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June 22, 2018

Gateway Motorsports Park


June 28, 2018

Chicagoland Speedway


June 28, 2018

Iowa Speedway

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ARCA Racing Series News and Rumors

  • Chandler Smith wins the Herr's Potato Chips 200 at Madison: Fifteen-year-old Chandler Smith scored his first career ARCA win in the Herr's 200 at Madison International Speedway on Friday night. Smith also led the practice session earlier in the day, and earned his fourth consecutive General Tire Pole in qualifying. Smith dropped to the tail of the lead lap with loose right side wheels. As Smith was slowing with those wheel issues on lap 37, Tommy Vigh, Jr. spun in turn four to put the field under the third caution of the evening, which allowed Smith to pit and stay on the lead lap. Smith made an unscheduled stop under caution on lap 39, and when the green waved three laps later he restarted 13th. The Talking Rock, Georgia, native quickly worked his way back up into the top five. By the halfway mark, he had moved back into third behind Zane Smith and Chase Purdy, both of whom looked like they could potentially be the car to beat. But by lap 126, Chandler dipped to the lowside on a restart and moved into the lead, a lead he wouldn't reliquish. Full Results (In part from ARCARacing.com) (06-18-18)
  • Ken Schrader Racing not competing at Madison: Ken Schrader Racing, which won the owner's championship last year with Austin Theriault driving, will not compete in tomorrow's Herr's Potato Chips 200 at Madison International Speedway. The team had announced that Brandon Grosso would compete full time in January, but Grosso left the organization prior to Pocono. Ken Schrader is expected to be behind the wheel of his own No. 52 entry when the team returns to the series at Gateway Motorsports Park on June 22nd. Will Rodgers will also compete in more events for the team later this year. (06-14-18)
  • Sheldon Creed scores first career win at Michigan: It wasn't exactly a barn burner, but for Sheldon Creed, in search of his career-first ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards victory, it must have looked like the "promise land" out the front windshield of his No. 28 United Rentals Toyota. Creed dominated the final two-thirds of the race, taking the lead on lap 37 of the 100-lap show and never let it go. In the end, the Alpine, Calif. driver pulled away from runner-up finisher Riley Herbst to win the 37th running of the ZOMONGO 200 Friday afternoon at Michigan Int'l Speedway. "It's been a long time coming," said Creed, who has three third-place finishes and a pair of runner-up runs already this year. "We have been so close to winning these things; it feels so good to finally get it done. It starts when you unload off the truck. It all goes back to the guys in the shop. Just a great day. No complaints inside the car…just a great day. Thanks to my whole family…my grandpa who's been behind me since day one. I can't wait to come back to the track and do it again." Creed also took back the championship points lead from his MDM Motorsports teammate Zane Smith. Full Results (In part from ARCARacing.com) (06-08-18)
  • Kevin Reed Jr; Daniel Koozer fined and suspended after Pocono: As a result of an incident on pit road and in the ARCA Racing Series garage area at Pocono Raceway June 1, Daniel Koozer and Kevin Reed Jr. have been fined $1,000 each, suspended for two races and placed on disciplinary probation for the remainder of 2018. The penalty was issued for violation of 2018 ARCA Rulebook Section 4, Pages 12-13, #5 and #10, which collectively reference professional conduct by team members, fighting and conduct or actions detrimental to the sport of auto racing and/or ARCA. (In part from ARCARacing.com) (06-08-18)
  • Chad Finley secures new sponsorship for Michigan: Former winner Chad Finley is set to make his return to ARCA's national tour in this Friday's ZOMONGO 200 at Michigan Int'l Speedway. Finley, in the family-owned No. 51 Chevrolet, will also get an assist from new marketing partner Strutmasters.com. Since 1999, Strutmasters.com has severed as an industry leader in suspension parts and air to non-air suspension conversion kits. The Roxboro, N.C. company debuted in the ARCA Racing Series in 2012 with driver Matt Lofton's race team. "We are so excited to welcome Strutmasters.com on board this weekend at Michigan," said Finley. "We work around the clock to try and bring new partners to our team and we’re glad to make it happen with Strutmasters.com. "Strutmasters.com is no stranger to ARCA and success in the series. We are hoping we can give them a good finish on Friday and maybe it will turn into more opportunities with them down the road." (In part from ARCARacing.com) (06-08-18)
  • Ken Schrader to race at Gateway with Drydene; Rodgers increases schedule: Drydene Performance Products has announced the addition of three races with Ken Schrader Racing for the 2018 ARCA Racing Series season. The additional races include Michigan International Speedway Friday and Chicagoland Speedway (June 28) for Will Rodgers, along with a return to ARCA competition by veteran Ken Schrader at Gateway Motorsports Park June 22. "The exposure that Team Drydene has garnered from this partnership to date has been exceptional," said Dave Klinger, president of Drydene Performance Products. "We are very proud to extend our support of Will Rodgers and Ken Schrader Racing. The response from our customers has been tremendous and that shows the power of being aligned with the right team combination in motorsports. Seeing Ken Schrader in our Drydene red firesuit will be a thrill for our customers and employees."
