Upcoming ARCA Races

February 18, 2017

Daytona International Speedway


April 8, 2017 

Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway


April 30, 2017

Salem Speedway

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ARCA Racing Series News and Rumors

  • Harrison Burton joins MDM Motorsports for select ARCA races: Harrison Burton will be very busy in 2017. As announced earlier, Harrison [will] compete in a partial NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule. He recently reached an agreement with MDM Motorsports to compete for a championship in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East as well as racing in select ARCA races. “I’m truly fortunate to compete with three teams that will give me the best chance to have success at the highest levels. I’m incredibly grateful to have not one, but six, corporate partners so committed to my future and that of the sport,” Burton said. Rheem Manufacturing will sponsor a select number of K&N Pro Series East and ARCA races. (In part from TheHarrisonBurton.com) (01-18-17)
  • Calvin Carroll impressive at Daytona: The last time Calvin Carroll had the chance to visit Daytona he was just a young kid running Quarter Midgets. This past weekend 16-year-old Carroll of Andover, N.J., was back only this time he was part of the action. During the two days of ARCA Racing Series open testing, Carroll was making his first ever laps around the 2.5-mile superspeedway. “It was awesome...it was the best thing I’ve ever driven to this point in my career. I was nervous at first but not long after my first laps that all went away,” said Carroll. Carroll was running Bryan Dauzat’s No. 57c Chevrolet that was prepared by legendary engine builders Bob and Dick Rahilly. Dauzat invited Carroll to test the car. “I ran about a half dozen laps by myself and then moved into a group of cars and I felt comfortable. You of course had to pay attention a lot more and just follow the car in front of. If you fell back a little bit you could catch right back up again. We passed a few cars and all in all it was a great experience,” Carroll said. Carroll, by age restrictions, can't yet compete on superspeedways, but the youngster has cleared the first hurdle in the approval process once he's old enough. In the end, it was just a test run and although he was able to make the most of it, the car will be run by Dauzat. But, depending upon the right circumstances, Carroll is hopeful for a drive in the not too distant future. “There’s nothing for sure at the present but I’m hoping and keeping my options open to possibly do something with an ARCA car in the upcoming season,” he said. Until that happens Carroll will be back in the Modified where this season he plans to run for Rookie of the Year honors with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. (In part from ARCARacing.com) (01-17-17)
  • Mike Affarano posts on Facebook about Daytona testing UPDATE: Mike Affarano has posted the following message on Facebook about Daytona testing.
    AFFARANO:
    "People are writing articles talking about why I have not had a car at Daytona test it's simple I was not paid Russel Henderson took the drivers money and spent it now he's trying to make excuses to cover his ass the drivers know the truth Arca knows the truth and yet he continues to spread lies I have all the documentation to prove my hand and I will be filing a defamation of character lawsuit in the morning" (Mike Affarano Facebook) (01-15-17)
    UPDATE: Affarano Motorsports has released a new statement regarding Daytona testing. Read the complete statement from the team. Full Statement (01-16-17)
  • Tommy Praytor kicked out of Daytona garage: Max Force Racing owner Tommy Praytor was kicked out of the Daytona garage during ARCA preseason testing. Praytor has stated that his speech at the banquet in December was the reason why officials barred him from the event. The Mobile Int'l Speedway promoter kept his sense of humor and posted pictures on Twitter of himself doing odd jobs around the speedway. ARCA did not respond to an email seeking comment on the controversial decision. (01-15-17)
  • Russell Henderson leaves drivers without a car at Daytona: Russell Henderson, who formed Henderson Motorsports last year, did not provide a car at the Daytona test for the drivers that he had signed for the event. Gregg Hutto Jr, Kevin Fontana, D.L. Wilson, and at least one other driver were left without a ride. Henderson allegedly took their money and paid Mike Affarano Motorsports a percentage to test each driver. Mike Affarano Motorsports never showed and may not have received the agreed upon funds. Russell Henderson's statement is as follows.
    RUSSELL HENDERSON:
    "Two individuals that were [supposed] to be preparing the car did not get [the] car prepared, due to the fact that one individual only received a partial payment. No car was brought to Daytona testing [due to insufficient funds]. Names will remain under wraps [until] the legal side has been in contact with them. I have been advised not to have contact with said individual [until] my legal team has contacted them."
    CURRENT PLAN: "My individual plan is to pay back the drivers, what I can when I can, due to the fact [that driver] funds were sent to get [the] car prepared for Daytona, and never happened. The legal team will be in contact with each driver that attended Daytona testing and [will] advise them of what we are doing. I do apologize to everyone involved very much and will [work to] make this right by each person."
