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

May 2018

  • 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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (05-04-18)