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

March 2019

  • Gavin Harlien to make jump to ARCA with Venturini Motorsports: Venturini Motorsports and off-road racing specialist, Gavin Harlien, 19, announced today the signing of a three-race deal to compete in the ARCA Menards Series. Harlien, out of Phoenix, Arizona, will make his stock car driving debut in the ARCA series behind the wheel of VMS’ No. 55 Toyota Camry at Gateway Motorsports Park on June 22. The former X-Games competitor will also make series’ starts at Iowa Speedway (July 19) and Salem Speedway (September 14). Sponsorship details for Harlien’s VMS prepared Toyota is forthcoming. "I have been looking for an opportunity like this for a long time," said Harlien. "Taking this next step in my career and moving up into ARCA with a top-notch team like Venturini Motorsports is a dream come true. Now I’m just eager to start the journey and learn as much as I can in my first few races." (In part from Venturini Motorsports PR) (03-26-19)
  • Gateway Motorsports Park secures sponsorship for June race: Day to Day Coffee, Track Enterprises and the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) announced that the Day to Day Coffee Company will sponsor ARCA’s return to Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois this June. Madison is just across the Mississippi River from the Gateway Arch in downtown St. Louis. "We are very excited about our ongoing partnership with the ARCA Racing Series and Menards." Chris Papanicholas, president of Day to Day Coffee Company. "It gives us a chance to capture and connect with our own consumers in real way. It’s going to provide exciting in-store sales building opportunities at Menards as well." The "Day to Day Coffee 150" will also mark the return of the ARCA Menards Series to the 1.25-mile Gateway track for a second consecutive year. ARCA has raced at Gateway six times between 1997 and 2007, but then took an eleven-year hiatus from the metro St. Louis-area oval. (In part from (03-26-19)
  • Ty Majeski joins Chad Bryant Racing for partial schedule: Chad Bryant Racing announced today that Ford Performance driver Ty Majeski will compete in a limited ARCA Menards Series schedule beginning with Charlotte Motor Speedway in May. Majeski, a Midwest short track standout will compete in five of the remaining 18 ARCA races driving the team’s No. 22 Ford Fusion. In addition to Charlotte, Majeski will also race at Pocono Raceway in June followed by Michigan International Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway and the season-finale at Kansas Speedway in October. "This is a great opportunity from Chad Bryant Racing," offered Majeski. "They are certainly sticking their neck out for me and I appreciate it and I’m more than ready for Charlotte." Veteran ARCA and former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship crew chief Paul Andrews will lead Majeski’s efforts. Sponsorship for Majeski’s effort will be announced at a later date. (In part from (03-22-19)
  • Hailie Deegan secures sponsorship from iK9: Hailie Deegan has landed iK9 as a supporter for her six scheduled starts in the ARCA Menards Series this season. Deegan will make her series debut at Toledo Speedway on May 19. The canine security services and training company will be a primary sponsor of Deegan in the May 31 race at Pocono Raceway and an associate sponsor in the remaining five races. After Toledo and Pocono, Deegan will compete at Madison International Speedway (June 14), Elko Speedway in New Market, Minnesota (July 13), Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg, Indiana (Oct. 5) and Kansas Speedway (Oct. 18). iK9 will make its debut with Deegan ahead of the ARCA races as her primary sponsor in the April 6 K&N Pro Series East race at Bristol Motor Speedway. "I'm grateful for this opportunity to build my NASCAR career and I’m extremely proud to represent iK9 along with Toyota, TRD, Monster Energy and Craftsman," Deegan said in a press release. “Partnerships are key to earning these kinds of opportunities, and iK9’s mission appeals to who I want to be as a racer and also as a person." (In part from (03-21-19)
  • Toledo Speedway secures race entitlement sponsor: The Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) and Sioux Chief Manufacturing have jointly announced that the rough plumbing components manufacturer will become the race entitlement sponsor of the May 19 ARCA Menards Series event at Toledo Speedway in Northwest Ohio. The Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200 will take the green flag at 2 pm ET Sunday, May 19, and is scheduled for live flag-to-flag coverage on MAVTV. Sioux Chief Manufacturing first partnered with ARCA and then the series’ presenting sponsor, Menards, in 2015. The business-to-business relationship between Menards, the country’s third-largest home improvement retail chain, and Sioux Chief, a leading rough plumbing manufacturer and supplier of cutting-edge products for plumbing and mechanical contractors, brings opportunities for Sioux Chief to promote its products to the Menards contractor and customer base. (In part from (03-19-19)