    Schrader: In Schrader’s last ARCA appearance at Gateway, his car broke while leading. Schrader's planning for a better go-round this time. He's also planning on getting a lot of local support, being from nearby Fenton, Mo. "With Gateway in my backyard, and with so many of my family and friends who will be there," said Schrader. "I'm looking forward to getting back into an ARCA race; it'll be fun, and I want a great finish for Drydene. I do want to give a shout out to Drydene Performance Products and thank them for giving an old guy like me a chance. Seriously, support from companies like Drydene is essential for racers like Will to build a strong foundation for a career in motorsports." (In part from ARCARacing.com) (06-07-18)
  • Natalie Decker returns to action at Michigan: Natalie Decker, the popular 20-year old driver, returns to the action this weekend when the ARCA Racing Series invades Michigan International Speedway on Friday June 8 for the 37th running of the ZOMONGO 200. In a well-documented storyline, Decker was partially sidelined last week at Pocono Raceway after undergoing successful hernia surgery on May 25, the day after competing at Charlotte Motor Speedway. On the mend and unable to go the distance, Decker was relegated to taking one-lap in last Friday's #AnywhereIsPossible 200 at the Tricky Triangle, before giving way to Venturini Motorsports' relief driver Brennan Poole. "I was overly optimistic thinking I could be ready for Pocono," said Decker. "My doctor kept me out knowing it would be best long term – we didn't want to chance missing any more races. I'm feeling 100% better now and ready to go at Michigan." (In part from Venturini Motorsports PR) (06-07-18)
  • Tommy Vigh Jr. to make ARCA debut at Madison for Fast Track Racing: In an effort to gain additional market exposure and increase its presence throughout the racing community, Extreme Energy Solutions took the opportunity to promote long time Veteran Dirt Track Race Car Driver Tommy Vigh Jr. to compete in ARCA. Vigh is the Company's Brand Ambassador in representing the Extreme Kleaner and H2O Energy Flow product lines, and has done so for a number of years. Tommy Vigh Jr. of Otisville, NY; and will be piloting equipment provided by Fast Track Racing, under the leadership of Andy Hillenburg, to make a run in this year's Herr's Potato Chips 200 at the Madison International Speedway on June 15, 2018, in the #11 car. "I am so grateful and thankful for the opportunity Extreme Energy Solutions and Samuel K. Burlum have been able to provide me over the last few years. Being able to drive at the ARCA level is a highlight for my career. I am also looking forward to driving for Fast Track and Andy Hillenburg. I appreciate that Andy allowed for me to get behind the wheel of his car. I look to make both Extreme and Fast track proud and hope for a good debut run,” Vigh shared. (In part from Extreme Energy Solutions PR) (06-07-18)
  • Harrison Burton wins at Pocono Raceway: ARCA rookie Harrison Burton looked more like a veteran in his career-first superspeedway start, handily winning the General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200 Friday afternoon at Pocono Raceway. Burton, in the No. 12 DEX Imaging Toyota, drove away from his teammates over the final 10 laps to earn his second career ARCA victory in his fifth series start. "That was awesome," said Burton. "It's my first superspeedway race, but it doesn't matter to us. I have the best team behind me. This win is for John Andretti. Their family is going through a lot right now. He's the toughest guy on the planet. If anyone can do it, he can." Burton struggled in the open test Wednesday, had a mechanical issue in practice Friday, but put it all together in time to go to Victory Lane. "I didn't get much sleep last night, but it was all worth it. All that matters is family in this world and I got a great one behind me. This is so cool." (In part from ARCARacing.com) (06-01-18)
  • Brennan Poole to relieve Natalie Decker after green flag: Natalie Decker, recovering from recent surgery, will start tomorrow’s ARCA Racing Series General Tire #AnyWhereIsPossible 200 at Pocono Raceway but will give way to Brennan Poole after the drop of Friday’s green flag. Natalie Decker and Brennan Poole Venturini PoconoDecker, who underwent successful hernia surgery last week the day after finishing 15th at Charlotte Motor Speedway, will take the green flag before coming down pit road on lap-1 making way for Poole to jump into the seat of her No. 25 N29 Capital Partners – Yamaha Power Products Toyota and complete the race for the popular 20-year old rookie driver. "It’s an unfortunate situation for Natalie and the team," said Poole Thursday morning from Pocono. "As a driver you always want to compete. I know how difficult this deal is for Natalie but it’s important for her to heal up and not push herself too much too early." (In part from Venturini Motorsports PR) (06-01-18)
