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Scroll down to view past ARCA Racing Series news and rumors.


April 2018

  • 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)