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

April 2022

  • Daniel Dye arrested for felony battery UPDATES: 18 year-old GMS Racing driver Daniel Dye was arrested yesterday in Deland, FL for felony battery. Dye was arrested at 1:50 PM and was released at 7:33 PM after posting $2,500 in bond. GMS Racing announced in October 2021 that Dye would race full time and would compete for the ARCA Menards Series championship this season. Dye currently ranks second in driver points following this past weekend's event at Talladega Superspeedway. (In part from (04-27-22)
    UPDATE: The Volusia charging affidavit states that the victim came in and reported a felony battery. The victim "stated that on April 25, 2022 at approximately 1440 hours, he was attending class at Father Lopez Catholic High School located at 3918 LPGA Blvd. [The victim] stated that while he was sitting in his [redacted] class one of his classmates, Daniel Dye came up to him on his left side and started grinding and dancing with his groin (pelvic area) by [the victim's] head and face. [The victim] stated that he pushed his left arm up towards [Daniel Dye] in an attempt to push him away. [The victim] stated that this did not work and [Daniel Dye] continued for another minute until [Daniel Dye] stopped. [The victim] further stated that he thought the incident was over and all of a sudden [Daniel Dye] came up from behind him and punched him in the groin area." (In part from Volusia Charging Affidavit) (04-27-22)
    GMS Racing Statement: "GMS Racing is aware of the current situation surrounding Daniel Dye. Daniel and the Dye family are cooperating with local law enforcement. No further comment will be made on the subject until more information becomes available." (GMS Racing PR) (04-27-22)
    Suspended indefinitely from ARCA: Daniel Dye has been suspended indefinitely from ARCA competition for a violation of the 2022 ARCA Rulebook Section 12-8.1.E.2, a behavioral penalty which references ARCA Member Conduct Guidelines. Dye, 18, was arrested on a felony battery charge Tuesday in Volusia County, Florida. Dye races full time in the ARCA Menards Series, driving the No. 43 Chevrolet for GMS Racing. After three races in 2022, he ranks second in series standings. (In part from (04-27-22)
  • Jake Finch joins Venturini Motorsports for Pocono: Venturini Motorsports announced today the signing of 16-year-old driver, Jake Finch to a two-race ARCA schedule in 2022. Finch, who comes to VMS ready to learn and gain experience, will pilot the No. 25 Toyota Camry at Dover Motor Speedway this Friday, April 29 for the ARCA East race. Finch will also pilot the No. 55 Toyota Camry at Pocono Raceway on July 22 for the ARCA Menards event. “I’m really excited and grateful for the opportunity to race in the ARCA Menards Series for Venturini Motorsports,” said Finch. “Both Pocono and Dover are unique and historic, fast racetracks, and it’ll be a cool experience and challenge for me as I learn at some new places.” Finch, son of former NASCAR Cup Series & Xfinity Series team owner James Finch, has experienced stock-car racing since he was seven years old. The Lynn Haven, Florida native just recently made his debut in the ARCA East series at his home track of Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL scoring a top-ten finish in the Pensacola 200. In 2021, Finch also captured the Outlaw division track Championship at Five Flags Speedway. (In part from Venturini Motorsports PR) (04-25-22)
  • Thomas Praytor suffers from illness at Talladega; replaced by Sean Corr: On the way to Talladega, Thomas Praytor [started] feeling bad, bad moved to really bad and shivering under stacks of blankets, a flu bug had gotten a hold of the Mobile, Alabama driver and it was ugly. The former series Ironman, Praytor had competed under adversity before, feeling like crap at the race track is nothing new, he soldiered through inspection and practice. On race day the symptoms had not subsided and in some ways were worse than the day before but when you only race a time or two a year you keep digging. Even a fast race car couldn’t hold off the sickness and Praytor reported he was losing feeling and strength in his left arm and leg. If you’ve never driven a race car at 180MPH your left arm is important to turn the steering wheel to make left turns. After a couple of cautions the Moose set a faster lap of the race and was rumbling to the front. Under caution Praytor reported he had lost all use of his left arm completely and asked spotter Tab Boyd to put him in the high lane only because he could no longer hold the car on the bottom. Back under green Praytor was now driving with one hand. The Moose proceeded to put the AIDB Chevy in the top 10 turning a lap over 183 miles per hour setting