  • Tony Mrakovich back with Fast Track Racing for Pocono: Tony Mrakovich is excited to return to his hometown track to compete in the ARCA General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200 this Friday at Pocono Raceway. Mrakovich will pilot the No. 11 Street Stores Hardware/Cedar Street Supply Chevrolet for Andy Hillenburg and Fast Track Racing. "I am really looking forward to competing at Pocono with the ARCA Racing Series this week" said the 19-year old. "I am eager to see how the weekend goes, returning to a track for the second time in the ARCA Series. My first start last year at Pocono was going very well until we picked the wrong fuel strategy and lost some track position." Mrakovich also understands that building team chemistry is critical to improving performance, something he sees developing with Fast Track Racing as Friday will mark the third time both team and driver have worked together in 2018. "The guys at Fast Track Racing work really hard but still know how to have fun, which makes it particularly enjoyable to work with them. Last month at Toledo was the first time back with the team since Daytona. Working consistently with them and building momentum is the best way we can learn and improve together" explained Mrakovich. (In part from Tony Mrakovich Racing PR) (06-01-18)
  • Natalie Decker undergoes surgery after Charlotte: ARCA Racing Series rookie driver Natalie Decker underwent successful hernia surgery Friday afternoon at Carolina Medical Center to repair a small tear in her abdomen. Decker, 20, driver of the No. 25 Toyota for Venturini Motorsports, first experienced symptoms after last month's ARCA race at Talladega Superspeedway. Given the green light by her tending physician, Dr. Kent Kercher, Decker went on to compete in the last two series events at Toledo Speedway (7th place) and Charlotte Motor Speedway (15th place). Expected to make a full recovery, Decker will travel with the team for ARCA's next event, the General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200 on Friday, June 1 at Pocono Raceway. (In part from ARCARacing.com) (05-28-18)
  • Brandon Jones wins the General Tire 150 at Charlotte: Brandon Jones held off a late-race, spirited charge from Riley Herbst to win the ARCA General Tire 150 Thursday night under the lights at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Jones, in the No. 12 Mobil 1-TRD Toyota, had a 10-length lead inside of five laps to go when Herbst chopped it down to nothing coming to the white flag. Herbst got to the back bumper of Jones on the last lap but couldn't find a way around the eventual winner. Jones was able to use a lapped car to put two lengths in between himself and Herbst at the checkered flag. "We gave it all we had... battling for the win," said Jones, who led 32 laps. "Every driver out there was putting it all on the line. This is just incredible. I've been to Charlotte so many times, but never been down in that winner's circle. We came to win it, and that's what we did." Full Results (In part from ARCARacing.com) (05-28-18)
  • Evelyn Hylton releases statement thanking ARCA community: Toledo marked the first race back for Brad Smith in the 48 car without his longtime car owner James Hylton at the helm. Hylton, and his son James, Jr., lost their lives in a highway accident coming home from Talladega in late April. Each car in Sunday's Menards 200 at Toledo Speedway carried a memorial sticker of James and James, Jr. on the C-panels.
    Evelyn Hylton:
    "Thank you all for everything. They both so enjoyed your friendships, especially the Basham family. Thank you to Ron Drager for being so gracious to me. Please show your love every day, because there might not be a tomorrow." (In part from ARCARacing.com) (05-22-18)
  • Zane Smith wins the Menards 200 at Toledo: Zane Smith, with a bold three-wide maneuver in lapped traffic, passed his MDM Motorsports teammate Chase Purdy with nine laps remaining, then sped away to win the Menards 200 Sunday afternoon at Toledo Speedway. "I had to work so hard to get back to Chase (Purdy)... he got me on that last restart," said Smith. "Our cars were pretty-much dead-even. I knew we were going to catch lappers sooner or later. When we got there, I just thought it through and split him and a lapper going into (turn) three." Purdy, in the No. 8 Bama Buggies Toyota, passed Smith from the outside on a lap 175 restart and immediately put five lengths between himself and the eventual winner. The gap stayed the same up inside of 10 laps remaining when Purdy found himself in lapped traffic with Smith bearing down. Smith, with a lapped car to his inside, got inside of Purdy making it three-wide headed into turn three. Once both cleared the lapped car, Smith emerged as the leader. Full Results (In part from ARCARacing.com) (05-22-18)
  • Joe Graf Jr increases schedule; running all remaining events for Chad Bryant Racing: What began as a six-race experimental deal in 2018 with Chad Bryant Racing (CBR), has evolved into a full-time program for Mahwah, N.J. rookie Joe Graf, Jr. It certainly didn't hurt that Graf nearly won the General Tire 200 at Talladega Superspeedway in his first attempt back in late April, coming in second after a photo finish. "Yeah I'm really happy with the way everything has gone," said Graf. "We've been nothing but pleased; they have a great program. I'd like to thank Chad Bryant (Racing) and Big Tine for making it possible. I wouldn't be able to do this without their help." Graf will be working with NASCAR Cup champion crew chief Paul Andrews all season. He'll also have an assist from his driver coach Mike Bliss, also a veteran of NASCAR racing. (In part from ARCARacing.com) (05-16-18)
