APRIL 22, 2008
Keeping up with Speed
Scott Speed disappeared from Formula 1 last year, disaffected with Scuderia Toro Rosso and keen to rebuild his career in the United States of America. Red Bull stuck by the 25-year-old Californian racer and this year he has been racing in the ARCA Re/Max Series. This is a professional stock car series, sanctioned by the Automobile Racing Club of America, which is considered to be two steps down from the Nextel Sprint Cup. It is often used as a stepping stone by youngsters who want to move up to the NASCAR Nationwide Series and then the Sprint Cup. The series is held on a variety of tracks from dirt ovals to the big speedways like Daytona and even on road courses. The series has a man who is considered to be the yardstick for all the rising stars. Frank Kimmel has been ARCA Re/Max champion every year for the last eight years. Beat him and you on your way. The series is three races into the season and Speed has done well. He has qualified on the front row twice and while he crashed out of the first race, he was fifth in the second event and third last weekend in Iowa. He has led all three races. He is now eighth in the championship standings but with 21 races still to go, there is plenty of time. Speed has also competed in a couple of NASCAR Craftsman Truck series events at the wheel of a Red Bull-sponsored Bill Davis Racing Chevrolet Silverado and finished 10th in his second event. He is due to take part in another nine truck races this year.
If all goes well Speed is bound for the Sprint Cup in 2009 or 2010. Red Bull currently runs two cars in the Sprint Cup for Brian Vickers and veteran Mike Skinner, who is currently standing in for AJ Allmendinger, who was stood down after failing to qualify for the first three races of the year. Allmendinger returns to action this weekend in Talladega.