NASCAR and ARCA announced recently a new championship format for 2020 that will see the continuation of three historic regional championship series and the coronation of a new fourth champion, all under the ARCA Menards Series banner.
The series provide an integral development step for young drivers who aspire to move up to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series or NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series; as well as a highly-competitive professional level for short-track veterans.
They will also provide continuity to three of the longest running high-level regional stock car series in the United States.
The four championships will be:
· ARCA Menards Series East and ARCA Menards Series West will continue the traditions established by the Busch North Series (founded in 1987) and Pacific Coast Late Model Series/Winston West (1954) and currently competing as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West. The series will feature an annual schedule of six to eight races and crowning of separate regional champions.
· ARCA Menards Series – The 20-race ARCA Menards Series, founded in 1953, a mix of national-series combination events at venues such as Daytona International Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway, as well as short tracks like Madison International Speedway in Wisconsin and the Illinois and DuQuoin State Fairgrounds mile dirt tracks.
· ARCA Racing Series Showdown – Ten races within the larger ARCA Menards Series championship will feature the best of the three series coming together to crown a Showdown champion.
“We cannot be more excited about 2020,” said Brandon Thompson, Managing Director, NASCAR Touring Series. “Both NASCAR and ARCA have worked extremely hard over the last year to provide a rules package and schedule that will serve as the foundation for the preeminent series for racing at this level. It was important for us to move the series forward while creating an environment inclusive for both the current long-term owners and drivers in the series as well as aspiring competitors.”
“What first started as a friendship between Bill France Sr. and John Marcum nearly 70 years ago took a momentous step forward today,” said ARCA President Ron Drager. “The amount of history and tradition these series are bringing together to form four elite championships for drivers is an amazing testament to the strength of this sport.
“We are proud and honored to be able to bring the ARCA sanction to the East and West Series; and we are looking forward to working with the race teams, tracks, media partners, fans, and sponsors that have helped those series achieve their long term success.”
NASCAR also announced if an East, West or current ARCA Menards Series car owner has a car that meets the 2019 rulebook, there will be a rules package that will allow them to compete in 2020.
“We’re pleased that we’re able to extend our racing sponsorships to include the ARCA Menards Series East and ARCA Menards Series West,” said Menards President & CEO John Menard. “We hope that race fans throughout the country will further enjoy great racing action while also becoming familiar with the Menards brand by shopping at our home improvement stores located in the Midwest or at Menards.com”.
ARCA and MAVTV also announced today an extension of its telecast rights agreement for select ARCA Menards Series races. This important partnership, together with events covered by FOX Sports, ensures that all 20 ARCA Menards Series races will be available live to race fans, including the 10-race Showdown. NBCSN will continue to carry the ARCA Menards Series East and West as part of their extensive NASCAR coverage.
The 2020 ARCA Menards Series will officially begin on Saturday, Feb. 8 at Daytona with the Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire. It will mark the 57th annual ARCA visit to Daytona.
The Showdown will take the green flag with ARCA’s inaugural visit to ISM Raceway on March 6 as part of the national series’ event weekend in Phoenix, while the West will kick off the Las Vegas weekend with a return to the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
West dates also include traditional events at Irwindale Speedway, Sonoma Raceway and All American Speedway in Roseville, Calif.,, and will crown its champion at ISM Raceway in November. The East will race at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida, as well as Toledo Speedway, Watkins Glen International, and again be part New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s annual Full Throttle Fall Weekend. The East season will culminate with the championship race at Dover International Speedway.
In addition to Daytona and Charlotte, the ARCA Menards Series schedule will include Talladega Superspeedway, Michigan International Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway and Pocono Raceway, and finish the season at Kansas Speedway on Oct. 16.
The Showdown 10-race schedule features Salem Speedway, Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, Minnesota’s Elko Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Iowa Speedway and World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, and will crown its first Showdown champion at Memphis Motorsports Park on Sept. 26.
Complete schedules for all four championships will be announced shortly.
NASCAR’s long-awaited acquisition of International Speedway Corp., the company that owns Daytona International Speedway and several other motorsports tracks where NASCAR races are held, will take place on Oct. 18, the companies announced Tuesday.
The deal calls for NASCAR’s owners — NASCAR Chairman and CEO Jim France and his niece Lesa France Kennedy, the CEO of ISC — to pay $45 in cash for each outstanding share of ISC stock (NASCAR: ISCA) that they don’t already own.
The France family already owns a controlling stake in ISC.