  • Tony Mrakovich back with Fast Track Racing for Toledo: Tony Mrakovich has teamed up once again with Fast Track Racing and Andy Hillenburg along with sponsor Extreme Energy Solutions (EES) to run the Menards 200 at Toledo Speedway on Sunday, May 20th. Mrakovich will be piloting the No. 10 SMART Emissions Reducer Toyota Camry in the 200-lap event in northern Ohio. The 19-year old will be running in his third event of the year that included the ARCA season opener at Daytona and the Xfinity Race at Richmond Raceway. Sunday will mark Mrakovich’s first time at Toledo Speedway, with the half-mile oval representing another opportunity to build his resume. The rising star plans to lean on his past experience to help him through the weekend. While the track may be new to Mrakovich the team is not, a factor that plays heavily into his comfort level. "Andy Hillenburg has always provided me with great advice that goes hand-in-hand with the fast race cars the team builds" said Mrakovich. "I always look forward to competing in the ARCA Racing Series. There are some great people in that series. I am thankful for the opportunity that EES and Fast Track Racing have provided and hope to make the most of it!" (In part from Tony Mrakovich Racing PR) (05-16-18)
  • Thomas Praytor; Max Force Racing not competing at Toledo: As they say all good things come to an end and for Thomas "Moose" Praytor a three race deal that’s turned the Mobile, Alabama driver into the ARCA Series Ironman is over at 105 races. The streak of 105 consecutive races encompasses six seasons of ARCA competition and over 13,000 laps. You have to go back to October of 2012 to not find Praytor in the ARCA lineup. "It’s been an incredible run, I never thought I would get to make one ARCA race much less over 100." Is this the end of the line for the Moose? “Oh no! We have a lot of people calling and wanting to drive our cars. Ronnie Osmer did a great job in Daytona for us and we expect him to race a few more times. I’ll still be preparing our cars and coming to the racetrack as crew chief and my Dad and I may swap up spotter roles. I’m going to get to yell at him for a change (laughing)." What about behind the wheel? “I’ve got favorite places I like to go, I’ve already circled DuQuoin and Springfield. Over the last 6 years I’ve become a big fan of the dirt and I love plate racing. ORP, St. Louis and Kansas may pop up but I’m really going to try and recharge. My Dad has a hat he started wearing last year, it say "Make Racing Fun Again". That’s what we’re going to do." (In part from Max Force Racing PR) (05-14-18)
  • ZOMONGO becomes Michigan Entitlement Partner: The Big Life is coming to Michigan International Speedway in June. The ARCA Racing Series race on June 8 will be called the ZOMONGO 200. The multi-year deal will allow the Canadian and United States corporation to help everyone live bigger and better. In fact, that’s what ZOMONGO means; "Big Life". In other words, the company doesn’t like doing things small. "This announcement is something that we’re really excited about," said ZOMONGO President/CEO Jeremy Ostrowski. "Not only is the Michigan track historic, but the group that oversees and runs the track is a fantastic group of people to work with." The ZOMONGO entitlement sponsorship caps a successful offseason for Michigan International Speedway. The track has agreed to multi-year deals with all five of its entitlement sponsors that will keep them as partners for many years to come. "We are excited to welcome ZOMONGO as the entitlement partner for our June ARCA Racing Series race," track President Rick Brenner said. "This partnership caps a successful period for us and we are happy to secure all of our entitlement partners for many years to come. ZOMONGO is bringing its "Big Life" philosophy to the fan plaza and Turn 3 Deck and our fans are in for something special." (In part from ARCARacing.com) (05-14-18)
  • DGR-CROSLEY increases ARCA schedule: The business model is rolling out nicely at DGR-CROSLEY, and it will include some ARCA Racing Series events coming to a track near you. "Our business model has been built on trying to come in... in a very smart and controlled fashion," said Bo LeMastus. "We have not wanted to overreach, and things are progressing really well. We're very happy with where we're at during this current stage. Our programs are rolling out nicely." LeMastus is also adding some ARCA races to his already busy schedule. "I'm planning to run the ARCA race at Salem and Kansas toward the end of the year." DGR-CROSLEY also has plans for the ARCA race at Pocono, coming June 1. "Noah Gragson will be in the 54 ARCA car at Pocono. We'll also be testing at Charlotte this week with Todd Gilliland in preparation for the ARCA race (at Charlotte). We're also fielding cars for a kid full-time in the K&N Series, so there's a lot going on at DGR-CROSLEY." (In part from ARCARacing.com) (05-14-18)
  • Venturini Motorsports teams fined and penalized after Talladega: Based on technical inspection violations during General Tire 200 activities at Talladega Superspeedway, the Venturini Motorsports #20 and #55 teams have been penalized.