    FUTURE: "In the future, I'll find people more respectable to work with, lesson learned along the way, and will make sure this problem never happens again, with contracts, and more investigation of teams, people, and future drivers. All of this will take some time but will be done in a timely manner which I was advised. We plan to keep moving forward, revamping some situations, and going in the right direction, not the wrong. Thank you all, and the guys involved are a great group of people, and did not in any way deserve this, nor did I." (01-14-17)
  • Raphaël Lessard to drive for Venturini at Nashville & Winchester: Raphaël Lessard was invited by Toyota and its subsidiary TRD to compete in three ARCA races in 2017. The Japanese manufacturer has always strived to develop young talents who have subsequently succeeded in climbing the highest echelons. Lessard's 2016 CARS Super Late Model series championship is no stranger to this invitation. "The association with Toyota is starting to pay off," said agent Robert Desrosiers. We believe in Raphael's exceptional talent." For his three events, Lessard was recruited by the Venturini Motorsports team, an advanced ARCA team which has fielded cars for drivers such as Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones, Daniel Suarez and Christopher Bell. Lessard's management group is refining the final schedule of his protégé. Two of the three entries have already been confirmed, in Nashville on April 8 and in Winchester, Indiana, on August 6. The third will be announced in the coming days. Since he is only 15 years old, Lessard is limited to running on oval tracks of one mile or less. He will celebrate his 16th birthday on July 5th. (In part from JournalDeMontreal.com) (01-11-17)
  • Michael Self testing at Daytona; attempting race: 26 year-old Michael Self will participate in this weekend's test session at Daytona, in preparation for the season opener in February. The Utah driver will have sponsorship from Sinclair Oil Corporation. Self returned to ARCA last season, finishing third at Kansas Speedway. He made two previous starts in 2014 for Venturini Motorsports. (01-11-17)
  • Matt Kurzejewski not racing at Daytona: Pennsylvania driver Matt Kurzejewski, who finished third in driver points last year, will not be at Daytona. Kurzejewski has competed in the past four season openers and has over 30 career ARCA starts. (01-11-17)
  • Kyle Weatherman joins Mason Mitchell Motorsports for 10 races: Mason Mitchell Motorsports announced today that 19-year-old Kyle Weatherman will make ten starts with the championship team during the 2017 ARCA Racing Series season. Weatherman’s first start will come in the season opener at Daytona. “Knowing we had two very solid races with MMM last year tells me that if I do my job correctly we should have ten chances of winning,” an excited Weatherman exclaimed. “Knowing that all of these guys have worked together is great; they know each other well and will work together to accomplish the same goal – and that’s to make fast race cars and win races.” Weatherman’s 2017 schedule in the No. 78 Chevrolet includes Daytona, Nashville, Salem, Talladega, Pocono Raceway (June), Michigan, Iowa, Chicagoland, Kentucky, and Kansas. (In part from Kyle Weatherman PR) (01-11-17)
  • Michael Lira preparing for Daytona debut: Lira Motorsports announces today that driver Michael Lira will test at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for his track debut in the ARCA Racing Series event in February. Lira, who has been a part of ARCA competition since 2013, has been looking forward to making his Daytona debut since he was as young as he could remember. He has had experience on the road course at Daytona in IMSA and SCCA, but has never taken to the 2.5-mile, high-banked tri-oval. “I’ve never been a part of a restrictor plate race, so this test session is going to be vital to learning and understanding how the cars react to the air,” said Lira. “Aerodynamics are a huge part of this style of racing, and it takes learning to get used to. I’m excited to get on track on Friday.” (In part from LiraMotorsports.com) (01-10-17)
  • RACE 101 loans engine to Thomas Praytor; Max Force Racing: As the days tick down to the test in Daytona, Thomas “Moose” Praytor found himself without his primary motor and it looked like he could be watching the test from Mobile. Enter Sarah Cornett-Ching with her Dickies RACE 101 team and just like Pocono a couple of years ago, Sarah came to the rescue loaning Praytor a motor for the test. “We were cutting it pretty close with our primary engine not being ready but Sarah, Tony and the guys at Race 101 saved us again,” said Praytor. “It’s one of the cool things about our series, having competitors helping each other.” With the snow melting away Praytor made a quick trip to the RAC 101 shop in Denver, North Carolina picked up a motor and the team is hustling to get it installed and ready for the test this weekend. “Our teams have always been close going back to when we were working out of the same team. Thomas and his guys have always been there to help us when we need it and it was great to be able to help him,” said Sarah Cornett-Ching. (In part from Max Force Racing PR) (01-10-17)
