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

August 2021

  • Ken Schrader to drive for Fast Track at DuQuoin; hauler fire: For the first time in two years, racing veteran Ken Schrader is back in the field for an ARCA Menards Series race. The opportunity arrives at what the 66-year-old considers his home track, and, in a way, his partnership with car owner Andy Hillenburg brings their relationship full circle. Schrader, the Fenton, Missouri, native who grew up attending races on the nearby one-mile dirt track on the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds in DuQuoin, Illinois, is entered in Sunday’s Southern Illinois 100 presented by Lucas Oil in Hillenburg’s No. 10 Kuttawa Fire Department Toyota with Mike Sroufe as the crew chief. Which is fitting considering it was Schrader in the early 1990s who gave Hillenburg his first ARCA driving opportunity. Hillenburg won the 1995 series championship, and he began that season taking Schrader’s car to Victory Lane in the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway. Now it’s Schrader who will be driving Hillenburg’s car. He will do so at one of the tracks he knows best when it comes to ARCA competition. The 18-time ARCA winner has four poles, three victories, 11 top fives and 14 top 10s in 15 ARCA starts on the DuQuoin dirt.
    Hauler Fire: Further, the decals representing the partnership on Schrader’s ARCA Menards Series car at DuQuoin are special to Hillenburg. On Aug. 22 after the ARCA Menards Series race on the Springfield Mile at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, traveling home from the track, one of Hillenburg’s Fast Track Racing haulers caught fire. The team was able to save the majority of its equipment thanks in part to the Kuttawa Fire Department. Without the race crew being there, it would have been way, way worse,” Kuttawa Fire Department chief Phil Compton said. “They got the liftgate down, and the doors open, and that was a huge help to us. If not for their help, it’s likely we could have been dealing with a total loss.” Hillenburg credited the fire department along with his crew members. “They were great,” he said. “They got it under control very quickly, and their response time was incredible. Another five minutes and we could have lost everything. We are going to make sure all of the fire fighters and their families are invited to the race at DuQuoin on Sept. 5 as a way to say thank you.” (In part from (08-31-21)
  • Ty Gibbs dominates at the Milwaukee Mile: [Ty] Gibbs, who qualified on the General Tire Pole, led every lap on the one-mile paved oval to pick up his series-high ninth win of 2021. He has now led every lap of a race three times (Kansas Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway) this season. That doesn’t count his leading all but one lap in ARCA Menards Series races at Iowa Speedway and Michigan International Speedway. “All these guys right here,” Gibbs said, pointing to the crew members standing behind him in Victory Lane. They do so much for me and for my team. These guys work their butts off, and they want to win more than I do.” Dealing with engine issues late in the race, [Corey] Heim limped to a sixth-place finish at Milwaukee, his second-worst result of the season behind his seventh-place run at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Heim was involved in the only incident of Sunday’s Sprecher 150. He got into the back of Stephanie Moyer’s lapped car on Lap 118, sending her spinning off Turn 2. Sam Mayer, a Wisconsin native and the two-time reigning ARCA Menards Series East champion who was making his fourth ARCA Menards Series start of the season for Bret Holmes Racing, finished second. “This place is really fun,” Mayer said of the Milwaukee Mile, the oldest continuously operating speedway in the world and a venue the ARCA Menards Series had not visited since 2007. “I’ve never got to run here before today, and man, I wish I would have a long time ago, because this place is pretty awesome.” Added third-place finisher Daniel Dye: “It was really cool, trying to figure out the air. It was really fun racing Sam, and him trying to reel in Ty. (Crew chief) Chad (Bryant) brought a great piece. Third’s two spots behind what we wanted to do, but none of us had been here. It’s a flat race track; first time I’ve ever been on a flat race track, so I had a lot of fun.” Full Results (In part from (08-29-21)
  • ARCA announces penalties after Michigan; Kevin Reed Sr, Kevin Reed Jr, and Drew Dollar penalized: On Thursday, Aug. 26, ARCA Menards Series officials announced penalties for actions following the recent race at Michigan International Speedway.
    Kevin Reed Sr: Based on non-compliant activities during and after the ARCA Menards Series race at Michigan International Speedway on Friday, Aug. 20, ARCA crew member Kevin Reed Sr. has been fined $500 and placed on probation for the remainder of the 2021 season for violation of 2021 ARCA Rulebook Section 12-8.1, which references ARCA Member Conduct Guidelines.
    Kevin Reed Jr: Based on violation of 2021 ARCA Rulebook Section 12-8.1, which references ARCA Member Conduct Guidelines including public statement and/or communication that criticizes, ridicules or otherwise disparages another person based upon that person’s race, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, age or handicapping condition, ARCA crew member Kevin Reed Jr. has been fined $1,500 and suspended for an indefinite period of time.