    Brandon Lynn:
    The #55 penalty was for violation of 2018 ARCA Rulebook Page 51, #3M ii, which states in part “Any hose connected to NACA duct (not used for cooling driver), must be connected to blower or cooler and must exhaust outside the driver compartment... connectors must be point to point”; Page 58, #4C ii, which states in part “Engine lubrication reservoir tanks to be located in and accessible through driver compartment behind driver (completely encased with magnetic steel and properly sealed)”; and the Race Event Technical Bulletin Item #20 which references trailing arm bolts. As a result, VMS #55 crew chief Ryan London has been fined $2000 and placed on probation for 6 months, and team owner Billy Venturini and driver Brandon Lynn have been penalized with the loss of 25 championship points.
    Leilani Munter:
    The #20 penalty was for violation of the 2018 Talladega Race Event Technical Bulletin, Item #20, which references trailing arm bolts. As a result, VMS #20 crew chief Frank Kimmel has been fined $500 and placed on probation for 6 months. (In part from ARCARacing.com) (05-04-18)
  • Joe Gibbs Racing fined after Talladega: Based on technical inspection violations during General Tire 200 activities at Talladega Superspeedway, [the Joe Gibbs Racing #18 team has] been penalized. The #18 penalty was for violation of 2018 ARCA Rulebook Page 49, #3L ii, which states in part “Any air entering a side window NACA duct must exhaust inside driver compartment, must be fully functional, not have any restrictions and not connected to a fan. The “A” post polycarbonate section and hoses, if NACA duct used, must be properly installed to ARCA inspector’s discretion, flush with the window and used for air intake only.” As a result, JGR #18 crew chief Robert “Bootie” Barker has been fined $500 and placed on probation for 6 months. (In part from ARCARacing.com) (05-04-18)
  • Chase Purdy injured at Talladega; expected to return at Toledo: Chase Purdy had worked his way back inside the top ten when he got turned into the turn three wall, resulting in a 25th place finish. He was taken to the local hospital for examination and then released with a bulged disc in his back. It is expected he will be back in the car for the series’ next race at Toledo. "Man, I thought the hit at Daytona was bad," Purdy said with a smile. “We had a really fast car today. I wasn’t sure what we had after practice, but man did it come alive in the race. It was cool to run up front at Talladega. Thank you to all the guys on our team, everyone that came out to watch us, and to all who’ve reached out to me wanting to know how I was doing. I will be back for Toledo.” (In part from MDMMotorsports.com) (05-04-18)
  • No charges filed in Hylton Motorsports accident: No charges have been filed in the truck accident that took the lives of former NASCAR driver James Hylton and his son, according to the Georgia State Patrol on Wednesday. Hylton, an 83-year-old graduate of William Byrd High School, died in a one-vehicle accident last Saturday morning on Interstate 85 in northern Georgia while returning from an ARCA race at Talladega Superspeedway. James Hylton Jr., 61, also died in the crash. The elder Hylton owned James Hylton Motorsports, the South Carolina-based ARCA team of driver Brad Smith. Hylton, his son and crew chief Terry Strange were driving back to South Carolina in the hauler when the accident occurred. Strange who was driving the hauler, was injured in the crash. According to a police report that was completed Monday, Strange told police that he “changed lanes from the right lane to the left in an attempt to overtake a slower vehicle. … He further stated that after he had changed lanes, an unknown vehicle attempted to change lanes from the right lane to the left lane and almost struck his vehicle. The driver stated he tried to avoid a collision with the unknown vehicle. While trying to avoid the collision with the unknown vehicle, the driver stated he traveled into the west shoulder and lost control of his vehicle.” Police said Wednesday that no charges have been filed against Strange or against the driver of any other vehicle. (In part from Roanoke.com) (05-04-18)
  • James Hylton and son pass away in traffic accident UPDATE: Former NASCAR racer James Hylton and his son were both killed in a crash on I-85 in Franklin County, early Saturday morning. According to Georgia State Patrol, the collision happened near mile marker 164 in the northbound lane at 6:10 a.m. The report states that the vehicle ran off the roadway left and hit an embankment. The vehicle was hauling a trailer that contained a car, according to Georgia State Patrol. The two passengers were killed in the crash. The victims were identified by Georgia State Patrol and the Franklin County Coroner's Office as 83-year-old James Harvey Hylton and 61-year-old James Harvey Hylton, Jr. both were from Inman and died at the scene. The driver was injured and taken to the Greenville Memorial Hospital by ambulance. The official cause of death will be released after autopsies have been performed. (In part from WSPA.com) (04-28-18)