  • Austin Theriault to drive for Ken Schrader Racing CONFIRMED: Rumors indicate that Austin Theriault will drive the No. 52 entry for Ken Schrader Racing this season. Theriault, who has one career ARCA victory at Michigan in 2014, primarily competed in the K&N Pro East series last year for Hattori Racing Enterprises. The 22 year-old driver has several starts in the NASCAR Xfinity and Camping World Truck divisions as well. (01-09-17)
    CONFIRMED: Ken Schrader Racing, Inc. is preparing for this week’s ARCA Racing Series test at Daytona. The North Carolina-based team will run all 20 ARCA races in 2017 with driver Austin Theriault and crew chief Donnie Richeson. “It’s a huge opportunity for me to be able to run my first-ever full season at a national level with KSR,” said Theriault. “With the support of Kenny and Donnie, I believe we can challenge for wins race-to-race and be in contention for a championship. Returning to tracks such as Daytona, Iowa, and Michigan will allow me to build on my previous experiences. Driving at historic places like Salem and DuQuoin for the first time will be fun. Let’s go.” Ken Schrader Racing will again campaign its fleet of No. 52 race cars for the upcoming ARCA season. While primary sponsorship is not yet confirmed, long-time partner Federated Auto Parts will continue to support the team’s effort. Cross Insurance Agency, based in Bangor, Maine, will also lend its support. (In part from ARCARacing.com) (01-10-17)
  • Lira Motorsports returning at Daytona with Clint King: North Carolina native Clint King will make his return to the ARCA Racing Series next month by participating in the Lucas Oil Complete Engine Treatment 200 at Daytona on Sat. Feb. 18 driving for Lira Motorsports. King who last competed in the development series in 2013 will jumpstart his ARCA return by partaking in the open ARCA test session at the 2.5-mile superspeedway next weekend in one of two Lira Motorsports entries. “I am really excited to get behind the wheel in the ARCA car next weekend at Daytona,” said King. “I’ve been more than ready to get back in a car since the XFINITY Series race at Texas last year to keep learning on these speedways and superspeedways. It’s a good chance to break up the off-season with sometime in the car and gives me a chance to really dissect what we learn at the test to apply for the race in February.” The 21-year-old King is also utilizing the first ARCA race of 2017 to earn his NASCAR superspeedway clearance where he hopes to participate in the NASCAR XFINITY Series season-opener the following week on Sat., Feb. 25. Lira Motorsports owned by Lira and wife Amanda return to the circuit for the first time since mid-2016, where they hope to return to their winning ways. [The team] will announce further details of their ARCA Racing Series return, particularly around the Daytona ARCA test in the coming days. (In part from Lira Motorsports PR) (01-09-17)
  • Brandon Grosso to make ARCA debut this year: Sixteen-year-old Brandon Grosso also spoke at the press conference. The media learned that the Big Diamond and New Egypt Modified track champion is planning to make his ARCA debut in 2017. "We're going to be moving over to asphalt racing and we plan to run some races in the ARCA circuit," said Grosso. He did not disclose which team he would be debuting with. In the meantime, it's back to the books for the junior in high school. "I do pretty well in school, so we should be okay to race...I just have to keep my grades up. I finish my homework on time and my principal allows excused absences because racing is a career for me." (In part from ARCARacing.com) (01-08-17)
  • Henderson Motorsports testing drivers at Daytona: Henderson Motorsports, established last year by former ARCA Truck Series competitor Russell Henderson, will participate in the Daytona test session next weekend with at least three different drivers. Gregg Hutto Jr, Kevin Fontana, and D.L. Wilson will share seat time in the team's No. 4 entry. Several are seeking additional sponsorship for the race in February.
    GREGG HUTTO JR:
    Alabama driver Gregg Hutto Jr returns to the ARCA Racing Series after making starts for Carter 2 Motorsports at Mobile (2015) and Talladega (2012). Hutto is a former four-cylinder track champion at Sunny South Raceway in Grand Bay, AL and has worked for the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience. The 51 year-old opened his own business (Gregg’s Affordable Auto Glass) in 1999. He is currently searching for more funding to continue his ARCA career.
    KEVIN FONTANTA:
    North Carolina police officer Kevin Fontana will climb back behind the wheel of an ARCA car after participating in a test session at Coastal Plains Raceway with Jent Motorsports last October. Fontana, who has Super Late Model experience, is attempting to make his debut in February with a "local law enforcement car." This entry would encourage individuals to support their local police officers in a time where support has dwindled. The 42 year-old still needs to raise funds to make this effort a reality. 
