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

December 2020

  • Mullins Racing announces primary sponsorship for Daytona: Mullins Racing will have a completely new look when the team rolls into Daytona International Speedway for the Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire on Feb. 13. Team owner and driver Willie Mullins announced today that Crawford Sprinkler Co. of Raleigh has joined the team as primary sponsor of the No. 3 Mullins Racing Chevrolet for the ARCA Menards Series season opener at the World Center of Racing. Mullins explained that the partnership is the result of a long-term relationship with Crawford Sprinkler Co. of Raleigh President Ian Snider that dates back to their time racing against each other in the Sports Car Club of America. “This is a long-term relationship from back in my road racing days with SCCA,” Mullins explained. “Ian is a long-time friend and customer here at the shop. We used to take care of his road course car that he purchased from Richard Childress Racing. “Back in 2016 he was a small sponsor and gave us a little bit of help and then this year we happened to start talking about things and he saw our new Chevrolet race car. He is a big, big fan of Chevrolet, so he decided to come on board for Daytona.” As part of the new partnership with Crawford Sprinkler Co. of Raleigh, the No. 3 Mullins Racing Chevrolet will sport the same black and red design at Daytona International Speedway that Snider campaigned during his time racing with the SCCA. (In part from Mullins Racing PR) (12-30-20)
  • Max Force Racing; Thomas Praytor returning at Talladega in 2021: Max Force Racing and Thomas Praytor will return to ARCA Menards Series competition next year at Talladega Superspeedway on April 24th. Praytor, who competed full time from 2013 to 2017, finished 11th in his only ARCA start this year at Daytona. The team is also hoping to race at Daytona again and the dirt track events if funding can be found. (12-28-20)
  • Michael Self joins Trans Am TA2 team as general manager; not returning to ARCA: Expanding on the success of a 2020 season in which former champion Rafa Matos finished second in the tough Trans Am TA2 standings, Silver Hare Racing has added two championship-winning drivers for the 2021 season. Fresh off his TA2 win at VIR just a few months ago, Tyler Kicera will pilot the No. 5 SHR Ford Mustang full time in next year’s Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli TA2 title chase, while NASCAR race winner Michael Self joins the team in a new role as General Manager. Self brings years of knowledge and experience in multiple forms of motorsports, from Skip Barber to ARCA to NASCAR’s Xfinity series. “I’m really excited and thankful to have the opportunity to work in a management position at Silver Hare,” Self explained. “I’ve been fortunate to have success in managing the Sinclair Oil sponsorship in ARCA the last couple of years, and I’m eager to continue applying that experience in the business side of racing, continuing to learn from Maurice and Laura who have ultra-successful careers in business administration. I think they’re going about things the right way with Silver Hare, developing a TA2 team that will be competitive not only on the track, but off the track with drivers and business partners in a market that will hopefully continue to grow as road racing becomes more prominent in NASCAR and the United States.” (In part from (12-26-20)
  • Greg Van Alst returning to ARCA in 2021 for partial schedule: It’s been nearly two decades since Greg Van Alst competed in a championship points event for the ARCA Menards Series. That hiatus will come to an end, as Greg Van Alst Motorsports announced today his return to the series in 2021 beginning with the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 13. Van Alst first competed in the ARCA Menards Series on a limited schedule in 2002 driving for Locke Bros. Racing, but as the team shifted priorities, Van Alst took a path to Late Models, where he has steadily and successfully built a strong career, including the 2019 ARCA CRA championship. Winning the championship awarded Van Alst the opportunity to participate in the open ARCA Menards Series test at the 2.5-mile superspeedway in January 2020, which reignited his flame to compete in the series. Greg Van Alst Motorsports will make its first on-track appearance during ARCA Menards Series preseason testing at the "World Center of Racing" next month. "I’m very excited about 2021," said Van Alst. "This is a great opportunity for myself and my Greg Van Alst Motorsports team to come to the ARCA Menards Series with some great marketing partners and pursue the best in on-track performance. "I’m looking forward to going to Daytona in January and having a positive preseason test and returning in February and competing for