    UPDATE: James Hylton died in a truck accident Saturday morning in Georgia while returning from an ARCA race at Talladega Superspeedway, his ex-wife, Evelyn Hylton, said. Hylton was 83 years old. James Hylton Jr., the 61-year-old son of James and Evelyn Hylton, also died in the crash. The elder Hylton owned James Hylton Motorsports, the ARCA team of driver Brad Smith. The race team operated out of a garage in Inman, South Carolina. An ARCA race was held Friday night at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. Hylton, his son, and crew chief Terry Strange were driving back to South Carolina in the hauler when the accident occurred at about 6 a.m. Saturday on Interstate 85 in northern Georgia, according to Evelyn Hylton. Evelyn, who lived with her son in Inman, said a police officer came to her door Saturday morning to inform her of the accident. "[The officer] said Terry … told them that he thought James was having a heart attack and he looked over at him and lost control of the truck and went across the median and then across the other lane of traffic and hit an embankment," Evelyn Hylton said in a phone interview. "The truck, towing a big trailer with a race car on it, thousands of pounds, you have to be really careful." Evelyn Hylton said her son had called her about midnight to tell her they were leaving a restaurant in Alabama and heading home. "I'd been trying to call him all morning and didn't get an answer," she said. (In part from Roanoke.com) (04-28-18)
    STATEMENT FROM ARCA: "Racing competitively in parts of six decades, James Hylton’s dedication, passion and longevity in motorsports is virtually unmatched. Hylton won the rookie of the year at NASCAR’s highest level, the 1972 race at Talladega Superspeedway and regularly contended for championships during the early years of his career. His racing influence continued into the ARCA series, where he competed as a driver and, most recently, a car owner. We have lost a truly special member of the racing family and a beloved figure among generations of competitors and race fans alike. We extend our deepest condolences to the Hylton family on the tragic loss of James Hylton and his son James Jr." (ARCARacing.com) (04-28-18)
  • NASCAR acquires the ARCA Racing Series: In a move designed to strengthen a relationship that dates back more than 60 years, NASCAR announced today the acquisition of the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA). Both NASCAR and ARCA, a Midwest-based sanctioning body for stock car auto racing, share a long history: ARCA founder John Marcum raced against Bill France Sr. and worked as a NASCAR official. More recently, the series has provided a valuable platform for talented drivers looking to make it to NASCAR’s national series. "Our NASCAR family has long had a special connection with our friends at ARCA, and this is a logical step in demonstrating our commitment to the next generation of racers," said Jim France, NASCAR vice chairman, executive vice president and member of the sport’s founding family. "This continues the legacy our sport was built upon and will deliver the great racing our fans expect." The ARCA Racing Series will continue to operate under its current structure through the 2019 season. This year’s schedule of 20 races includes nine events at NASCAR national series venues, and three others at NASCAR Whelen All-American Series tracks – illustrating the bond between the two sanctioning bodies. "We are proud of the history and tradition of the ARCA Racing Series and the relationship we’ve built over six decades with NASCAR," said Ron Drager, ARCA president and grandson of John Marcum. "We look forward to the opportunity to be more fully integrated with NASCAR and help shape the future of our sport." (In part from ARCARacing.com) (04-28-18)
  • Zane Smith wins at Talladega; closest finish in ARCA history: It was the closest margin of victory in ARCA Racing Series history. In fact, it was so close that the transponders that measure such things were tied at 0.00 seconds. But after going back to the start-finish camera, it was determined that Zane Smith out-dragged rookie Joe Graf, Jr. to the finish line in a good old-fashioned photo finish to win the wild General Tire 200 Friday afternoon at Talladega Superspeedway. Smith, in the No. 41 LaPaz Margarita Mix Toyota, survived two overtimes and a grinding door-to-door sprint to the checkers alongside rookie Joe Graf, Jr. to earn his second career ARCA victory. Smith also led 16 laps. "It's awesome, to win like that," said Smith. "To be honest, I didn't know I had won. My spotter came over the radio and finally told me. At that point, my arms and legs were literally shaking inside the car. I get to work with best team in the garage... all the guys at MDM Motorsports... my sponsor LaPaz Margarita Mix. I get to work with Mardy Lindley, the best crew chief anywhere. In the last three races, we've finished first, second and first. I'm beyond pumped for this year." Full Results (In part from ARCARacing.com) (04-28-18)
  • Our Motorsports fielding two entries at Talladega; Josh Williams to drive: Our Motorsports is doubled-up with two entries for the General Tire 200 at Talladega Superspeedway. In addition to Andy Seuss, who drove for Our Motorsports in the season-opener at Daytona, the team added ARCA veteran Josh Williams to its line-up for Talladega. Williams, a two-time ARCA Racing Series winner, has been a regular in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2018. "I'm excited to compete at Talladega and have the opportunity to be part of the Our Motorsports family with Andy," said Williams. "It's  always  nice knowing you'll have a teammate at a restrictor-plate race." Seuss, the NASCAR Whelen Modified standout, also sees value in having Williams on board. "I think it's great for our program," said Seuss. "Josh is a veteran of the series and brings knowledge and experience. We're all looking forward to the weekend." Williams' JW Motorsports team prepared the car that he will drive, while Seuss and his crew fine-tuned their entry out of their own Our Motorsports stable. (In part from ARCARacing.com) (04-26-18)
