ARCA Racing Series

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ARCA Racing Series
11-ARS-MenardsLogo-4C-300x150.jpg
Category Stock cars
Country United States
Inaugural season 1953
Constructors Chevrolet · Ford · Toyota · Dodge · Five Star Race Car Bodies
Engine suppliers Chevy, Ford, Toyota, Dodge · Ilmor
Tire suppliers Hoosier Racing Tire
Drivers' champion Mason Mitchell
Teams' champion Mason Mitchell Motorsports
Makes' champion Ford
Official website ARCA Racing
Motorsport current event.svg Current season

The ARCA Racing Series powered by Menards is an American stock car series, the premier division of the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA). It is considered a minor but professional league of stock car racing, used as a feeder series into the three national touring series of NASCAR,[1][2] and hosts events at a variety of track types including superspeedways, road courses, and dirt tracks.[3] The series has a longstanding relationship with NASCAR, including using former Sprint Cup Series cars, hosting events in the same race weekend such as Daytona Speedweeks, and naming an award after NASCAR founder Bill France, Sr.[3][4][5] The series is not officially affiliated with NASCAR.[1]

The series was sponsored by real estate company RE/MAX as the ARCA RE/MAX Series from 2001 until 2009.[6] Midwest-based home improvement company Menards began sponsoring the series in 2010 jointly with RE/MAX, and became the lone title sponsor in 2011.[6]

History[edit]

Michael Simko's ARCA car at Salem Speedway, Indiana

The series was founded in Toledo, Ohio in 1953 as the Midwest Association for Race Cars (MARC), a local touring group in the Midwestern United States.[4] The series was founded by John Marcum, a friend and former competitor of Bill France, Sr. and former NASCAR employee, who created MARC as a northern counterpart to the southern-based NASCAR. Early drivers included Iggy Katona and Nelson Stacy.[5]

The series became a part of Daytona Speedweeks in 1964 at the request of Bill France, allowing the series to open its season alongside the Daytona 500.[4][7] The same year, the series name was changed from MARC (Midwest Association for Race Cars) to the current ARCA (Automobile Racing Club of America) as a suggestion from France to give the series more national exposure.[5]

The series races on a variety of tracks from small ovals to superspeedways such as Daytona International Speedway. It is one of the last major oval track circuits to still compete on dirt tracks. In 2008 the series returned to racing on a road course.[8] The series is currently headed by Marcum's grandson, Ron Drager.[5]

Due to the similarity between the cars and racetracks of the two series, the ARCA Racing Series is frequently used to develop young drivers looking to break into the top three series of NASCAR. The series has spawned such drivers as Benny Parsons, Ken Schrader and Kyle Petty, and helped more recent Sprint Cup Series drivers Kyle Busch, Justin Allgaier, Casey Mears, and Sam Hornish, Jr. get acclimated to stock cars.[1][9] Young drivers will often race in the series opener at Daytona International Speedway to gain NASCAR approval to run at superspeedways in the Truck or Xfinity Series.[10] Other drivers, such as 10-time champion Frank Kimmel and 9-time race winner Bobby Gerhart remain in the series as opposed to pursuing a full-time career in NASCAR. NASCAR regulars, notably Ken Schrader, are known to frequent the series as well.[9]

ARCA Racing Series cars[edit]

2013 Rookie of the Year Justin Boston

The series is known for using veteran steel-bodied Generation 4 cars from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, running cars until they are five years old and even after discontinuation in the Cup Series. Following the transition of the Cup and Xfinity Series to the Car of Tomorrow in 2007 and 2010 respectively, the ARCA Series continued to use the 2007-style models of the Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS (re-branded as the Impala), Ford Fusion, Toyota Camry, and Dodge Charger. The carbureted V8 engines used by the series are also built under similar specifications to their NASCAR counterparts, and occasionally purchased from NASCAR teams.[2][3][5] In spite of the similarities, ARCA racing is much more affordable than its more popular counterpart, with car owner Larry Clement estimating the required budget to run an ARCA car as "10 percent of what a NASCAR Winston Cup (now Sprint Cup) budget is."[9]

2015[edit]

ARCA Ilmor 396 engine[edit]

On August 1, 2014, ARCA president Ron Drager announced a new engine package option for the 2015 season, in addition to the current open motor rules package. The package is called the ARCA Ilmor 396 engine, alternately known as the ARCA Control Engine (ACE). Developed by Ilmor, which has also developed engines for the IndyCar Series, the engine is a "purpose-built powerplant" using Holley electronic fuel injection and based on the Chevrolet LS engine family that is able to deliver 700 horsepower and 500 ft. pounds of torque. The engine costs $35,000 to build and $15,000 to be re-built, and allows teams to use the same engine at all track types for up to 1500 miles between re-builds.[2][11][12][13]