    D.L. WILSON:
    52 year-old Donis (D.L) Wilson is a Texas State Trooper by day and a racer by night. Wilson has competed in Pro Late Model, Pro Truck, and SportMod events at his local tracks. The Waco, TX driver hopes to make multiple ARCA starts this season. (01-08-17)
  • Lucas Oil sponsoring Bobby Gerhart Racing for 14th year: Lucas Oil will return to Bobby Gerhart Racing this season for the 14th consecutive year, as announced by Bill Gerhart on Facebook. The sponsorship began in 2004 and has since produced six Daytona wins. Bobby Gerhart will return as the driver of the No. 5 Lucas Oil entry in the season opening race at Daytona. (In part from Facebook) (01-08-17)
  • David LeBeau to attempt Daytona with Norm Hutton Racing: 46 year-old Florida driver David LeBeau will attempt the season opening race at Daytona with Norm Hutton Racing. LeBeau, who regularly competes at New Smyrna Speedway in the sportsman division, will drive the No. 37 Ford. Pasco Tool & Plastics, Spectrum Assembly, and NJK Show Jumpers will serve as sponsors. In preparation for February, the team will participate in the upcoming test session on January 13th. LeBeau will work to find speed, while Mike Brown and Kirk Horton will share the car to gain approval for future ARCA events. (01-06-17)
  • Shane Lee joins Cunningham Motorsports full time: Cunningham Motorsports has signed Shane Lee to drive the No. 22 Ford for the full 2017 ARCA season. Lee competed in 10 ARCA races last season, earning a career-best finish of fourth at Pocono and earning the Menards Pole Award at Chicagoland Speedway. “You know I first noticed him at the second Pocono,” said Cunningham Motorsports co-owner Kerry Scherer. “But the thing that really impressed me was that he sat on the pole at Chicago and then sat on the outside pole at Kentucky and he ran us ragged in those races. When we found out we had an opportunity to sign him I couldn’t jump on it fast enough... it was great.” Lee, a Newton, N.C. native, compiled one top-five and five top-10 finishes in his first season racing in ARCA. The 23-year-old also competed in three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races, as well as a few late model races in the Whelen All-American Series in 2016. “It’s pretty awesome coming into an organization like Cunningham,” said Lee. “They’ve got plenty of smart people over there and Paul (Andrews)... he’s a great crew chief. I’m really excited... seeing how good they were last year with both cars and how many races they won and how many races they could have won.” (In part from Cunningham Motorsports.net) (01-05-17)
  • Max Force Racing back for full season; celebrating 20 years: Coming off their most successful ARCA season Thomas “Moose” Praytor and his family owned Max Force Racing will celebrate their 20th year of racing in 2017. To commemorate the milestone, the Mobile, Alabama based team will display a special 20th Anniversary logo during the 2017 season. With help from CGS Imaging the 20th logo was designed with its roots based in Alabama, the red bars of the Alabama State flag and the outline of the State of Alabama at the top. The left side has Tommy Praytor’s original “Fatboy Racing” Logo with the right side carrying the now familiar Moose logo used by Thomas “Moose” Praytor. Full Story (In part from Max Force Racing PR) (01-04-17)
  • Bret Holmes intending to race full time; more: Bret Holmes Racing formally announced its intentions to compete in all 20 ARCA Racing Series events during the 2017 season. This move was one of many made by the organization since Holmes last raced in the series at Kansas in October of 2016.
    SHOP MOVE TO NC:
    The announcement comes on the heels of the team moving its ARCA operations from Holmes hometown of Munford, Alabama to a new facility on the campus of GMS Racing in Statesville, N.C. This move is expected to be fully completed by the beginning of the 2017 season and will allow BHR to continue to work alongside GMS in the development of racing technology and strategy related to its ARCA program.
    BRYAN BERRY:
    Another significant change to the organization has also taken place at the Crew Chief position. Bryan Berry will assume the role previously held by 2015 ARCA Series Champion, Grant Enfinger, who will be pursuing his own personal racing goals in 2017.
    HOLMES:
    “I am deeply excited for what 2017 has in store for us,” Bret Holmes said. “We got our feet wet with seven appearances in ARCA last season and had great results, but we just were not organized enough to run an entire season. Now that we have done things like move our ARCA team to Statesville and get Bryan Berry to come aboard, we feel like we can now not only win races in 2017, but contend for a championship. This is a significant step forward for me as a driver, and for our team as a whole. I just want to thank all those people who have helped me in my progression as a driver over the years, and hopefully, this will be the start of a fantastic year in ARCA.” (In part from Bret Holmes Racing PR) (01-04-17)
  • Fast Track Racing back full time; Pompa & Clifton returning: Fast Track Racing, owned by 1995 champion Andy Hillenburg, will return to ARCA full time this year. The team will field the No. 10 and 11 entries for a variety of drivers, including Ed Pompa and Rick Clifton. Pompa and Clifton are veterans of the series that have over 60 combined starts. Although some races have been filled, Fast Track Racing is searching for funded drivers to complete their season. Interested parties can contact the organization at (704) 455-1700 for more information. (01-02-17)
  • Leilani Münter to compete at Daytona with Venturini: Leilani Münter has announced that she will drive the No. 15 Vegan Powered Toyota at Daytona for Venturini Motorsports. Münter, who last raced in the series in 2015, has eight previous starts in the series over the span of four years. The Minnesota driver will "bring a powerful vegan message to millions of race fans" when her vegan-themed car hits the track in February. (In part from VeganPowered.org) (12-31-16)
