ARCA RE/MAX Series bucking the trend!

arca-logoLet me start by saying, I’m a big backer of the ARCA RE/MAX Series and I do not hide that fact.  I’ve gotten to know the people running the series including President Ron Drager over the last several years.  It does help the ARCA offices are just down the road in Tecumseh, Michigan, and that Ron also is an owner of Flat Rock and Toledo Speedways.  That however has nothing to do with this.

At the just concluded 3 day ARCA RE/MAX Series Daytona International Speedway pre-season testing, 62 different drivers took to the track!  That’s right 62 drivers!  I don’t think you’ll see that many try and qualify for the Daytona 500 in the Nascar Sprint Cup Series.

joey-loganoThe ARCA RE/MAX Series has been evolving in the last few years as more and more Nascar teams are using the series to get young up-and-coming drivers seat time.  That’s why Joey Logano, who takes over the #20 Home Depot Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing was on-track in a Venturini Motorsports machine.  He wasn’t alone however as 5-time Daytona Supercross by Honda champion Ricky Carmichael was getting accustomed to running on four wheels instead of two.  How about 20 year old Port Orange, Flordia native Alii Owens?  She’s giving Daytona a go.

will-kimmel1Then there’s Will Kimmel.  He’s the nephew of 9-time ARCA RE/MAX Series champion Frank Kimmel.  He made his uncle proud as he posted the quickest time during single car runs at 180.977 miles an hour.

Those are the youngsters, but what is great about ARCA, they have a cadre of veteran drivers who are the heart and soul of the series.  Bobby Gerhart is looking for a sixth Daytona ARCA RE/MAX Series win.  There’s Patrick Sheltra, Terry Jones, A.J. Henriksen, Bryan Silas, Larry Hollenbeck, and Darryl Basham just to name a few of the guys that are there every weekend.

That’s what makes ARCA a fun series to watch.  The mixture of the young “soon-to-be” Nascar stars and the veterans, whose only aspirations are to win and be competitive against their peers in a series that allows them to enjoy their passion.

Also, ARCA runs at a lot of small tracks across America in addition to their races run in conjunction with Nascar.  They race each year at their home track of Toledo Speedway. There’s Salem Speedway, Berlin Speedway, Cayuga Motor Speedway, and DuQuoin Sate Fairgrounds, which is dirt! (Wouldn’t you love to see a Nascar Sprint Cup race on dirt!)

What’s great about those venues, the fans get to go down on the grid before the race and get autographs from the drivers who are by their cars !  Nascar says it is fan friendly. The ARCA RE/MAX Series backs up their words with action!

If you haven’t discovered the ARCA RE/MAX Series yet, let me invite you to watch the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona February 7th beginning at 4PM ET on Speed.  I think you’ll be hooked on one of the best little secrets in American racing if you do.  I know I am!

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