the win." CB Fabricating, a longtime partner with Greg Van Alst Motorsports, will boost its commitment with the team and make the leap to the ARCA Menards Series as the primary marketing partner of Van Alst’s No. 35 Chevrolet. For Daytona, Van Alst has acquired equipment from Chad Bryant Racing. "Ever since the Daytona ARCA test in January 2020, I was itching to get back to the track in an ARCA car and while there were opportunities, I didn’t want to just jump in a car to drive. Taking our time and putting the pieces and equipment together along with our patience I think will pay off in a big way." Additional specifics on Greg Van Alst Motorsports’ 2021 ARCA Menards Series program is forthcoming, including crew chief and a detailed series schedule. (In part from (12-23-20)
  • Mullins Racing secures Daytona sponsorship from Mullins Racing is proud to announce that, a leader in Corvette parts and accessories, will sponsor team owner and driver Willie Mullins during the ARCA Menards Series Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire on Feb. 13 at Daytona International Speedway. owners Tom and TJ Keen are long-time supporters of motorsports and have been involved in NASCAR sponsorship for 10 years, including most recently with Live Fast Motorsports at the NASCAR Cup Series level. Now the Keen’s will expand that sponsorship to include Mullins Racing as the 40-year-old Mullins attempts to earn his first ARCA Menards Series victory on the series’ grandest stage. “This is a big step for us, to have someone like Tom and TJ that love to sponsor and love to help the average racer,” Mullins said. “We also have under the large umbrella as part of the banner Mark Wertz, who is a local late model racer here in Virginia that is also sponsored by the Keen family. That’s even cooler that it is all tied together with a small group of people.” In addition to welcoming to the team, Mullins Racing has expanded its fleet of race cars with the purchase of a former GMS Racing Chevrolet superspeedway car that Mullins plans to race during the Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire. The car is the same car driven by World of Outlaws star David Gravel in the ARCA opener in February of this year. Brandon McReynolds drove the car at Daytona in 2019 and Sheldon Creed used it to push Mullins to his career-best runner-up finish at Daytona during the 2018 season opener at Daytona. The addition of another superspeedway car also means the team has the ability to field a second race car during the season opening round at Daytona International Speedway. Mullins Racing is actively looking for a driver and sponsor interested in competing in the Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire. (In part from Mullins Racing PR) (12-22-20)
  • Justin Lofton to run partial schedule for Rette Jones Racing in 2021: When Justin Lofton strapped into a race car to compete in the ARCA Menards Series West finale at Phoenix Raceway on Nov. 7, it was the first time he had competed in an ARCA event since 2009. Lofton, who captured the 2009 ARCA Menards Series championship while driving for Eddie Sharp Racing, finished sixth in the Arizona Lottery 100. It was a homecoming that Lofton says had been trying to make happen for several years. "I stayed in touch with a few people and we’ve been trying to put something together for the last two years," Lofton explained. "Finally, Mark Rette, one of the owners of Rette-Jones Racing, we stayed in touch and he called me up and said, ‘Hey, I’m putting a car in the trailer to go to Phoenix. You need to fill out these forms and we’ll see you there.’ That kind of thing." Lofton admitted there was some rust to shake off, but once he found his rhythm during the race it was almost like he’d never left. "It took a little getting used to, but by the end of the race I felt back to my normal self and was hoping that we had another 50, 100 laps to get the car dialed in," Lofton said. Lofton, 34, hopes to continue his stock car racing career, and is working with Rette-Jones Racing to put together a limited schedule of races around his off-road schedule. Lofton said they’ve already got one race, the ARCA Menards Series event on March 12 at Phoenix Raceway, confirmed with more, hopefully, to come. "My off-road schedule is filling up. I think we’ve got seven races on the schedule for next year and, obviously, I’ve got to leave my schedule pretty open because of what potentially could happen with scheduling changes," Lofton said. "My goal would be to do five to six ARCA races next year and not necessarily ARCA West races. "Tracks that I like to go to and enjoy going to or tracks that I feel like still owe me a win, Gateway being one of them," Lofton continued. "I have a young family now. I got married when I moved home. So that was five years ago, six years ago. We have a three-year-old boy, who is I think taking after his dad when it comes to racing and driving. It would be cool to be able to take them back to the tracks and places that I really enjoyed racing at and enjoyed visiting. "We’re going to sporadically choose races that fit that profile." (In part from (12-16-20)
