter’s Pro Cup Series grant the “Lucky Dog” to the first car one-lap down instead of allowing drivers to race back to the line. Do you think this is a rule that the ARCA RE/MAX Series should consider and how soon?

Guys:

Chris Knight, Catchfence.com

I’m asking ARCA to please take this into consideration. I think we would see a brand new form of racing born and I think it’s something that all the competitors would like to see. I don’t know see how it would take a lot more time with timing and scoring, most of the cautions are long enough where we can figure out who’s the lucky dawg and see that car rocket from the back.

Of course, it may propose more cautions, but I think most of the NASCAR and Hooter’s Pro Cup drivers have done a great job with it and I think you’ll see the same in ARCA. Take a vote, I think many will agree with me.

Daren Havens, ARCA

No. There are already too many caution events in a RE/MAX Series events, and sometimes extra caution laps are caused due to cars arguing over position on the track. Can you imagine trying to go back to green while giving someone else there lap back. I like the idea of racing to get your lap back.

Phillip McGilton, driver of the No. 47 SIPerformance Brewco Motorsports Ford

Yes, I think the ARCA RE/MAX Series does need to pick up the Lucky Dawg. The sooner the better. I think it will benefit a lot of teams who have rotten luck and I think we would see some great racing because of it. It’s something I hope ARCA is thinking about.

Eric Jones, SI Performance Motorsports and former ARCA driver

Absolutely. It’s in the other high level stock car series, and gets much praise. Hopefully they would considering adopting this rule by the end of the season.

Joey Dennewitz, Public Relations Eddie Sharp Racing-Michael McDowell

It’s definitely something they should consider. Teams don’t have a problem reverting back to the last lap in the name of safety, but if there isn’t any racing back to the yellow then there needs to be an opportunity to retain lost laps to disseminate some of the lapped cars on the restarts.. I look forward to ARCA’s positioning on the argument.. if they give one.

Girls:

Jennifer Belmont, car-owner of No. 62 & No. 1 in ARCA RE/MAX Series

I think so, it would alleviate some of the lining up issues that give Joe Wells ulcers. Its really tough, pretty much impossible to get your lap back in this series. However I also think they should lock in the top 25 in owners points. But then again if the queen had Ba*** she’d be king!

Bethann Puderbaugh, Ingle Motorsports

I think this is something that could possibly work in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, it seems to work fine in the Nextel Cup and Hooters Pro Cup Series. As far as a timeline for implementation, as soon as ARCA decides if it is something that would work for the series.

Shannon Feldman-Wells, Public Relations Representative Mike Harmon Motorsports

That would be a great rule for the ARCA series. They should implement that rule ASAP. Almost everyone else does it, why not us? It is also a safety issue. That would help illuminate accidents.

Sandy Sparrow, Darrell Basham Racing

I have told Darrell countless times on the radio “I wish we had Lucky Dog.” I have had countless fans ask why, and to be honest I am not sure why we don’t use it. I would love for ARCA to consider it, better yet I would love for ARCA to put it in place. Of course, it is just like any other rule, at one point after it is set in place we will wish that it was not a rule.

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3) The current starting field are set for a maximum of 35 on short tracks and 41 on Superspeedways, would you like to see that number increase to 43 on both types of tracks?

Guys:

Chris Knight, Catchfence.com

I would like to see the number of cars increase in the ARCA RE/MAX Series. Car count is not an issue anymore in the series, so why not expand the field. The drivers are considered professional, right? So expand the field to 41 and let’s see what they can do. I’m sure some of the teams who miss Salem in a couple weeks will agree with me. I’m sure the fans would like to see it. And hey isn’t that what it’s all about to begin with.

Daren Havens, ARCA

No. (Editors Note: short and simple, I guess it doesn’t get much better than that.)

Phillip McGilton, driver of the No. 47 SIPerformance Brewco Motorsports Ford

I think the field is leveled right now. The fields are a lot closer and the competition is good, I think ARCA has a good number for the short tracks.

Eric Jones, SI Performance Motorsports and former ARCA driver

Lakeland is 3/4 mile track, that had eighteen cautions when 41 cars started the field. There would have been fewer cautions and a stronger field with 35 cars. 41 cars seem to fit well for ARCA at the Superspeedways, I wouldn’t change that.

Joey Dennewitz, Public Relations Eddie Sharp Racing-Michael McDowell

The total number is good for both cases. It’s the provisional system that is a bigger problem. It rewards the team that attempts all of the races, but it doesn’t promote their growth. Once they are locked in, they don’t attempt to improve their team as they simply rely on the provisional system. What about having those guys at least make a qualifying attempt and buy a set of tires? The fans pay their hard earned money to see the fastest 35/41 cars race. Give me, and more importantly those fans, a good reason why that doesn’t always happen.

Girls:

Jennifer Belmont, car-owner of No. 62 & No. 1 in ARCA RE/MAX Series

Speedways should be 43, short tracks you are asking for trouble with more starters.

Bethann Puderbaugh, Ingle Motorsports

I would like to see the field expanded on both types of tracks. I see no problem with the expansion to a 43 car field for the Superspeedways, but I’m not sure about expanding the field that large on a short track. I’m sure the veteran ARCA drivers would have a better feel for this question.

Shannon Feldman-Wells, Public Relations Representative Mike Harmon Motorsports

I don’t see why not. The field of cars are there, so why not? It gives more people a chance to enter and show off what they have. Especially on Superspeedways, there is the room.