  • Vinnie Miller to race full time in ARCA with Ranier/MDM?: 19 year-old Vinnie Miller is rumored to race full time in ARCA next year with Ranier Racing with MDM. Miller, who relocated to North Carolina after high school graduation, competed in several CARS Super Late Model and Pro All Stars Series (PASS) races in 2016 to build experience. Miller's ultimate goal is to advance to one of NASCAR's top three divisions. (12-31-16)
  • Athenian Motorsports not expected to return next season: Athenian Motorsports, owned by Zaxby's co-founder Tony Townley, is not expected to return to ARCA competition in 2017 after making 14 starts this year. The team has sold equipment to Joe Gibbs Racing and is rumored to have ceased operations. Athenian won the season opening race at Daytona and fielded entries for John Wes Townley, Parker Kligerman, and Cole Custer. It is unknown if owner points will be transferred to another team. (12-29-16)
  • UNOH extends contract with ARCA: Officials from the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) and the University of Northwestern Ohio (UNOH) have announced that UNOH has extended its contract as the Official and Exclusive Educational Partner of the ARCA Racing Series. The one-year agreement extends the ARCA/UNOH promotional relationship to 15 years, one of the longest partnerships in the ARCA sanction. "Every year since our partnership began with ARCA, we have averaged 35-45 students that want to be a part of this program," said Dr. Jeff Jarvis, UNOH president. "We have many students that have attended UNOH, participated in the ARCA Club and graduated with job offers from ARCA teams. It's a great program, and one that provides real-life experience for our students who aspire to work in the motorsports industry." (In part from ARCARacing.com) (12-24-16)
  • Ansell and Menards not returning as a team sponsor in 2017?: Ansell and Menards, which have served as co-sponsors in ARCA for eight seasons, are rumored to be leaving the series as a team sponsor. The two companies joined forces in 2009 to support Frank Kimmel and Kimmel Racing. Years later, the sponsorship moved with Kimmel to ThorSport Racing (2013), Win-Tron Racing (2014), and Venturini Motorsports (2015). In what is rumored to be the final year, Ansell and Menards joined Ken Schrader Racing to sponsor Matt Kurzejewski in his first full ARCA season. (12-23-16)
  • John Hayden Racing seeking funded driver for Daytona: John Hayden Racing is searching for a funded driver for the season opening race at Daytona. John Hayden, who has been Brett Hudson's car owner and crew chief since 2011, does not expect the 29 year-old Kentucky driver back. Interested parties can contact the team at (270) 929-9537 for more information. (12-22-16)
  • Justin Fontaine expected to drive for AM Racing/Win-Tron OFFICIAL: 19 year-old Justin Fontaine is expected to drive for AM Racing/Win-Tron in ARCA competition next year. Fontaine joined the team in October for the NASCAR Camping World Series event at Martinsville, where he finished 26th. The North Carolina driver has three years of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series experience and four NASCAR K&N Pro Series East starts for Martin-McClure Racing. AM Racing and Win-Tron Racing announced a partnership in August and stated that it would field two cars in 2017. (12-02-16)
    OFFICIAL: [Justin] Fontaine will run in ARCA Racing Series events for Win-Tron Racing, the driver development partner of AM Racing next season. Fontaine will partake in the upcoming test session at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway next month, then return for the series' season-opener on Feb. 18. "We're extremely pleased and glad to have Justin back with AM Racing in 2017," said AM Racing team principal Tim Self. "Justin is a hardcore racer with a desire to work hard on and off the track, while carrying an upbeat contagious demeanor. We're eager to see his progression and success next year." Justin Fontaine is the younger cousin of longtime Truck Series competitor and Florida short track ace Chris Fontaine. (In part from AM Racing PR) (12-21-16)
  • Universe Racing partners with XG Industries: Race fans will have a chance to see Universe Racing's ARCA Racing Series No. 40 Chevy Impala on display and meet driver Steve Fox in the XG Industries booth at Motorsports 2017. The northeast's largest race car and trade show, Motorsports 2017, will take place at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA from January 20-22, 2017. (In part from UniverseRacing.net) (12-21-16)
  • Dustin Knowles NOT returning to Jent; seeking part-time ride: Alabama driver Dustin Knowles announced today that he will not be back with Jent Motorsports in 2017, despite the Jent team announcing his return in October. Knowles also added that he is seeking a part-time ride for the upcoming season.
    KNOWLES:
    "Good afternoon! A lot of people have asked me what I am going to be doing in 2017, and to be honest, I am still ironing out the wrinkles. I will not be back with Jent Motorsports for ARCA next year. However, I am looking to secure a ride for a handful of races and will be releasing more details soon." (In part from Dustin Knowles Facebook) (12-20-16)
  • Our Motorsports to attempt Daytona with Andy Seuss: Car owner Chris Our and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour veteran Andy Seuss will team up again in 2017 for the ARCA season opener at Daytona. The pair joined forces this year at Talladega, where they finished 31st after suffering brake issues. Our Motorsports made its series debut in 2015 with Tommy Barrett Jr, while Seuss has three career starts. More races could be added later depending on how their season progresses. (12-19-16) 
  • Finney Racing Enterprises expanding schedule next year: Florida based Finney Racing Enterprises will return to ARCA competition in 2017 and will compete in an expanded schedule. Drivers Brian Finney and Scott Reeves will again be teammates in select events.