  • RFMS Racing crew member passes away: Jason (Red) Morris, who served as a crew member for RFMS Racing and Travis Braden, passed away last Friday night after being involved in a tragic automobile accident. RFMS Racing has described Morris as "an amazing friend, teammate, father, and husband" and "one of the most passionate and fiery crewmen in the pits." A GoFundMe page has been created to support his family. (In part from RFMS Racing Facebook) (03-18-19)
  • Brandon Lynn to drive for Venturini at Talladega: Brandon Lynn will return to the seat driving for Venturini Motorsports in the ARCA Menards Series during the upcoming General Tire 200 at Talladega Superspeedway on Friday, April 26. Lynn, 24, who made his ARCA Series debut in 2015, returns to the series after most recently competing in a pair of races last year with VMS earning top-10 finishes in both starts at Talladega Superspeedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway. Lynn will make his only scheduled series start of the season driving VMS’ No. 20 Toyota Camry (sponsorship to be announced) with Billy Venturini serving as crew chief. Hoping to make the most of his opportunity, last year’s seventh-place finisher is amped up and ready to get after it again. “Excited to have another shot at Talladega,” Lynn said. “This will be my third shot at this track – the first two didn’t go our way but I’m hoping to capitalize this year with my Venturini Motorsports team. Last year we had an amazing car and I’m glad to be back in that same ride. It’s a fast car for sure. Definitely a lot more pressure this time as Harrison (Burton) got it done in the same car at Daytona. I’m ready to help pull off the superspeedway sweep for VMS with our number twenty Toyota Camry." (In part from Venturini Motorsports PR) (03-18-19)
  • Thad Moffitt to run superspeedway and speedway tracks: 18 year-old Thad Moffitt, the grandson of seven-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty, plans to race at superspeedway and speedway tracks this season. Moffitt's next race will be at Talladega Superspeedway in April, where he will drive the No. 46 Ford for Empire Racing Group. The exact number of speedway tracks that Moffitt will attempt will be determined by sponsorship. However, the North Carolina driver has secured Performance Plus Motor Oil for select races this year. (03-17-19)
  • Michael Self; Venturini Motorsports penalized after Pensacola win: Based on ARCA Menards Series post-race technical inspection following the March 9 ARCA Pensacola 200 presented by Inspectra Thermal Solutions, the Venturini Motorsports No. 25 team has been determined to be in violation of the 2019 ARCA Rulebook, page 45, I. Spoiler, Composite v which references rear spoiler height. Due to the infraction, crew chief Shannon Rursch has been fined $750 and team owner Cathy Venturini and driver Michael Self have been penalized with the loss of 25 championship points (Owner, Driver, and Short Track Challenge) and any applicable special award points. (In part from (03-14-19)
  • Eric Caudell planning expanded partial schedule: Oklahoma's Eric Caudell is planning to compete in an expanded partial schedule this season after running five races last year. Caudell, who now is competing under the CCM Racing team name, is targeting 10 events at tracks such as Nashville, Gateway, Chicagoland, Iowa, and Kansas. The 52 year-old driver is continuing to purchase better equipment and is making strides to improve his program, in hopes of running a second car for funded drivers later this year. Jeremy Petty is serving as Caudell's crew chief. The team's cars are being prepared in Oklahoma and Kansas. (03-12-19)
  • Vizion Motorsports potentially not racing at Pensacola; in financial trouble? MORE: After announcing a full time entry for Brenden Queen, Vizion Motorsports may not compete in this weekend's ARCA Pensacola 200 at Five Flags Speedway. The organization is not currently on the entry list and was "on the fence about going due to the weather" late Tuesday night. Rumors continue to circulate that the team is in financial trouble, as crew members reported that they haven't been paid and the team's digital media properties were "hacked" with this message. Vizion Motorsports fielded two entries at Daytona for both Queen and Paul Williamson, finishing 29th and 30th respectively. (03-08-19)
    UPDATE: Vizion Motorsports did not compete in last Saturday's race at Pensacola with Brenden Queen as originally planned. Teddy Brown, who owns the team with his wife Jennifer, has stated that it just elected not to go. More information is supposed to be revealed in about two weeks as to why this decision was made.
    NON-PAYMENT: Reports continue that members of the team are not being paid. J.D. Cole, who controlled the Vizion Motorsports social media accounts along with Jennifer Brown, has reported that he has only received $800. Cole has been with the team since October 2018 and is allegedly owed more. The team's social media accounts were not "hacked" as Teddy Brown once claimed. Instead, Cole states that he posted the messages indicating non-payment in attempt to collect what he is owed. Teddy Brown has denied the claims that J.D. Cole has made. Brown has stated that J.D. Cole posted the messages in retaliation. Fans have made complaints about spelling and grammar issues on the team's social media accounts, and Teddy and Jennifer Brown allegedly confronted Cole about this. Teddy Brown has stated that Cole "took it personal instead of trying to improve" and retaliated by posting about non-payment.