    Drew Dollar: Based on non-compliant activities in the garage area during the ARCA Menards Series race at Michigan International Speedway on Friday, Aug. 20, driver Drew Dollar has been fined $1,000 for violation of 2021 ARCA Rulebook Section 12-8, which references ARCA Member Conduct Guidelines. (From (08-26-21)
  • Corey Heim scores Springfield victory: Corey Heim dominated the Allen Crowe 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds and rolled to the ARCA Menards Series victory Sunday on the Springfield Mile. Heim started on the General Tire Pole and led all but a handful of laps during the 100-lap feature on the one-mile clay oval. Heim’s only slip came moments before the second scheduled break of the race while trying to lap Mike Goudie. “Can’t thank my Venturini Motorsports team enough for battling back today,” Heim said. “I know we kind of got behind at one point but felt good about my car all day and just wanted to bring it home first.” Heim, the race’s only leader at that point, caught Goudie in the center of Turns 3 and 4 and contacted Goudie’s left rear. That resulted in a dented right-front bumper for Heim while Goudie was sent spinning, destroying the nose of Goudie’s No. 11 car. That relegated Heim back to third while Taylor Gray took the lead and Ty Gibbs moved into second. On the following restart, Gray was able to pull away with the lead but Heim did retake second ahead of the break. Jesse Love, in the No. 15 Toyota for Venturini Motorsports, stayed out under the break electing to take track position instead of new tires. That set him on the inside of the front row for the final dash to the finish with Gray to his outside, Heim behind him and Gibbs fourth. Heim got a great restart, and thanks to the repairs made by his Venturini team under the break, rocketed past Love for the lead and never looked back. Gibbs followed Heim through and finished second while Gray finished third and Love fell to fifth. Full Results (In part from (08-22-21)
  • Ramo Stott passes away at age 87: Ramo Stott, the 1970-1971 ARCA Menards Series Champion, who raced in the series in every decade from the 50s through the 90s and won 27 races, seventh on the all-time series wins list, passed away on Thursday, August 19. He was 87 years old. Stott was a key driver in the Keokuk, Iowa, pipeline of talented racers who made national stock car racing headlines in the IMCA, ARCA, and NASCAR stock car series including Ernie Derr, Dick Hutcherson and Ron Hutcherson. Stott won his first ARCA race in 1969 at Crown Point, Indiana and recorded his final victory in 1988 at Hazard, Kentucky, at the age of 54. In between, he won series races at tracks in Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and Wisconsin including four at Salem Speedway, two at Talladega Superspeedway and the crown jewel of the series, Daytona International Speedway. Stott was among a group of ARCA drivers in the 1960s and 1970s who moved into the NASCAR Cup Series and enjoyed success including Charlie Glotzbach, Nelson Stacy, Benny Parsons, and fellow Iowans Dick and Ron Hutcherson. They helped pioneer the pathway from ARCA to NASCAR, commonly referred to as “driver development,” to this day a key to ARCA’s longevity as a home for career professional racers as well as upward mobility to NASCAR’s National Series. In 35 NASCAR Cup Series starts from 1967-1984, Stott led 10 races and was the 1976 Daytona 500 polesitter. Stott was retired from driving for many years, for a time working as a NASCAR Cup Series Official with duties including driving the pace car. His sons Lance and Corrie both drove in the ARCA Menards Series and worked in the motorsports industry. Ramo Stott is survived by his wife of 66 years, Judy, who served as his scorer and was at his side in the race car garage and at the hundreds of races comprising his career; sons Corrie Stott and Lance Stott; daughters Cindy Masterson and Ramona Savage; 8 grandchildren; 21 great grandchildren; and 3 great-great grandchildren. (In part from (08-21-21)
  • Ty Gibbs wins at Michigan: [Ty Gibbs led] almost every lap from the pole position in the Henry Ford Health Systems 200 at Michigan International Speedway en route to his eighth victory this season. The win comes in Gibbs’ first trip to the 2-mile Irish Hills oval and marks back-to-back victories at the track for Joe Gibbs Racing, following Riley Herbst’s victory in 2020. The win also ties him for the most victories in a single season over the last decade. But with six races to go on the 2021 slate (including this upcoming Sunday), that number is likely to increase. “That was a good time,” Gibbs said. “It’s more of a speedway style race with this package and horsepower. A good learning experience for me. Kind of taught myself today a little bit, blocking lines and runs. We got two more races this weekend, so it’ll be fun.” Gibbs will compete in the Xfinity Series event Saturday at Michigan before heading to Springfield on Sunday for another ARCA Menards Series event, which will be his third race in as many days. Out of his eight victories this season spanning short tracks, intermediates and now speedways, Gibbs says he holds this specific victory in high regard. “It’s definitely at the top,” he said. “To win somewhere where Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch, all the bad dudes won at. It’s awesome to win here. It’s incredible.” Full Results (In part from (08-21-21)
