Steve Arpin, the stock car racer from the northern Ontario town of Fort Frances (that's black-fly country, folks), has started his rocketship ride to the top of NASCAR.
Arpin, you'll recall, won his first major-league stock car race a few weeks ago when he flew past the checkers first in an ARCA feature at Salem Speedway in Indiana. Then he shocked the racing world by winning the ARCA preliminary to the NASCAR weekend at Texas Motor Speedway last Friday night.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., who'd previously fired Kelly Biers, reacted by announcing that Arpin would take over the JR Motorsports Nationwide ride this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, which - if you must know - is a bit of a trial by fire. He'll get a second chance to prove how good he is in the same car next Friday night at Richmond, Va.
At Talladega - the race can be seen on TSN2 tomorrow afternoon at 2:30 - Arpin qualified fourth today. He was 19th fastest (out of 48 cars out there) in the first practice session Friday morning and then improved to 17th in second practice. He outqualified such Sprint Cup veterans as Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer and Joey Logano. Jamie McMurray in the sister JR Motorsports car (No. 88) could only qualify 26th.
Kevin Harvick (pole), Carl Edwards and Ricky Stenhouse are the only drivers who will start in front of Arpin.
Meantime, he's the subject of a highly complimentary article on the nascar.com website today. Edwards, among others, positively gushes about Arpin's potential. You can read it here.
Talking about something else to link to (we weren't, but I couldn't think of another way to change the subject), a friend sent me this ad for a new book called "Formula One for Dummies."Now, every F1 fan I know already thinks they know everything about the sport but I'll wager there's something in this book that will be new.
The people who publish the "for Dummies" books are not dummies themselves, so there must be a market.It's fun to read the pitch, if nothing else.