Sandy Sparrow, Darrell Basham Racing

I would like to have them all set for the same amount. I would think that 41 would be the perfect amount this would keep tracks like Salem and Toledo manageable.

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4) The first non-restrictor plate superspeedway event is set for Saturday, the Nashville ARCA 150 at Nashville Superspeedway. Any thoughts on the race? Do you like having a double-header with the NASCAR Busch Series. Is it possible we’ll see another first time winner in victory lane?

Guys:

Chris Knight, Catchfence.com

On to Music City…. I am excited, I love Nashville!

It’s a shorter race than I would like to see, but there’s nothing I can do about it. I don’t think the veterans have the Nashville ARCA 150 in the bags, I think you’ll see a lot of these young cats on the prowl and ready to dominate. A few that come to my mind include Dexter Bean, Bryan Silas, Michael McDowell, Phillip McGilton and Bobby Santos III. It should be a great event. Again, I just wish the race was televised. But thankfully, the Inside The ARCA RE/MAX Series group will have a pre and post race radio show, I encourage everyone to listen.

Daren Havens, ARCA

I think the car count will be solid and there will be some good drivers and equipment. I think it is a good idea to race as a double header with the Busch Series. It gives the fans more bang for there buck. It is very possible that we see another first time winner there.

Phillip McGilton, driver of the No. 47 SIPerformance Brewco Motorsports Ford

I think your going to see a great race. Having a double header with the NASCAR Busch Series sure won’t hurt the attendance but it would help with sponsors if it was televised. With the number and quality of the new drivers I think there’s a really good chance we’ll have a first time winner in victory lane.

Eric Jones, SI Performance Motorsports and former ARCA driver

Having the Busch Series follow our race will help our attendance, sponsors, and drivers, who are trying to get noticed by NASCAR teams. It’s a no brainer as long our race gets to go the distance.

Joey Dennewitz, Public Relations Eddie Sharp Racing-Michael McDowell

Being on the same bill of any of the NASCAR sanctioned events allows visibility as well as opportunity. It’s a shame the race is not televised, as it always produces really good racing. First time winners are always possible, especially at a place like Nashville.

Girls:

Jennifer Belmont, car-owner of No. 62 & No. 1 in ARCA RE/MAX Series

I don’t consider Nashville a super speedway. Its only 1.33. I don’t like Nashville anyway so if we never go back there again it works for me. Double headers don’t bother me when we aren’t treated like redheaded step children. I don’t know about a first time winner, its a tough place but then again I have no idea who runs in this series anymore anyway. All I can say is its cool beating these cup teams with our own drivers! Keep up the great work ARCA!

Bethann Puderbaugh, Ingle Motorsports

The double-header with the Busch Series is good for the series, helping to expose the series to fans that may not be familiar with ARCA. Nashville always puts on a great event, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see another first time winner. Again, for those of us who follow the series, and can’t be at the track some TV coverage would be nice.

Shannon Feldman-Wells, Public Relations Representative Mike Harmon Motorsports

There is a lot of entries for this race, so it should be a good one. The only thing I hope for is the regulars make the race. I do like having the Busch Series there. It helps bring in the crowds for our race and we can use all of the exposure we can get. Plus if you need pit crew help, there are teams that will help you out. Plus I get to see my cousin who works for Yates. I think it is very possible to see a first time winner at Nashville. You have the cup teams coming in, so anything is possible.

Sandy Sparrow, Darrell Basham Racing

Nashville is probably my favorite place to go. This track let’s both the driver and the car be seen. Unlike Daytona where lot’s of money and good equipment tend to dictate the finish or Salem where driving ability and a whole lot of luck to stay out of the wrecks determines the winner. Nashville gives us just the perfect combination. You have to be prepared for Nashville and your driver needs to be on his game if your going to have a chance here.

I love having the Busch Series as the headliner this just helps ARCA to get in the spotlight. I know we complain about having to move or hurry to get out of the way, but the fans are what keep things going and when we have a headliner like Busch that is an opportunity for ARCA to gain more fans.

Contact The Guys:

You can reach Chris Knight at: CKnight@Catchfence.com

You can reach Daren Havens at: DHavens@Catchfence.com

You can reach Phillip McGilton at: PMcGilton@Catchfence.com

You can reach Eric Jones at: EJones@Catchfence.com

You can reach Joey Dennewitz at: JDennewitz@Catchfence.com

Contact The Girls:

You can reach Jennifer Belmont at: JBelmont@Catchfence.com

You can reach Bethann Puderbaugh at: BPuderbaugh@Catchfence.com

You can reach Shannon Feldmann-Wells at: SWells@Catchfence.com

Author: Chris Knight

Chris Knight (@Knighter01) has served as senior staff writer, assistant news editor and director of driver communications for CATCHFENCE.com since 2001. In his 16 years with CATCHFENCE.com, Knight has covered NASCAR's top-three series often breaking news, exclusive at-track content, while also providing in-depth race weekend coverage. He also offers exceptional insider coverage of the ARCA Racing Series and NASCAR K&N Pro Series divisions and more. In addition to his active duties at CATCHFENCE.com and other racing endeavors, the 33-year-old is also a frequent contributor to SiriusXM Satellite Radio NASCAR channel 90. Before moving back to a media role full-time in 2011 Knight served as the Manager of Operations and Communications for Sheltra Motorsports and driver Patrick Sheltra in the ARCA Racing Series for four years, including their championship season in 2010. Follow him on Twitter @Knighter01