a new fastest time of the race for the third time and was half a second faster than the leaders drafting his way to the front, right handed. “Thomas was having a great day and I’m use to him driving with all sorts of problems, kidney stones, viruses, concussion, broken body parts, he just has no quit in him. I was getting worried about losing the use of his left hand and if he was admitting to that he was probably a whole lot worse,” said Dad, Tommy Praytor. “I felt like he would only get out of the car is if we had a replacement he would be happy with. I thought about our friends in the Xfinity garage that would come down and started looking down the list of ARCA drivers who were already out of the race, Sean Corr. Thomas and Sean have drafted together for years and he is one of the only people who has as much experience as Thomas on restrictor plate tracks. I texted Grumpy (Corr’s crew Chief) and ARCA telling them I needed Sean as a standby,” Corr quickly made his way to the pit box. A red flag for a big wreck on the front stretch gave the team the perfect opportunity to swap drivers and Praytor was called to the garage for the swap. The medical staff pulled Thomas out of the car taking him to the infield care center while Corr strapped in. While Corr finished the race Praytor spent the afternoon in the infield care center getting an IV and oxygen for elevated carbon monoxide levels. “We are grateful for all the work Mike and the guys at Venturini put in on our car. Can’t thank Sean Corr enough for filling in, not too many other people Thomas would have given his car too. Really appreciate the Doctors and Nurses in infield care taking care of Thomas. He is on the mend but is still stiff, sore and sick but he’ll get better. We had a good effort this weekend and overcame a lot of adversity, we’ll get our driver healed up and get ready to go again,” offered Tommy Praytor. (In part from Max Force Racing PR) (04-25-22)
  • Scott Melton suffers compound fracture in lower left leg: Scott Melton, driving the No. 69 Melton McFadden Insurance Agency Ford, was involved in a lap 49 crash that was triggered when Toni Breidinger spun into a pack of cars. Scott Melton was extracted from his car and posted the following message on his Facebook page:
    "Today didn’t go as planned. Currently I’m in the hospital, after some nice gentleman offered me a helicopter ride, in Birmingham, Alabama. I will have surgery first thing in the morning to repair a compound fracture on my lower left leg. Sounds like a fairly simple procedure.  Hoping to fly home tomorrow. Apparently we won’t be in the late model at Salem tomorrow. Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers. We live to fight another day. Really appreciate everyone at kimmel racing. They delivered another great car. (In part from Scott Melton Facebook) (04-24-22)
  • Nick Sanchez wins the General Tire 200 at Talladega: [Nick] Sanchez made a daring, three-wide move to take the race lead moments before a caution flag waved to end the race early, allowing him to claim his second ARCA victory dating back to last year and first of the 2022 season. The race ended nine laps early so Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race could start on time. Prior to a restart with 13 laps left, teams were informed that the next flag – checkered or caution – would end the race. “They told me the last caution was going to end it, so I was driving pretty aggressive just trying to get to the front before someone wrecked,” Sanchez said. While that was happening, Daniel Dye was at the front of the field trying to pass race leader Heim. He first moved up to the top to block a run by Bret Holmes before moving low to try and block Heim. The move to block Heim came too late, and Dye spun off the nose of Heim’s No. 20 Toyota. That’s when Sanchez saw his opportunity. Sanchez moved low under Holmes and was able to go three-wide to pass Heim for the lead seconds before the caution was displayed for Dye’s spin, allowing Sanchez to secure the first superspeedway triumph for Rev Racing. Heim was scored third behind Sanchez and Holmes and expressed displeasure with how the race ended. “I think that’s just a joke,” Heim said. “My spotter told me the race was going to end under caution whenever the next flag was. That’s just a joke.” Thad Moffitt made a late run through the field to finish fourth ahead of Gus Dean in fifth. Rajah Caruth, Drew Dollar, Ryan Huff, Parker Chase and Max Gutierrez unofficially completed the top-10. Full Results (In part from (04-24-22)
  • Lineup for Talladega set by owner points: The starting lineup for the General Tire 200 at Talladega Superspeedway has been set by 2021 owner points. #18 Drew Dollar will start from pole position and #20 Corey Heim will start alongside. #15 Parker Chase, #2 Nick Sanchez, and #25 Toni Breidinger complete the top five. Full Starting Lineup (04-23-22)