  • Max Force Racing; Thomas Praytor partner with AIDB at Talladega: Thomas “Moose” Praytor and his Mobile, Alabama crew are continuing their long standing relationship with the Alabama Institute of Deaf and Blind (AIDB) this weekend at Talladega. Jeffrey Oliver, a student at AIDB will become a pit crew member this weekend for the General Tire 200. “We always enjoy having students come over from AIDB and having Jeffrey come back to help us out is really cool.” [Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB) will serve as the primary sponsor on the No. 9 entry this weekend.] (In part from Max Force Racing PR) (04-26-18)
  • Willie Mullins opts out of Talladega; focusing on own business: Despite the successful run at Daytona, [Willie] Mullins has chosen to sit out Friday’s General Tire 200 at Talladega Superspeedway in order to focus on his business, Bugsy’s Auto in Fredericksburg, Va. "It is heartbreaking after that second-place finish at Daytona that we’re not able to go to Talladega and back it up," Mullins said. "I really wanted to be there, but with the business taking on a new shape we’re having to focus on that and work towards the future so that in many years to come we can hopefully keep racing." Despite carrying sponsorship from businesses like Crow Wing Recycling and CW Metals, Mullins Racing is still heavily self-funded. Because of that, Mullins says it is important for him to focus on making his business as healthy as possible so that he can afford to return to the race track. "I’ve always been taught that if you take care of the business then the business will take care of you," Mullins explained. "That’s our main focus. Right now we have a very large account with County Waste here in Fredericksburg and we’re trying to make sure we keep them happy. County Waste is a very large partner of us and we’re looking to grow with them as they are growing too." (In part from Mullins Racing PR) (04-25-18)
  • Chandler Smith released from hospital after last lap crash: Chandler Smith was evaluated and released from a local hospital on Sunday after a hard crash on the last lap of the ARCA Racing Series event at Salem Speedway. Smith’s No. 20 Toyota was the dominant car of the race, leading 117 of the 200 laps. But his Venturini Motorsports teammate Christian Eckes was the first car off pit road during the money stop and Smith was left chasing Eckes down over the final laps. The duo were nose-to-tail and side-by-side throughout the final run to the checkered flag, but Smith wasn’t able to make the pass for the lead. As they barreled into turn one on the white flag lap, Smith slid up the 33-degree banking and slammed hard into the outside wall. Venturini Motorsports confirmed the right-front tire went down on Smith’s Toyota, leading to the wreck. Smith was not made available for comment after his hospital visit. (In part from MotorsportsTribune.com) (04-23-18)
  • Christian Eckes scores first victory at Salem: Christian Eckes held off a hungry pack over the final 50 laps to earn his career-first ARCA Racing Series victory Sunday afternoon at Salem Speedway. Eckes, in the No. 15 JBL Audio Toyota for Venturini Motorsports, first fought off Zane Smith, then held back the nonstop hard charge from Chandler Smith to win the 103rd running of the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200. "I can't believe this... I really can't," said Eckes. "This is the biggest win of my life. This is Salem. It's so hard to win here. I have no words to describe how relieved I am right now and how much this means to me." Eckes's Venturini crew got him out first during the final stop during which the leaders took four General Tires for the thrilling run to checkers. "This Venturini pit crew won this race... they got us out first. As a whole, we executed perfectly today. There have been so many... so many seconds. To finally get this victory... it's the biggest one of my career." Full Results (In part from ARCARacing.com) (04-23-18)
  • Jack Dossey III making ARCA debut at Salem; two more races in 2018: Jack Dossey III will make his ARCA Racing Series debut this Sunday on the famous High Banks of Salem Speedway. Dossey recently tested his #99 Jack Dossey Motorsports Toyota at Salem, a track he is familiar with, having raced there in 2016 and 2017 with the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour. Dossey finished second in last year’s JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour event at Salem to winner Jack Smith. "There is a night and day difference between the JEGS Tour late models and the bigger heaver ARCA cars," remarked Dossey. "I learned a lot at the test. It was good we went. I think this could be big for my career and the team. Right now, I couldn’t feel any better about the upcoming race!" The Jack Dossey Motorsports Team currently plans to compete in two other ARCA Racing Series events in September at Lucas Oil Raceway and back at Salem Speedway. (In part from CRA-Racing.com) (04-21-18)