The Ilmor engine debuted during testing at Daytona International Speedway in December 2014, with Sean Corr's Ilmor-powered #48 Ford topping the speed charts at 188.478 mph (47.743 seconds).[2][14] The new engine has generated controversy, with some teams that use the former engine package believing that their motors will become obsolete and converting to the new package will be too costly. Teams and outside engine builders also cannot perform maintenance on the engines, and minimal tuning is allowed. The spec engine also reduces manufacturer identity for teams, with construction based off the Chevrolet engine package and branded as an Ilmor. Non-Ilmor engines, meanwhile, are subject to intake and RPM restrictions to maintain performance limits relative to the new package.[2][13]

Composite car bodies[edit]

On November 4, 2014 at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, NASCAR president Mike Helton unveiled a new body style for the K&N Pro Series East and West that will also be eligible for use in ARCA competition, based on the Sprint Cup Series Gen 6 models of the Chevrolet SS, Ford Fusion, and Toyota Camry. The new body, developed with Five Star Race Car Bodies, is constructed of a composite laminate blend and designed with easily replaceable body panels, expected to shrink the costs of fabrication dramatically. The body style is eligible for competition for ARCA Racing Series competition for the 2015 season only on tracks one mile or shorter in length.[15][16]

Championship results[edit]

Tim Steele during the Pocono ARCA race June 1996. Steele would win the championship that year.
10-time Champion Frank Kimmel in his Menards Toyota in 2013.

The Rookie of the Year award - currently sponsored by Scott Paper Company - is given to the rookie that scores most points at the end of the season. Winners have included future NASCAR drivers Benny Parsons, Davey Allison, Jeremy Mayfield, Michael McDowell, and Parker Kligerman.

The Bill France Four Crown award, inaugurated in 1984, is a prize given to the driver with most points at four races, combining dirt ovals, short ovals, superspeedways and road courses. Future Winston Cup Series star Davey Allison won the first Four Crown. Frank Kimmel is the top Bill France Four Crown winner with seven titles.[3][17]

Other awards include the Superspeedway Challenge, the Marcum award, the ARCA Motorsports Media Award, the Bob Loga Memorial Scholarship, the Spirit Award, and Engine Mechanic of the Year.[18]

Year Drivers Champion Rookie of the Year Bill France Four Crown
2014 Mason Mitchell Austin Wayne Self Grant Enfinger[19]
2013 Frank Kimmel Justin Boston Frank Kimmel
2012 Chris Buescher Alex Bowman Chris Buescher[20]
2011 Ty Dillon Chris Buescher Chad McCumbee[21]
2010 Patrick Sheltra Dakoda Armstrong Joey Coulter
2009 Justin Lofton Parker Kligerman Parker Kligerman
2008 Justin Allgaier Matt Carter Frank Kimmel
2007 Frank Kimmel Michael McDowell Frank Kimmel
2006 Frank Kimmel Blake Bjorklund Blake Bjorklund
2005 Frank Kimmel Joey Miller Frank Kimmel
2004 Frank Kimmel T. J. Bell Brent Sherman
2003 Frank Kimmel Bill Eversole Jason Jarrett
2002 Frank Kimmel Chad Blount Frank Kimmel
2001 Frank Kimmel Jason Jarrett Frank Kimmel
2000 Frank Kimmel Brian Ross Tim Steele
1999 Bill Baird Ron Cox Bill Baird
1998 Frank Kimmel Bill Baird Frank Kimmel
1997 Tim Steele Josh Baltes Tim Steele
1996 Tim Steele Blaise Alexander Tim Steele
1995 Andy Hillenburg Dill Whittymore
Harris DeVane
Harris DeVane
1994 Bobby Bowsher Gary Bradberry Bob Hill
1993 Tim Steele Jeremy Mayfield Bob Keselowski
1992 Bobby Bowsher Frank Kimmel Bobby Bowsher
1991 Bill Venturini Ron Payne Bobby Bowsher
Bill Venturini
1990 Bob Brevak Glenn Brewer Bob Keselowski
1989 Bob Keselowski Graham Taylor Tracy Leslie
1988 Tracy Leslie Bobby Gerhart Grant Adcox
1987 Bill Venturini Dave Weltmeyer Grant Adcox
1986 Lee Raymond Mark Gibson Lee Raymond
1985 Lee Raymond Dave Simko Lee Raymond
1984 Bob Dotter Davey Allison Davey Allison
1983 Bob Dotter Bill Venturini
1982 Scott Stovall Lee Raymond
1981 Larry Moyer Gorden Blankenship
1980 Bob Dotter Scott Stovall
1979 Marvin Smith Steve Ellis
1978 Marvin Smith Bob Slawinski
1977 Conan Myers Bill Green
1976 Dave Dayton Tom Meinberg
1975 Dave Dayton Woody Fisher
1974 Ron Hutcherson
Dave Dayton
Jerry Hufflin
1973 Ron Hutcherson Bruce Gould
1972 Ron Hutcherson Delmar Clark
1971 Ramo Stott A. Arnold
1970 Ramo Stott Tom Bowsher
1969 Benny Parsons Larry Ashley
1968 Benny Parsons Cliff Hamm
1967 Iggy Katona Norm Meyers
1966 Iggy Katona Dave Dayton
1965 Jack Bowsher Benny Parsons
1964 Jack Bowsher Charlie Glotzbach
1963 Jack Bowsher
1962 Iggy Katona Curly Mills
1961 Harold Smith Virgil Oakes
1960 Nelson Stacy
1959 Nelson Stacy Bob Bower
1958 Nelson Stacy Paul Wensink
1957 Iggy Katona Bill Granger
1956 Iggy Katona
1955 Iggy Katona
1954 Bucky Sager
1953 Jim Romine