  • Toyota clinches 2021 manufacturer’s championship: Toyota captured its sixth manufacturer’s championship in the ARCA Menards Series and its fifth consecutive such title with Corey Heim’s fifth victory of the season at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 6. Toyota began the season with nine consecutive wins and has won 12 of the 13 races completed this season. In 2020, Toyota clinched the title with 13 victories in 20 ARCA Menards Series events. “Everyone at Toyota is pleased to have clinched our fifth consecutive ARCA Menards Series manufacturer’s title,” said Paul Doleshal, group manager, motorsports and assets, Toyota Motor North America (TMNA). “We have witnessed thrilling racing throughout the ARCA season with the future stars of NASCAR. Ty (Gibbs) and Corey (Heim) are delivering a great championship battle, and we look forward to watching them compete for the title over these last seven events.” Toyota supports four ARCA Menards Series teams, including Venturini Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Hattori Racing Enterprises and Bill McAnally Racing. All season, it has been an exciting title race between two teenagers — Heim and Gibbs — for victories and the championship lead. (In part from Toyota Racing PR) (08-19-21)
  • Justin Allgaier making ARCA start at Springfield: The field for this year’s Allen Crowe 100 became even more interesting with the announcement that Justin Allgaier, the 2008 ARCA Menards Series champion and the 2006 Springfield Mile race winner, will return to his home track Sunday. After competing for JR Motorsports in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Michigan International Speedway, Allgaier, 35, will make the trek to his hometown of Springfield, Illinois. He will substitute for another hometown driver, Kelly Kovski, and drive the No. 16 Schluckebier Farms-Schnapp Sewer Svc-Brandt Chevrolet for Roy Kovski. (In part from Track Enterprises PR) (08-18-21)
  • Ryan Unzicker returning to compete at Springfield with Hendren Motorsports: As if central Illinois needed another reason to attend Sunday’s stock car extravaganza at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, a good one comes in the form of the entry for the defending ARCA Menards Series race winner. Ryan Unzicker of nearby El Paso, Illinois, is slated to make his 12th start on the Springfield Mile on Aug. 22. His win in last year’s Allen Crowe 100 was his first in the ARCA Menards Series. Unzicker is a popular central Illinois driver and a UMP national driving champion. He is paired with equally popular car owner Bill Hendren, who has been part of a stock car entry in every Allen Crowe 100 since 1974. Ken Rowley, Bob Strait and even Ken Schrader have all been behind the wheel of a Hendren-backed car at one point in time. While Hendren drivers had been able to capture pole positions and lead laps in stock car competition on the Illinois dirt, none were able to find Victory Lane before Unzicker did in October. (In part from Track Enterprises PR) (08-18-21)
  • Landen Lewis to make ARCA debut at Springfield with Rette Jones Racing: Rette Jones Racing Development and Austin Theriault Racing Development jointly announced today that 15-year-old Landen Lewis will make his ARCA Menard Series debut in the highly anticipated Allen Crowe 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds this Sun., Aug. 22. Lewis will drive the No. 2 L&A South | Lou Lou’s Waterfront Restaurant Toyota Camry prepared by RJR Development with several racing icons who have offered their advice to the Ocean Isle Beach, N.C. native. Lewis graduates to the ARCA Menards Series on the strength of a successful career in Legends Cars, Super Trucks and Dirt Modified competition. In Legend Car competition, the teenager has roared to 22 series victories while mastering 51 top-five finishes overall. He is also the most recent Winter Heat champion winning a jaw-dropping nine of the 10 races. “This is such an unbelievable opportunity,” said Lewis. “I can’t thank Rette Jones Racing, Austin (Theriault), the Hornaday family, Mr. Ken Schrader and everyone who has been incredibly helpful and instrumental in helping make my ARCA Menards Series debut possible. I don’t know what to expect on Sunday, but I have a ton of confidence thanks to all the advice from everyone around me. My goal is to have a smooth practice and an even better qualifying session and make progress during the 100-lap race. I know Mark (Rette) and the entire Rette Jones Racing Development team has been working hard on our No. 2 L&A South Toyota Camry and I think a top-10 finish or better is definitely in our potential.” (In part from Rette Jones Racing PR) (08-18-21)