    NEXTGEN MOTORSPORTS: Matt Lowinski-loh has also come forward publicly indicating that he or John Lowinski Jr haven’t received payment from the team. Teddy Brown has blamed these non-payment issues on Carlos Crespo, who originally owned NextGen Motorsports. Brown states that NextGen Motorsports owes him $70,000 and that his lawyer is sending Crespo papers for payment. Brown summarizes the issue with Crespo as a "legal mess." (03-11-19)
  • Michael Self wins the ARCA Pensacola 200: Michael Self (No. 25 Sinclair Oil Toyota) held off a late race charge from teammates Christian Eckes and Chandler Smith to pick up his fourth career ARCA Menards Series victory in Saturday night’s Pensacola 200 at Five Flags Speedway. Self’s victory marks the team’s second victory of the season and its 54th all-time in ARCA competition. VMS’ Harrison Burton drove to victory lane last month in the series’ season opener at Daytona International Speedway. “This is a big deal for me,” Self said. “A short track win in ARCA has eluded me. Even though I don’t think I am a great short track racer, I have had some success in the K&N Series on short tracks. For some reason is just hasn’t translated over here. Maybe this will kick start it." Full Results (In part from Venturini Motorsports PR) (03-11-19)
  • Tanner Gray joins DGR-Crosley for Five Flags: DGR-Crosley will head to Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla. this weekend for the second race of the ARCA Menards Series season. Nineteen year old, Tanner Gray will make his ARCA debut driving the team's No. 54 Gray Motorsports/Valvoline Toyota Camry. Gray joins DGR-Crosley this season after coming off a successful stint in the NHRA drag racing scene where was crowned the 2018 NHRA Pro Stock World Champion. Gray and his No. 54 DGR-Crosley team recently participated in a test session at Five Flags Speedway where he was able to get some experience running laps at the half-mile track. Although Gray will be sporting Rookie stripes on the track, he will be surrounded by a wealth of experience through his team. Crew chief Seth Smith, who has a K&N Pro Series East Championship title and NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series experience, will call the shots atop the pit box for Gray, while Paul Griffin will be on the spotter stand. (In part from DGR-Crosley PR) (03-08-19)
  • Ken Schrader Racing to miss Pensacola: Ken Schrader Racing will not compete in the ARCA Pensacola 200 at Five Flags Speedway this Saturday. The team, which fielded an entry Tyler Dippel at Daytona, scaled back to a partial schedule last year after Brandon Grosso left in May. A return date is unknown, but the organization has been actively seeking drivers and marketing partners for the 2019 ARCA Menards Series season. (03-05-19) 
  • Connor Okrzesik files entry for the ARCA Pensacola 200: Mobile, Alabama's Connor Okrzesik has filed an entry for his first ARCA Menards Series race on March 9th at Pensacola. While many of the ARCA competitors have "some" experience at Pensacola's 5 Flags Speedway, none have turned the laps Okrzesik has over the last three years. "Really a great opportunity to make my first ARCA start at a track I have so much experience at. I've got thousands of laps at Pensacola which should give me an advantage," said Okrzesik. Okrzesik has been a regular competitor at the heralded Speedway in the Pro-Late Model and Super Late Model Divisions over the last three seasons posting 3rd and 4th place finishes in the 2018 Snowflake/Snowball Derby respectively. Okrzesik has already tested his ARCA equipment at 5 Flags once with another scheduled before the race and he will race in Montgomery this weekend in the Alabama 200. "There is a huge difference between the ARCA car and our late model. Even though we have a lot of experience at 5 flags we are planning on testing again before the race, we're not leaving anything to chance," added Okrzesik. After his first ARCA start, the Alabama high school student is expected to have a healthy mix of Late Model racing and five or six ARCA races in 2019 while working towards a full time ARCA schedule in 2020. (In part from Praytor Management Group PR) (03-03-19)
  • Tim Richmond to drive for Peterson Motorsports at Pensacola: 20 year-old Tim Richmond will drive for Peterson Motorsports in the ARCA Pensacola 200 at Five Flags Speedway on Saturday March 9th. Richmond, who resides in Illinois, is also expected to compete in additional short track events for the team this season. The Wayne Peterson owned organization will only field one car at Five Flags, but Con Nicolopoulos is expected to return later this year after competing in the Daytona season opener. (In part from Twitter) (03-01-19)
  • Hailie Deegan joins Venturini Motorsports for partial schedule: Coming on the heels of earning her second career NASCAR K&N Pro Series West victory last night at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Dirt Track, Toyota Racing Development (TRD) driver, Hailie Deegan announces seven race deal to drive for Venturini Motorsports. Deegan will make six ARCA Menards Series appearances and one NASCAR K&N Series start behind the wheel of VMS’ Toyota Camry in 2019. The 17-year old from Temecula, CA will make her highly anticipated ARCA debut at Toledo Speedway on May 19. She’ll also compete in series’ events at Pocono Raceway (5/31), Madison Int’l Speedway (6/14), Elko Speedway (7/13), Lucas Oil Raceway (10/5) and Kansas Speedway (10/18). Deegan and VMS will also pair for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 15. Throughout her upcoming ARCA schedule Deegan will feature continued support from long time marketing partner Monster Energy, Craftsman and newcomer iK9. (In part from Venturini Motorsports PR) (03-01-19)
  • Darrell Basham Racing not fielding an entry at Pensacola; future unknown: Darrell Basham Racing, which has competed in the ARCA Menards Series for decades, will not field an entry in the upcoming ARCA Pensacola 200 at Five Flags Speedway on March 9th. The team participated in 16 races last year with Mike Basham, Jesse Iwuji, and Darrell Basham taking turns behind the wheel of the No. 34 Chevrolet. While the team's future remains unknown, it hopes to compete at the fall Salem race or potentially a dirt track event this season. (03-01-19)