  • Ryan Huff returning at Talladega; hoping to compete in additional races: On the heels of earning a quiet top-10 finish in the 2022 ARCA Menards Series season-opener at Daytona, Ryan Huff invades Talladega determined to earn back-to-back top-10 finishes for the first time in his young ARCA career. “Daytona feels like forever ago, so I’m just glad Talladega is finally here,” said Huff. “After our solid start to our ARCA season at Daytona, I’ve been eager to get to Talladega and see if we can get keep the momentum on our side. It’s not easy being a small family-owned team out here competing with some of the best of the best in the series, but I think we’ve surprised a few people with our effort and dedication and I believe as a team we are now more than ready to turn our top-10 finishes into top-five efforts.” The remainder of Huff’s 2022 ARCA Menards Series schedule is still being pieced together, but the Williamsburg, Va. native hopes to have a larger presence in the series. “We’re still ironing out the details, but we’re hoping to make Kansas our next race following Talladega,” Huff explained. “If everything goes good at Kansas, we’ll take on Charlotte, Pocono and other races during the season. We are working hard to be at the track as much as possible this summer and fall, but it’s an expensive sport and we are doing the best we can with the support we have.” H&H Excavation, a company owned by Huff will serve as the primary partner this weekend at Talladega. In addition, Southeastern Services, Outback Steakhouse and Hawkeye Graphics will serve as associate marketing partners for Huff’s third ARCA start at the 2.66-mile superspeedway. (In part from Ryan Huff Motorsports PR) (04-20-22)
  • Toni Breidinger partners with the Women’s Sports Foundation for Talladega: Toni Breidinger is raising awareness of the importance of gender equality in sports. Breidinger will race the No. 25 Women’s Sports Foundation Toyota at Talladega Superspeedway on April 23rd. “Teaming up with WSF for a race at a historic track like Talladega stands for everything that I believe in when it comes to supporting women in sports,” said 22 year-old Breidinger. “As one of three females running a full season at a National level in NASCAR, it’s important to me to bring awareness to the sport and having WSF on my car for the race is a step in the right direction." Breidinger will be working closely with WSF to shine light on the importance of female empowerment in motorsport. Motorsports is one of the only sports where men and women compete professionally together. “The Women’s Sports Foundation works to unlock the possibilities in every girl and woman through the power of sport,” said Danette Leighton, WSF CEO. “Seeing a female race car driver blazing around the Talladega Superspeedway can encourage and inspire girls everywhere to recognize their own power and potential. We are grateful to our WSF Athlete Ambassador Toni Breidinger for including WSF signage on her car, and we’ll be rooting her on for a great race and season ahead!” (In part from Roman Empire PR) (04-20-22)
  • Max Gutiérrez racing at Talladega: Max Gutiérrez returns to the premier ARCA Menards Series tour for Saturday afternoon’s General Tire 200 at Talladega Superspeedway. The former NASCAR Mexico Challenge Series champion returns to finish what his team started in the 2022 season-opener at Daytona in February. Gutiérrez and his Rette Jones Racing team in an alliance with AM Racing trekked 12 miles north where he successfully qualified 19th aboard his No. 32 TOUGHBUILT | Rette Jones Racing car at the “World Center of Racing.” While running competitively in the draft and inching close to the top-10, Gutiérrez’s race car developed an electrical issue which thwarted their opportunity to contend for the win and instead left the 19-year-old embracing laps around the superspeedway in the draft to prepare him for this weekend’s battle at Talladega. With the team confident that the electrical issue is fixed for Talladega, Gutiérrez heads to the famed Alabama race track ready to contend for a strong finish. “I am so thankful for this opportunity at Talladega,” offered Gutiérrez. “Daytona was certainly disappointing, but you will have days like that in racing. Even though we were out of contention for the win, I never stopped learning from the drop of the green flag to the checkered flag. (In part from Rette Jones Racing PR) (04-20-22)