  • Corey Heim wins at Watkins Glen: Corey Heim’s worst run of the 2021 ARCA Menards Series season thus far came in June, when he finished seventh at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course the last time the series competed on a road course. He made up for that result Saturday evening at Watkins Glen International, where the driver of the No. 20 Craftsman Toyota all but coasted to victory in the Clean Harbors 100 at The Glen, the series’ second and final road course race of the season. Heim, who won his fifth ARCA Menards Series race of the year and sixth overall dating back to last season, closed the gap to points leader Ty Gibbs in the championship standings. Just two points separate the series’ top title contenders after 13 races. “Everything we possibly could bring to the race track, we brought today,” said Heim, who led the final 18 of 41 laps on the 2.45-mile road course. “This Venturini Motorsports team has battled back from a lot this year. I’m really proud of them; this Craftsman Camry was rolling really good today.” The entire complexion of Friday night’s race at Watkins Glen changed at the end of Lap 23. Chase Briscoe, who had taken the lead from Gibbs eight laps prior with what appeared to be the dominant car, was forced to pit with a suspension issue. At the same time, Heim was catching and passing Gibbs for position. Because of Briscoe’s issue, what would have been a move for second became a pass for the lead when Heim got the best of Gibbs going into the bus stop at Watkins Glen. “He’s just another car on the race track, and I was trying to get the lead,” Heim said. “Race him hard. Race him clean. And he did, too.” Added Gibbs, who struggled with a left rear issue Friday: “My guys worked on it, and we tried to fix it, but that’s still not the reason we got beat. We still got beat by (Heim). Congratulations to the 20 group. We just kind of missed it today, and we’ll keep hammering down.” Briscoe, the 2016 ARCA Menards Series champion who was competing on the platform for the first time since his title run, eventually had to park his car with the suspension issue. He finished 23rd after leading nine laps. Full Results (In part from (08-07-21)
  • Andy Jankowiak partners with Ted Marsh; will race at Watkins Glen: Phillips 66 and Dak’s Market are thrilled to announce a partnership with Andy Jankowiak Racing this weekend at Watkins Glen International as the rookie race team unveils a new partnership with Ted Marsh and the Whelen Engineering Race Team. The 73 Chevy features the Phillips 66 brand on the hood and rear quarter panel and the Dak’s Market logo on the side of the car for the Clean Harbors 100 at The Glen at Watkins Glen International. “With our new brand [Dak’s Market], we wanted to partner with someone we could grow with,” said Kevin Lapierre of Dak’s Market and Konnect General Stores. “We are excited to open new convenience stores across the U.S. and blossom with Andy as he moves up the ranks in racing and NASCAR.” The partnership is the second in a three-race series with the paint scheme, continuing Oct. 23 for the Reece’s 150 at Kansas Speedway. The paint scheme was also featured at Pocono last month. “Andy is a pure racer, making this partnership that much more special,” Lapierre said. “With Phillips 66 on the hood, it’s like a return to the ‘old days’ of NASCAR when the brand was featured on a car at almost every race.” Returning with the team will be Thermal Foams Inc., which will be featured on both sides of the No. 73 Chevy for what will be a home coming race for both Team and Sponsor. “Thermal Foams is a New York State-based company just like our race team, so it is awesome to have them on board as we head to the Glen,” Jankowiak said. Thermal Foams Inc. has been with the team since the Talladega event in April and supplies the soft wall blocks that many regional tracks use as a safety tool to protect the drivers. “We are lucky to have great partners as we head into these events, and we could not race on this level without the help of all of these companies,” Jankowiak added. “We always encourage our fans to support the companies that support auto racing when they can.” New to the team will be a partnership with Ted Marsh and the Whelen Engineeing Team. The car that the team will be using this weekend and for future road course events will be a car that is owned by Ted with a power plant supplied by the AJ Racing team. “It is just so cool to be able to race for a legendary car owner like Ted Marsh,” Jankowiak said. “Ted has had so many legendary drivers over the years, and to know that I will be a sitting in a seat that was once occupied by guys like Steve Park and Ted Christopher is very cool for me as a driver.” (In part from AJ Racing Team PR) (08-06-21)