Upon completion of the merger, ISC will becomea wholly owned subsidiary of NASCAR and will be converted from a public company into a private one, with ISC’s Class A common stock delisted from NASDAQ and withdrawn from public reporting requirements with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The merger agreement was unanimously adopted by a special committee of independent members of ISC’s board of directors that was led by J. Hyatt Brown, chairman of Brown & Brown Insurance.
The transaction remains subject to the receipt of approval of ISC’s shareholders and is conditioned on other customary closing conditions.
The headquarters for both NASCAR and ISC are already based in Daytona Beach, in the International Motorsports Center office building at One Daytona, across the street from the Speedway.
The late Bill France Sr., the founder of NASCAR, created the company that would eventually become known as ISC in 1953 to sell shares to raise money to build the Speedway, which opened six years later. Jim France is Bill France Sr.’s youngest son while Lesa France Kennedy is his granddaughter.
The slate of races across the country provide an opportunity for drivers to focus on their regional championships or expand their racing plans and chase bigger prizes
It’s just a week away and the excitement is building for the 58th Annual Eastern States Weekend, October 25-27, 2019, a perfect ending for the Centennial Season of racing at the historic Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, New York. While Eastern States celebrates all of Orange County’s racing divisions, the weekend’s headline race remains the Eastern States 200, the oldest consecutively-run championship event for dirt track Modified stock cars in the country. Again this year, Eastern States has been enhanced with outstanding purses for the Big- and Small-Block Modified races, adding to the excitement of the entire weekend.
Legendary driver Frankie Schneider won the first Eastern States race on October 28, 1962. Since that inaugural event, many of greatest drivers in dirt track Modified racing history have seen their names etched on Eastern States 200 trophies. Orange County’s all-time winning driver, Brett Hearn, is also the all-time Eastern States 200 winner with 12 victories in this fall classic race. Stewart Friesen won the 2018 race and will return, looking to win the classic event in back-to-back years.
Beginning early on Friday, October 25, Eastern States is three days and evenings of non-stop racing action featuring the ground-pounding Big-Block Modifieds, Small-Block Modifieds, Sportsman, and Street Stocks in qualifying time trials and heat races that set the fields for each division’s Eastern States Championship feature race.
All this leads to the Sunday, October 27 finale, the 58th Annual Eastern States 200 Championship Race for Modifieds. A true 200-lap race, the Eastern States 200 is the one race trophy every dirt track Modified driver wants on his mantle.
Advance tickets are available from Ticketmaster or at the Speedway Office during regular business hours, or credit card sales (Visa and MasterCard) by calling 845-342-2573. Additional information, a full weekend schedule, and online ticket sales can be found at the official Orange County Fair Speedway website, www.orangecountyfairspeedway.net.
Atlanta Motor Speedway is offering a new ticket package that packs in the most fun at the best price for diehard NASCAR fans: the Extreme Package.
Like the Good, Better, and Best packages that have been offered to fans for years, the Extreme Package provides a great deal on a weekend full of unforgettable experiences, highlighted by access to the Cup series garage while NASCAR teams prepare for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 on race weekend.
In addition to being able to check out the garage area, fans that purchase the Extreme Package will also enjoy tickets to the entire weekend of on-track action, including a seat in the Upper Winners section for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 on March 15, 2020. Fans will also receive a Fanvision rental for all three days, a weekend pre-race pit pass good for all three days, a $25 voucher towards a purchase at the AMS gift shop, and VIP parking in the Earnhardt lot just a few steps away from the grandstands.
All of that is included for just $249 with the Extreme Package, which is available while supplies last.
The Extreme Package is the seventh fan enhancement announced as part of the Speedway’s 20 in 20 Initiative, which will see 20 individual improvements made to increase the value and fan enjoyment of the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 NASCAR weekend on March 13-15, 2020.
About the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 weekend
The Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 weekend features three days packed full of NASCAR action.
The Atlanta NASCAR Weekend begins with Cup Series qualifying on Friday, March 13 and continues with the Gander Outdoors Truck Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series doubleheader on Saturday, March 14. All of this leads to the main event: the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 on Sunday, March 15.
Tickets for the 2020 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 can be purchased by contacting Atlanta Motor Speedway at 770-946-4211, 877-9-AMS-TIX or by visiting www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.
After 46 years of dedicated service to NHRA and the sport of drag racing, Dallas Gardner, NHRA’s board chairman, recently announced his retirement and will hand over the reins to current NHRA chief executive officer Peter Clifford effective immediately. Gardner will continue to work with the NHRA as a consultant.
Gardner joined NHRA as treasurer in 1973 and was promoted to vice president and general manager in 1978. On January 1, 1984, he was promoted to NHRA president, becoming just the second president in NHRA history.