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Christie, Toby (January 15, 2009). "ARCA Loses Series Title Sponsor RE/MAX For 2010". Bleacher Report. Bleacher Report. Retrieved 27 November 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Smith, Steven Cole (December 21, 2014). "Controversy brewing in the ARCA series". motorsport.com. Daytona, Florida: motorsport.com. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d Carollo, John (April 30, 2012). "Stock Car Engines and Sanctioning Bodies: Different Groups, Different Rules". Engine Builder Magazine. Babcox Media, Inc. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c "ARCA again starts its season at Daytona on February 14, 2015". motorsport.com. motorsport.com, ARCA. October 23, 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "ARCA At 50: Series Presses On While Staying True To Its Roots". stockcarracing.com. TEN: The Enthusiast Network. February 1, 2002. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Automobile Racing Club of America (December 6, 2010). "Series announces 2011 presenting sponsor". motorsport.com. Covington, Kentucky: motorsport.com. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ [2]
  9. ^ a b c "Why Race ARCA RE/MAX? Development, Training And Preparation". Stock Car Racing (magazine). Stock Car Racing (magazine), TEN: The Enthusiast Network. December 2, 2003. Retrieved 27 November 2014. 
  10. ^ Coble, Don (February 15, 2014). "After ARCA crash, NASCAR faces difficult decision on Chase Elliott's Nationwide eligibility". The Florida Times-Union. The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved 27 November 2014. 
  11. ^ "ARCA Announces New Engine Package Option for 2015". Automobile Racing Club of America. Long Pond, Pennsylvania: Automobile Racing Club of America. August 1, 2014. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  12. ^ "ARCA Ilmor 396 Engine announcement produces positive reactions". ARCA. Toledo, Ohio: ARCA. August 12, 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  13. ^ a b Magda, Mike (December 25, 2014). "Ilmor 396 ARCA Engine Saves Money, Lays Off Engine Builders". EngineLabs. Power Automedia, LLC. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  14. ^ Radelbaugh, Don (December 21, 2014). "Corr tops overall ARCA speed charts in Daytona testing". AccessNorthGa.com. Daytona Beach, Florida: Jacobs Media Corporation. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  15. ^ Media Release (November 4, 2014). "NASCAR unveils new K&N Pro Series car at 2014 SEMA show". Fox Sports. Fox Sports. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  16. ^ "NASCAR and ARCA unveil new car in Vegas". Newton Daily News. Newton Daily News. November 13, 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  17. ^ "ARCA’s 2014 Bill France Four Crown championship kicks off at NJMP road course Sunday, June 1". ARCA Racing Series. Toledo, Ohio: ARCA Racing Series. May 21, 2014. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  18. ^ Automobile Racing Club of America (November 26, 2007). "2007 Awards banquet preview". motorsport.com. Covington, Kentucky: motorsport.com. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  19. ^ Inabinett, Mark (September 1, 2014). "Grant Enfinger gets dirty in pursuit of ARCA Racing Series championship". AL.com. AL.com, Advance Publications. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  20. ^ "Prestigious France Four Crown Going to Buescher". Arcaracing.com. Toledo, Ohio: Automobile Racing Club of America. December 5, 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  21. ^ "Belmont "Overwhelmed" by Winning Four Crown". arcaracing.com. Toledo, Ohio: Automobile Racing Club of America. September 19, 2011. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 

External links[edit]