  • Hixson Motorsports not competing at Salem; next race at Pocono: For 20 consecutive years, Hixson Motorsports has fielded cars in every ARCA Racing Series race, every event since Daytona 1999. However, the Hixson, Tennessee-based team will not be in the line-up at Salem. "I'm sitting on my back porch looking out at the Tennessee River," said Team Owner Wayne Hixson. "I'm going fishing tomorrow." Hixson has been fielding ARCA cars since 1988. "We ran Charlotte, Atlanta, Daytona, Talladega and Pocono up through '98. We did that up till '99 when we started full-time." It's been more than full-time for Hixson who often fielded as many as three cars in each race. "I've raced in every ARCA race since '99 without missing one... 670 cars I've put out there over the last 20 years. I still love to race... still want to race; but there's a little relief in this. "The rules changed so much…it just costs too much for guys like me. There's no hard feelings; but I'm not going to keep spending money just to go around in circles... without having a shot to run up front. "I'm still going to race; but we just won't be there as much unless someone calls and wants to run and has got the money to run. "Our next race is Pocono... I think Steve Fox is going to run the 3 car for us. We're also going to run St. Louis (Gateway) with Eric (Caudell). Joe (Cooksey) is going to run Springfield and DuQuoin. Joe drove the wheels off the car at Nashville, and couldn't stay up against those other motors." (In part from ARCARacing.com) (04-21-18)
  • Josh Berry to drive at Salem for Chad Bryant Racing: Josh Berry will make his ARCA Racing Series debut this weekend at Salem Speedway, driving the No. 22 Big Tine Ford for Chad Bryant Racing. The 27-year-old driver from Hendersonville, Tenn. currently drives for JR Motorsports, the race team owned by 15-time NASCAR Most Popular Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. "It’s an interesting place," said Berry. "It’s wild, definitely a challenge and will be a tough place to race. Tire management is going to be key there, and that might benefit me in that I do that every week in my Late Model with the CARS Tour. It’s a great opportunity for me to try the ARCA Racing Series, which has always been very competitive. I’m looking forward to the weekend with Chad and the rest of the CBR team." (In part from ARCARacing.com) (04-17-18)
  • Brandon Lynn joins Venturini Motorsports for Talladega & Charlotte: Brandon Lynn has signed on with Venturini Motorsports as part of a two race deal to pilot the No. 55 Remodeez Toyota in upcoming ARCA Racing Series events at Talladega Superspeedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway. A familiar face in the garage, Lynn, a 23-year old native of Penn Yann, NY, has made eight series starts with two top-10 finishes since making his ARCA debut back in the Spring of 2015. "This is an awesome opportunity," said Lynn. "It's great to be back in the series and an honor to race with a team with so much prestige in ARCA. It's a great feeling knowing I’m getting in equipment capable of winning. As long as the driver is in the game we should be good off the hauler." Almost a year to the date from his last series start at Talladega, Lynn will revisit the track in two weeks competing in the General Tire 200, a race he nearly won in 2017. (In part from Venturini Motorsports PR) (04-16-18)
  • Primera Plastics sponsoring Berlin race: Berlin Raceway officials announced that Primera Plastics, a precision injection molding company based in Zeeland, Michigan, will be the race entitlement sponsor for the ARCA Racing Series event at Berlin July 21—the Primera Plastics 200. "We have been involved with Berlin Raceway for a number of years and are extremely excited to now be part of another prestigious event at this facility," said Primera Plastics founder and CEO Noel Cuellar. "Big events like this typically bring in a lot of big names along with a number of talented drivers which makes for a great show, and that’s what we are looking forward to." The Primera Plastics 200 will be the 30th ARCA race at Berlin. ARCA's history at Berlin reaches way back through seven decades when on July 25, 1958 Les Snow won the inaugural 100-lap ARCA race on the old Berlin half-mile dirt oval. Six-time ARCA champion Iggy Katona won the final ARCA race on the Berlin dirt in 1964 before the track was paved over in time for Andy Hampton's ARCA victory in 1968. (In part from ARCARacing.com) (04-16-18)
  • Zane Smith wins the Music City 200 at Nashville:  It was a long time coming for Huntington Beach, Calif.'s Zane Smith; but it was well worth the wait. On the heels of three runner-up finishes in 2017, Smith put it all together Saturday night at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville, winning the Music City 200. Smith, in the No. 41 LaPaz Margarita Mix Toyota, passed his MDM Motorsports teammate Sheldon Creed with 20 laps to go and drove away to a 10-length lead for his career-first ARCA Racing Series win. "I knew it was going to come down to me and Sheldon... I think you're going to see that battle a lot this year," said Smith. "I can tell you coming to the white flag my legs were shaking. I forgot how to get to victory lane; it's been so long." MDM Motorsports swept the top-three positions with Creed in second and Harrison Burton in third. Full Results (In part from ARCARacing.com) (04-09-18)
  • Eddie Fatscher joins Venturini Motorsports for three races: 15-year old Eddie Fatscher from Long Island, New York has joined Venturini Motorsports and will make three starts during the 2018 ARCA Racing Series season. Fatscher, making the progression from early development racing in the Northeast to the highly competitive ranks of Super late model competition, will make his ARCA Series debut behind the wheel of VMS’ No. 55 Toyota at Toledo Speedway on May 20. Adding his name to the series’ youth movement, Fatscher will also compete at events at Madison Int'l Speedway (June 15) and Elko Speedway (July 14). "I couldn’t be any more excited to take the next step in my career with Venturini Motorsports," says Fatscher. "This is a huge opportunity. The ARCA Series is highly competitive and delivers some of the best short track racing around. I’m ready to put my skills to the test." (In part from Venturini Motorsports PR) (04-05-18)