1.5 – Average finish for Travis Sauter at The Milwaukee Mile over the first two runnings of the Howie Lettow Memorial 150. He won the first year and then finished second to Kyle Busch in 2013.
3 – The average finish of Johnny Sauter at the Milwaukee Mile in the first two ARCA Midwest Tour Howie Lettow Memorial events. Johnny has finished third in both 2012 and 2013. He hope that 2014 will be the year he lands in victory lane.
5 – Number of divisions racing around the one-mile oval during the course of the weekend. They include the ARCA Midwest Tour, the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour, Mid-American Stock Car Series, IMCA Vintage cars and the Midwest Tout Trucks.
28.695 – The event qualifying track record set by Kyle Busch in 2013.
85 – Milwaukee will be the 85th ARCA Midwest Tour Series start for current points leader Nathan Haseleu. The 2007 champion has 40 finishes in the top five and 64 in the top 10. However his recent success at The Mile has been limited. He was 11th a year ago and a disappointing 38th in 2012.
115 – Number of laps completed last year before the race was called due to darkness. It was a marvelous effort by the ARCA Midwest Tour and all the series officials to make it that far after the weather that wreaked havoc on the schedule during the event.
$5,000 – Money on the line awaiting the winner. That does not include the $5,000 bonus for the highest finishing non-NASCAR regular that will be awarded. Someone could pocket $10,000 for the win on Sunday afternoon.
Star Power – The power of the ARCA Midwest Touring Stars is a worthy group of favorites for the win in Milwaukee. Nathan Haseleu is due, Ty Majeski is fresh off his win at Illiana, Andrew Morrissey is lurking fifth in points and Jonathan Eilen is hoping to build off a strong run at Milwaukee to make another run at the season long championship.
Sleepers – Brent Kirchner quickly comes to mind as one of the many sleepers. Kirchner won Iowa Speedway back in 2012 and that was a minor upset. Other sleepers include Paul Shafer, Jr., Chad Finley and Griffith McGrath, who was seventh last year.
JEGS – The JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour will run with the ARCA Midwest Tour cars on Sunday. The field is jam packed with talent with drivers like Garrett Jones, Justin South, Jack Smith, Dakota Stroup, Dominque Van Wieringen and two-time Daytona 500 winner Sterling Marlin. Anderson Bowen held off Dave Gentile Jr. to win the Masters of the Pros 144 at I-44 Speedway last month and both will be on hand at Milwaukee. SpeedFest winner John Hunter Nemechek will also race in the JEGS event.
Defending Winning Car? – There is a good chance that two-time Snowball Derby winner Erik Jones will be piloting the same car that Kyle Busch drove to victory last year at The Milwaukee Mile. After Busch won at Milwaukee, Jones went on to win the Winchester 400 and the Snowball Derby in KBM equipment. Erik finished 17th after starting 38th a season ago at Milwaukee.
Keep your eye on… – Ty Majeski. The hype surrounding this young driver was believable at Illiana Motor Speedway (IN) when he won the second leg of Border Wars. That was a big stage, but now “The Mile” offers the biggest test the young driver will see in 2014. If Majeski can pocket the win on Sunday then the next question will follow – Can he win the ARCA Midwest Tour Series championship? Milwaukee would be a good start.
A Good Combination – Kelly Bires and Ross Kenseth both missed the Howie Lettow memorial 150 as drivers back in 2012. Now the crew chief-driver combo hopes to return to make some magic. For Bires it means a lot because Lettow was his crew chief when he drove for Wal-Tom Racing years ago. For Kenseth it means a lot because it’s the home state of Wisconsin and his dad Matt Kenseth has already won there.
Sauter Time – The Sauter family has wins at Milwaukee in ASA National Tour (Jim Sauter 1984), Slim Jim All Pro Series (Tim Sauter, 1994, NASCAR Nationwide Series (Johnny Sauter 2005) and the ARCA Midwest Tour (Travis Sauter 2012). This would the family to bet on coming into this weekend.
Long Haul – Anderson Bowen from Suwanee, Georgia leads the long haul category from the south as other teams from the South will make the trip. The North Carolina group includes John Hunter Nemechek, Steven Wallace, Jerick Johnson, the Wauters team with Spencer Wauters and Will Gallaher and the KBM team with Erik Jones.
– By Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Operations Manager – Twitter: @ElginTraylor. Photo Credit: Bruce Nuttleman/Speed51.com