  • Jon Garrett to make ARCA debut at Talladega with Fast Track: Jon Garrett, the Athens, Texas resident, is set to make his ARCA Menards Series debut at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday April 23rd. “I just want to say a big Thank You to everyone that has helped me make this life long dream come true, especially Michael Harper and Bayley Currey for guiding me through the process,” commented Jon Garrett. “There have been so many people that have helped me along the way, really coming full circle from people that I’ve supported through the years.” Partnering together with Andy Hillenburg and Fast Track Racing, Garrett will be piloting the No. 11 Ford. On board will be the familiar Fort Worth Screen Printing colors, alongside several associate partners; Athens Screen Printing, The Twitch iRacing Community, Dalton Kowden, Tuffskinz Vented Outboard Covers, Freelancers eSports Team, Manufacturing News, Venture Foods of Shattuck, OK and Head Kandy. “I hope to be smart, learn a lot as the race goes and be there at the end, because you never know what can happen at Talladega,” continued Garrett. “Of course none of this would ever have been a possibility if it wasn’t for Andy Hillenburg and the awesome crew at Fast Track Racing.” (In part from Jon Garrett PR) (04-19-22)
  • Andy Jankowiak secures Whelen sponsorship for five races: Whelen Engineering Company, a global leader in the emergency warning industry since 1952, have teamed with owner/driver Andy Jankowiak for five ARCA Menards Series events this year beginning at Talladega Superspeedway. Whelen designs and manufactures reliable and powerful warning lights, white illumination lighting, sirens, controllers and high-powered warning systems for Automotive, Aviation, and Mass Notification industries worldwide. “We are still a very young team, but we are trying to grow into a team that can compete at this level,” said Jankowiak, a 34-year-old native of Tonawanda, New York. “Our goal is to keep getting better each time we go to a race and the only way to do that is to build a support system. Having Whelen on our team gives us a lot of confidence that we can continue to keep growing.” Jankowiak and his team caught the eye of Whelen Engineering’s Ted Marsh in 2021 after Marsh supplied the team with a car for the road course event at Watkins Glen International last August. “I was very impressed with the dedication and knowledge of Andy’s volunteer team members,” said Marsh, who also owns Marsh Racing, a team that has fielded cars with his trademark No. 31 in multiple motorsports divisions through the years. “Ted is held in very high regard by all of us in racing and having his support was one more step towards our team being an organization that could represent a company like Whelen,” said Jankowiak. Whelen Engineering Company will be featured during five events on Jankowiak’s No. 73 car during the ARCA Menards Series season starting with the event at Talladega on Saturday, April 23. Whelen will also be represented on the team’s car for the events at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Pocono Raceway, Watkins Glen International and Kansas Speedway. “Whelen Engineering takes pride in our long-standing involvement in motorsports,” said Peter Tiezzi, III, General Manager of Motorsports for Whelen Engineering Company. “We are very excited to partner with Andy Jankowiak in the ARCA Menards Series.” (In part from (04-19-22)
  • Thomas Praytor and Max Force Racing returning at Talladega: The former ARCA Menards Series “Iron Man” Thomas “Moose” Praytor has filed an entry for the General Tire 200 at Talladega Superspeedway. “Really looking forward to being back at Talladega,” said Praytor. “My brother-in-law, Mike Abram and the guys at Venturini have been working on our car all winter and I’m excited about the piece we are bringing back to Alabama.” Talladega will be Praytor’s 113th ARCA Series start, ranking him second in career starts amongst active drivers and his 10th at Talladega Superspeedway. The Moose has competed in 17 restrictor plate races logging over 3,000 miles in plate competition. Only two active drivers have more restrictor miles than the Moose. (In part from Max Force Racing PR) (04-11-22)
  • Venturini Motorsports; Jesse Love sign Yahoo sponsorship for five races: Yahoo and Toyota Racing Development (TRD) are pleased to announce a multi-year agreement. Yahoo has been named an Official Partner of TRD and will receive several assets as part of the agreement, including primary schemes with Toyota-backed teams. “At Yahoo, we connect people to their passions with the content and experiences that fuel their day,” said Iván Markman, Chief Business Officer at Yahoo. “We’re excited to work with TRD this year, and look forward to seeing the Yahoo brand at high speed.” Yahoo will support the Toyota Driver Development (TD2) program and Jesse Love. 17-year-old Love will run the Yahoo livery in five ARCA events for Venturini Motorsports. (In part from (04-05-22)