    FINNEY:
    Long-time competitor Brian Finney will be at the season opening race at Daytona as a car owner. Finney has purchased a superspeedway car and will field an entry for a driver that has previously competed at the track. Afterward, Finney intends to run all short track events. These include Nashville, both Salem races, Toledo, Elko, Madison, Iowa, Lucas Oil, and Winchester.
    REEVES:
    Scott Reeves, who made his series debut in 2015, will compete at Nashville, Toledo, and Lucas Oil. Reeves has built a new race shop on his property and has acquired a composite car for the upcoming season. More races could added depending on if a funded driver can be secured. (12-16-16)
  • Joe Gibbs Racing to field full time entry for Riley Herbst: Joe Gibbs Racing will expand into the ARCA Racing Series next year with a full-time entry for Las Vegas native Riley Herbst. The 17-year-old racer is coming off a season where he competed in the K&N NASCAR Pro East and West series. Under Bill McAnally Racing and NAPA Automotive, Riley completed 17 races, recording seven top-five and 13 top-10 finishing spots in the K&N East and West. “I’m so appreciative of Bill McAnally and his entire racing crew. They were an incredible group of people to work with and learn from. They were an instrumental part of my career. Having the opportunity to join Joe Gibbs Racing will take me to the next level” said Herbst. “It’s great to have Riley join Joe Gibbs Racing,” said Steve deSouza, executive vice president of XFINITY/Development. “He has experienced success in a variety of racing venues and we want to provide him the opportunity to continue that success at this level of competition.” Herbst’s will drive the No. 18 Toyota Camry in the ARCA Racing Series and his sponsor and crew chief will be announced at a later date. (In part from Joe Gibbs Racing PR) (12-15-16)
  • Kevin Hinckle testing at Daytona; racing at Kansas for Kimmel: KH Automotive owner and ARCA driver Kevin Hinckle will return to Kimmel Racing in 2017 for the Daytona test session in January and the season ending race at Kansas Speedway on October 20th. Hinckle, who joined the Kimmel organization this year, is seeking sponsorship and could potentially compete in more events if funding is found. The Kansas native earned his career best finish last October at the helm of the No. 69 E3 Spark Plugs Ford. (12-14-16)
  • General Tire gives spirit award to Brad Smith: General Tire presented a very special Spirit Award to veteran driver Brad Smith during the Annual ARCA Racing Series awards banquet in Indianapolis this past weekend. The General Tire Spirit Award was established this year to recognize someone within the ARCA racing community who has demonstrated true sportsmanship both on and off the track as well as perseverance when faced with major challenges. The award included a one-of-a kind helmet custom painted by Indocil Art and $5,000 which was split evenly between Smith and his designated charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit. “Receiving the General Tire Spirit Award is a humbling and gratifying experience,” admitted Smith. “Humbling, because I know how many deserving recipients General Tire had to consider for the award. Gratifying, because this is ultimately a team sport and being recognized by General Tire is an accomplishment for the entire Hylton Motorsports team.” (In part from General Tire PR) (12-14-16)
  • Menards returning as presenting sponsor: Officials from Menards Inc. have announced that the Wisconsin-based home improvement retailer will once again serve as the presenting sponsor of the ARCA Racing Series for 2017. Jeff Abbott, Promotions Manager and Spokesperson for Menards, made the announcement Saturday night, during the annual ARCA Racing Series Championship Awards Banquet in downtown Indianapolis. “We are very excited to return for an eighth season as the series sponsor,” said Abbott while announcing the contract extension. “This is such a great, grass roots series and the competitive nature of the driving continues to improve. But, more than anything, what keeps us coming back is how we feel so connected with those who follow this series throughout our markets as we sell tickets to races, run contractor events and continue to promote the Menards brand. 2017 should be exceptional and we’re glad to remain a part of it.” (In part from ARCARacing.com) (12-12-16)
  • Tommy Praytor gives speech of the night at banquet: Max Force Racing owner Tommy Praytor gave a tremendous speech at the ARCA banquet on Saturday night that has many people talking. Listen to audio from Brian Eberly. (Chirb.it) (12-12-16)
  • Dale Shearer back for more races in 2017: Racer and computer programmer Dale Shearer will be back in 2017 and may compete in an expanded ARCA Racing Series schedule. Shearer plans on attempting the season opener at Daytona, along with races at Salem, Lucas Oil, Springfield, DuQuoin, Salem (2), Chicagoland, Kentucky, and Kansas. However, these plans may change. The veteran driver could also race at Nashville and Talladega depending on time and the shape of his Daytona car. (12-11-16)
  • AJ Fike; RFMS Racing planning on full season: AJ Fike and RFMS Racing are planning on running the full ARCA season in 2017. This will be the Indiana driver's first full season since he competed with Fast Track Racing in 2004. Fike, who finished 9th in driver points, only raced in 15 events this year. (12-11-16)
  • Dalton Sargeant joins Cunningham Motorsports for 2017; Ford support: Cunningham Motorsports has a lot to celebrate at the banquet later this evening. But, they certainly aren’t resting on their laurels... they are looking forward to next season, when they plan to contend for back to back championships.