  • Mullins Racing partners with Dale Quarterley for Watkins Glen: With the help of Willie Mullins and Mullins Racing, veteran racer Dale Quarterley is dusting off his driving suit to compete in Friday’s ARCA Menards Series Clean Harbors 100 at the Glen at Watkins Glen International. Quarterley, who made a name for himself racing in the AMA Superbike series before making a successful transition to stock cars, will make his first start in a NASCAR-sanctioned series since the 2019 season on Friday afternoon. He’ll do so piloting the No. 3 Van Dyk Recycling Solutions Chevrolet, which is being run as part of a partnership with Mullins Racing. “When I stopped racing full-time in what was then the K&N Series, I started taking on some outside customer work. I was doing some vintage stock cars and the Mullins family happened to be pitted next to me one weekend at VIR,” said the 60-year-old Quarterley. “In the midst of us running and listening to those guys talk as they tried to make adjustments to their car and make it better, I finally got frustrated and walked over there and offered to help them. Since then I’ve helped them in multiple situations and they’ve helped us a few times too.” Mullins, who is the listed owner of the car, said the opportunity to partner with Quarterley for Friday’s race is a chance for him to work with one of his own personal motorsport heroes. “This goes back to when I was a little kid and you’d watch the modifieds up in New Hampshire and you’d see Dale Quarterley racing there and then you’d see Superbikes and Dale Quarterley was racing that,” Mullins said. “This is kind of cool to have one of my heroes and me working together a little bit.” (In part from Mullins Racing PR) (08-05-21)
  • Ed Pompa racing at Watkins Glen; secures sponsorship: Ed Pompa and Andy Hillenburg’s Fast Track Racing Team welcome Hytorc of New York as the primary partner on Pompa’s No. 11 Toyota Camry for Friday’s Clean Harbors 100 at The Glen at New York’s Watkins Glen International. “It’s great to have Hytorc of New York as a partner for the road course race at The Glen,” Pompa said. “I started working with them as a supplier to my family business this spring. Incredible hydraulic torque tools; takes all the heavy work out of certain jobs. 3,000 ft pounds of torque required? No problem: Just push a button. I hope to be able to get their company name some great exposure on FS1 on Friday night. The design that Trimaxx Graphics came up with for the car should catch some attention.” Pompa, a native of Ballston Spa, New York, will make his third ARCA Menards Series start of the season Friday at Watkins Glen. It will mark his 71st ARCA Menards Series race dating back to 2006. “It’s good that ARCA is finally getting back to Watkins Glen,” he said. “I had planned on this race last year, but ultimately the race was canceled and moved to the road course at Daytona. The last time ARCA was here was 2001, before I started racing. I like road course racing; it’s definitely a challenge. On ovals, you only have four turns where you can screw up, and three at Pocono. Here, there’s at least 11 places each lap to ruin your day, and that’s not taking into account getting caught up by somebody else when they screw up. Then you also may have to factor in rain, or wet weather. Definitely can’t lose concentration. I’ve raced at New Jersey Motorsports Park a few times, and Road America when ARCA went there in 2017. I also have returning partners who have been with me for a long time, supporting the Double H Ranch: Burt Crane & Rigging, Pompa Bros. Inc., Turn One Condos, T-Shirt Graphics and Barb & Jay Biondi. The ‘virtual camper appreciation tour’ continues this Friday with all the ‘virtual camper’ names from 2020 for Double H Ranch in the hood logo.” (In part from Fast Track Racing PR) (08-04-21)
  • Ty Gibbs turns Corey Heim; wins at Winchester: Over the last 60 or so circuits of Saturday night’s 200-lap race at Winchester Speedway, Ty Gibbs, running second, barely let more than a car length come between himself and Corey Heim. The race leader had his hands full with the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in his rear-view mirror. This situation lasted until Lap 198, when Heim, fighting through lapped traffic, slowed just enough for Gibbs to get to his rear bumper. Gibbs turned Heim and, after an overtime restart, went on to win the Calypso Lemonade 200. The 18-year-old ARCA Menards Series points leader now has seven wins in 2021. The victory Saturday night at the high-banked half mile extended his championship standings lead to seven points over Heim. “We were really close (to Heim) for, I don’t know... a (long) time,” said Gibbs of the closing laps at Winchester. “(Heim’s) 20 got into (Thad Moffitt’s) No. 46. The 20’s entry to Turn 1 was really slow. I don’t know if they had issues with their car; it looked like he was free. And then right when he got into that 46, the 46 just checked up, and I hit him and drove through him. It’s just hard-fought racing.” Asked about the incident with Gibbs, Heim could only think about his first opportunity to potentially exact revenge. “All I’ve got to say is I could not be more excited for Watkins Glen,” said Heim, referring to next week’s race at the road course in upstate New York. “We haven’t spun the 18 out a single time or anything, but we just took it up a notch, so I’m really excited for Watkins Glen.” Full Results (In part from (08-01-21)