Gardner spent 15 years as president, pushing forward a wide range of initiatives including the modernization of racing facilities, improved television programming, and cornerstone programs such as NHRA’s Youth and Education Services and the Jr. Drag Racing League, before becoming chairman of the board in January 2000.
NHRA would like to thank Gardner for his many years of dedicated service and congratulate Clifford on his new role in the organization.
Hall of Fame racer Jimmy Sills enjoyed a spectacular career that took him to every corner of America and spanned over four decades. Sills recently collaborated with longtime motorsports author Dave Argabright to create Life With Luke, a 312-page hardbound autobiography that promises to entertain and enlighten readers for years to come. NASCAR Hall of Fame racer Jeff Gordon contributed the foreword to Life With Luke.
A highly-respected racer who was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame as well as the USAC Hall of Fame, Sills is known as one of the great storytellers of our time. With his well-known wit and upbeat delivery, Sills looks back across his career with equal parts humor, emotion, and honesty. His unique life experience makes for fascinating reading, particularly because Sills was present throughout an extremely dynamic period for sprint car and USAC Silver Crown racing.
From the birth of the World of Outlaws to present times, Sills has been a keen observer of the sport and the people within. He delivers a moving, emotional testimony of the challenging life of a sprint car racer, and he provides a unique behind-the-scenes look at a sport that is both intense and dangerous.
Argabright, one of the most prolific authors in racing today, helps tell the story in a style familiar to followers of the sport. With a poignancy rarely matched, Sills and Argabright capture the soaring highs and the painful lows of the racing experience.
Most of all, there is good humor. Sills, gifted with the ability to laugh at the world around him, will have readers roaring with joy at his tales of the road, the characters, and the genuinely funny circumstances in which he often found himself.
The result is a book that racing fans will long remember, and often talk about. Argabright’s previous collaborations–Still Wide Open with Brad Doty; Hewitt’s Law with Jack Hewitt; EARL! with Earl Baltes; Let ‘Em All Go with Chris Economaki; Lone Wolf with Doug Wolfgang; Fast Company with Speedy Bill Smith; Let’s Go Racing with Rex Robbins; and On Top of the World with Larry Moore–are today regarded as genuine classics, and Life With Luke is sure to join the list as a supremely rewarding reading experience.
Life With Luke will be released for general shipment on November 1. A limited-run Collector’s Edition is also available.
Life With Luke – $29.95
Hardbound, 312 pages, 32 pages of color and b/w photographs
Life With Luke Collector’s Edition – $49.95
Hardbound, 312 pages, 64 pages of color and b/w photographs
Williams Grove Speedway has closed its 2019 racing season with the running of the 57th annual National Open for sprint cars on October 5 and division champions have been announced along with special award winners.
In the Lawrence Chevrolet 410 sprint car division, Gettysburg’s Danny Dietrich has won his first-ever Williams Grove Speedway track title.
The title is also a first-ever for No. 48 car owner Gary Kauffman, who said on Saturday night that both he and Dietrich will return for another try at a title in 2020.
Dietrich scored five wins during his run to the 2019 track crown along with four runner-up finishes and a pair of thirds.
In total, Dietrich had 14 top-five feature finishes on the year, taking the title by 480 points over runner-up Freddie Rahmer.
Dietrich’s mechanic, Jake Sgrignoli was awarded Mechanic Of The Year laurels.
Jeff Halligan earned Rookie Of The Year in the 410 sprints while Sportsmanship went to Brian Montieth and Most Improved Driver was awarded to Anthony Macri.
Montieth of Phoenixville earned the 2019 Hoosier Diamond Series title over Dietrich.
It was Montieth’s first Diamond Series title in the 21-year history of the series at the track.
Driving for Jerry Parrish, Montieth earned one win in the 2019 series.
Doug Hammaker earned the 2019 HJ Towing and Recovery 358 sprint car title at Williams Grove Speedway.
Hammaker picked up three oval wins on his run to the title that was the first of his career at Williams Grove.
Matt Findley finished second in the point standings.
Special awards in the 358 sprint division went to Dylan Norris who took Rookie Of The Year and to Chris Frank, named the Sportsmanship winner.
One of the founders of the Eastern Motorsports Press Association in 1969 and the group’s president for nearly 40 years, Ernie Saxton was the driving force behind the EMPA for many years and along with his wife Marilyn. Saxton has also worked as an announcer at 174 tracks all across the country including Grandview until he retired from announcing after 45 years. Today Ernie lends his considerable experience in racing as a regular commentator for PennSports.LIVE.