    FORD SUPPORT:
    The first order of business at the press conference, held in conjunction with the annual PRI show, was Jeff Clark, speaking on behalf of Ford Performance, announced that the Cunningham organization has been designated as a driver development partner with Ford Performance. In making the announcement, Clark, who is Vice President of Sales for Roush Yates Engines, stated, “Ford Performance recognizes the championship caliber teams that Cunningham Motorsports delivers on track. Ford Performance has designated Cunningham Motorsports as a driver development partner for 2017 and will support their teams with assets within the Ford Performance Technical Center in Concord, NC. We look forward to another strong year in the ARCA Racing Series.”
    DALTON SARGEANT TO 77:
    As the next piece of the 2017 puzzle, Cunningham Motorsports co-owner, Kerry Scherer announced that Dalton Sargeant has signed to pilot the No. 77 for the 2016 ARCA Racing Series champions. In making his announcement, Scherer said, “We are so excited, here at Cunningham Motorsports, to welcome Dalton to our organization. Working together, we should be able to capitalize on his top finishes this season, along with our championship team.” As the next driver of the No. 77 Ford, Sargeant commented, “I couldn’t be more excited to join Cunningham Motorsports, Ford Performance and the No. 77 team as we battle for the 2017 ARCA Racing Series championship. I’m really looking forward to working with Chad Bryant, Paul Andrews and the entire Cunningham Motorsports team.” (In part from Sargeant Motorsports PR) (12-10-16)
  • Ray Ciccarelli forming own team; to compete at Daytona & Talladega: Maryland driver Ray Ciccarelli has formed his own ARCA team and will compete at the superspeedways races in 2017. It is also possible that he will run four more events later in the season, but it will depend on the outcome of the initial two. Ciccarelli has purchased a car from Lira Motorsports and is having it prepared at Kimmel Racing for the season opening race at Daytona. The 46 year-old driver has eight prior starts in the series and has a career high finish of 19th. (12-09-16)
  • Christian Eckes returning to Venturini for 9 short track races: Sixteen-year old Christian Eckes will return to Venturini Motorsports for nine short track races in the upcoming 2017 ARCA Racing Series season. Today’s announcement comes on the heels of Christian Eckes’ dramatic super late model victory earlier in the week at the prestigious 49th annual Snowball Derby. Eckes, a native of Middletown, New York, made four starts with VMS in 2016. “We got to race with Christian a little bit last year and he demonstrated a lot of potentiation and raw speed,” said Billy Venturini, VMS team owner and general manager. “Towards the end of 2016 he was able to further demonstrate those abilities and turn them into impressive late model wins. We feel very confident going into the 2017 season that Christian is going to have great success.” Eckes will rejoin VMS driving the No. 15 Toyota Camry starting in Nashville. Eckes’ 2017 ARCA schedule will also include; Salem, Toledo, Elko, Madison, Iowa, Lucas Oil, Winchester and Salem (September 9). (In part from Venturini Motorsports PR) (12-09-16)
  • Gus Dean and GREE join Win-Tron Racing for full 2017 season: Days after announcing a multi-year agreement with GREE, the world's largest manufacturer of specialized Cooling & Heating Products, Gus Dean will drive full time for Win-Tron Racing next season in the ARCA Racing Series. Dean will drive the team's flagship car, the No. 32 GREE Toyota Camry for a full 20-race season championship effort beginning with February's season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway on Sat., Feb. 18, 2017. Motorsports veteran Todd Myers will serve as Dean's crew chief for his first full season of ARCA competition. "Man, I'm thankful to have this opportunity to join Win-Tron Racing for the full 2017 ARCA Racing Series schedule," said Bluffton, S.C. native Gus Dean. "I really believe that we will have the chance to go out and compete to win races and ultimately compete for the ARCA championship." (In part from Gus Dean Racing PR) (12-08-16)
  • Jent Motorsports not expected back in 2017; equipment repossessed?: Despite announcing Chris Bailey Jr. and Dustin Knowles as drivers for the 2017 season, Jent Motorsports is not expected to return to ARCA competition next year. The team has been in financial trouble and has allegedly not met its financial obligations to creditors and crew members. Furthermore, rumors indicate that Jent's cars and equipment were recently repossessed. Team owner Darrell Jent Jr. started the team this past January after settling a workplace injury lawsuit for $3 million in April 2012. Jent allegedly used money from selling one of his houses to fund the team, as he reportedly cannot pull money out of a maturity bond without taking a significant financial hit. Jent Motorsports made 17 starts this season with drivers Dustin Knowles, Cory Howard, Michael Whipple, and Morgen Baird. Knowles recorded the team's best finish of 12th at Winchester in June. An email to Jent Motorsports officials was not returned. (12-07-16)