  • Ken Schrader Racing's ARCA team up for auction; shop sold: Ken Schrader had always planned to return to the Midwest and now that time has come. Schrader and his wife, Ann, have sold their Concord, N.C., race shop and begun the process of moving to St. Louis, Mo. When reached by phone on Tuesday, the 65-year-old racing veteran said it was simply the right time. “The plan was when we were done to go back,” said Schrader, a Missouri native. “So it’s always been in the plan. It’s just that time now.” A successful stock car driver, Schrader was also a successful car owner. He fielded his own entries for years in all three NASCAR national divisions as well as ARCA. His team enjoyed its most success in ARCA, where Schrader’s cars won more than 30 races and most recently captured the ARCA Menards Series title with driver Austin Theriault in 2017. “We won the ARCA championship in ’17 and it’s like anything else, it’s hard to sell sponsorship,” said Schrader. “You’re dealing with some type of training program. I couldn’t even go to the races hardly anymore. The year we won the championship I only got to go to about five races because I was off doing my stuff. Nothing was getting any cheaper and it was just time.” While Schrader is taking many things to St. Louis, there are a number of items he no longer needs that will be sold at auction later this month. Iron Horse Auction has partnered with Schrader to sell equipment, including race car haulers and a multitude of parts he no longer needs. “I’m just running my dirt car. I don’t need ARCA cars. I don’t need ARCA transmissions. I don’t need rear ends. I don’t need those wheels and spare axles,” Schrader said. “We’re just not doing that. It’s not so much downsizing, we’re just cutting one division out. “We’re cutting out the part where I’m not driving.” Full Iron Horse Auction Inventory (In part from (12-08-20)
  • 2021 ARCA Menards Series schedule announced: The ARCA Menards Series has finalized its 2021 schedule, which opens Saturday, Feb. 13 at Daytona International Speedway and concludes at Kansas Speedway in October. The 20-race schedule will be contested at 19 different venues and will once again include the Sioux Chief Showdown, a series within the series designed to bring together top teams from the ARCA Menards Series, ARCA Menards Series East and ARCA Menards Series West. The diverse 2021 ARCA Menards Series schedule includes stops at superspeedways, intermediate tracks, road courses, paved short tracks and a pair of one-mile dirt tracks. Highlights include:
    • Eleven races run in conjunction with one or more of the NASCAR national touring series — the NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series — including stops at Daytona, Phoenix Raceway, Talladega Superspeedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Pocono Raceway, Watkins Glen International, Michigan International Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway and Kansas.
    • Kansas will be the only venue to host two races — one in May and the season finale in October.
    • The series will visit its home track, Toledo Speedway, for the 81st time on Saturday, May 22, and return to Minnesota’s Elko Speedway on Saturday, July 10.
    • The Elko race kicks off a stretch of four short track races in four weeks, with additional stops at Berlin Raceway in Michigan, Iowa Speedway and Indiana’s Winchester Speedway on consecutive Saturdays.
    • Two road course races are on the schedule, the first on June 4 at Mid-Ohio in conjunction with the track’s NASCAR Xfinity Series weekend, and the second at Watkins Glen on Aug. 6, part of a quadrupleheader with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the NASCAR Cup Series.
    • A trio of stops at historic fairgrounds, with the two traditional one-mile dirt races at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois, and DuQuoin State Fairgrounds in DuQuoin, Illinois, sandwiched around a return to the historic Milwaukee Mile at Wisconsin State Fair Park in West Allis, Wisconsin. It marks the first time since 2007 the series will race at Milwaukee. The Springfield race is the second part of a weekend doubleheader, as the series will compete two days prior at Michigan.
    • The race at Charlotte and the fall race at Kansas are on a flex schedule and could be moved by a day.
    The Sioux Chief Showdown, ARCA Menards Series East, ARCA Menards Series West and the broadcast schedules are currently being finalized and will be released in the coming weeks. (In part from (12-01-20)