  • Willie Mullins racing again at Daytona; team offering second car: Road course specialist Willie Mullins will return to ARCA in February for the season opening event at Daytona. Mullins, who scored an 8th place finish last year, will again drive the No. 34 Crow Wing Recycling Ford. Andy Belmont is scheduled to be back as his crew chief, along with associate sponsor Bugsy's Automotive. In addition to fielding the No. 34 Ford, Mullins Racing is looking to run a second entry with a funded driver. Interested parties can receive more information by calling (218) 330-9022 or sending a message through the team's website. (12-07-16)
  • Tom Hessert to return to Venturini Motorsports?: ARCA veteran Tom Hessert is rumored to be returning to Venturini Motorsports in 2017. Hessert, who was the championship runner-up this year, joined the organization in January and went on to score a win at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds. The Cherry Hill, New Jersey driver would begin his eleventh career season by competing at Daytona in February. (12-06-16)
  • Casey Johnson and Dalton Armstrong testing at Daytona: The ARCA Racing Series "Road to Daytona" is wide open for Casey Johnson and Dalton Armstrong. Johnson, the 2016 ARCA Midwest Tour Rookie of the Year, and Armstrong, the 2016 ARCA/CRA Super Series Rookie of the Year, have earned the opportunity to participate in ARCA's Road to Daytona at the ARCA-sanctioned open test at Daytona Int'l Speedway in mid-January, 2017. Each champion from the ARCA/CRA Super Series and the ARCA Midwest Tour earn the opportunity to go to Daytona and participate in the Road to Daytona. However, ARCA/CRA champ Cody Coughlin has already raced in competition at Daytona while ARCA Midwest champ Ty Majeski has participated in ARCA's Road to Daytona twice before. Consequently, the Road to Daytona program defers to the Rookies of the Year, and in this case, Johnson and Armstrong. Andy Hillenburg, the 1995 ARCA driving champion and two-time Daytona ARCA 200 winner, will help coach this year's Road to Daytona drivers. His Fast Track High Performance Driving School, ARCA's Official Driving School, will provide a Chevrolet ARCA car and additional team support for the test. (In part from ARCARacing.com) (12-06-16)
  • Gus Dean to run full time in 2017 with GREE sponsorship; returning to Win-Tron Racing?: [Gus Dean] has locked up GREE Cooling Products in a multiyear sponsorship deal, set to run a full ARCA schedule next year with an eye on moving into the NASCAR pipeline perhaps as soon as 2018. "We can't thank GREE enough for everything they've done, the massive amount of faith they've put into me," Dean said Tuesday. "I'm watching my dreams unfold before my eyes." The 22-year-old driver can set his calendar for the entire 20-race ARCA schedule, beginning with a return trip in February to Daytona International Speedway. "We know Gus has the ability to continue his winning ways in his first full season of ARCA competition and contend for a championship, while also looking ahead on the horizon to a path in NASCAR," said Dave Pearson, president of Tradewinds Climate Systems. "We can't wait for Daytona to get here." (In part from IslandPacket.com) (11-30-16)
    UPDATE: Rumors are circulating that Gus Dean will return to Win-Tron Racing in 2017. Dean joined the team this year for the season ending Kansas 150 at Kansas Speedway, where he finished 25th. The South Carolina driver is expected to announce his plans on Thursday, December 8th at the PRI trade show in Indianapolis, Indiana. (12-05-16)
  • JJ Pack working on Daytona deal; forming own team in 2017: Super Cup Stock Car Series champion JJ Pack is currently in talks with multiple teams to run the ARCA season opener at Daytona in February. Pack, who attempted the race last year with Cushman Racing, also plans to run an undetermined number of races afterward with his own team. The newly formed JP Racing organization will announce specific races and details at a later date. (12-04-16)
  • Dalton Sargeant to join Cunningham Motorsports?: Dalton Sargeant, the 2016 ARCA Rookie of the Year, is rumored to be joining Cunningham Motorsports next season. The Florida driver competed in 15 events this year and scored his first victory at Berlin Raceway in August. Sargeant would potentially drive the No. 77, replacing champion Chase Briscoe who is rumored to be heading to NASCAR. A Cunningham Motorsports spokesperson has stated that the team will have a press conference during the Performance Racing Industry trade show on Saturday, December 10 at 2:00. The team will make at least two announcements, including one that will name a driver for the upcoming season. (12-03-16)
  • Gene Paul; ESP Motorsports back for Daytona and Talladega: Veteran SCCA stock car road course driver Gene Paul will return to ARCA competition in 2017 for the superspeedway races at Daytona and Talladega. Paul, who used owner points from Roulo Bros. last year, will not carry the No. 17 again and will likely have to make the Daytona race on speed. The Florida driver already has secured associate sponsorship from RacingRadiosDirect.com and FanScanLinkAndTalk.com, but needs additional financial support to lease an Ilmor engine. Paul has ARCA veteran Mario Gosselin assisting him, as he attempts to place a Dodge in the Daytona starting lineup for the last time before ARCA rules make it ineligible to compete. (12-01-16)