For those of you unfamiliar with the ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards, we break down the series so you’re primed and ready to go on race day for the Lucas Oil Complete Engine Treatment 200 Driven by General Tire.
What is the ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards?
ARCA stands for the Automobile Racing Club of America and is a completely separate entity from NASCAR. ARCA is its own series, has its own set of rules and is its own sanctioning body. Since 1953, ARCA has offered race fans a diverse brand of stock car racing on short tracks, dirt tracks, road courses and superspeedways. Founded by John and Mildred Marcum, ARCA is a destination for professional race car drivers and a developmental series which transitions and prepares drivers for the advancement of their careers into the highest levels of the sport.
ARCA has crowned a national champion each year since its inaugural season in 1953 and has toured over 200 race tracks in 26 states since its inception. The series has tested the abilities of drivers and race teams over the most diverse schedule of stock car racing events in the world, visiting tracks ranging from 0.375 miles to 2.66 miles in length, on both paved and dirt surfaces as well as a road course.
While not officially affiliated with NASCAR, the cars ARCA uses are former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series cars that have bodies that are up to four years old. ARCA also uses a slightly different engine package than the NASCAR series do. It is the same cubic inch (358 cubic inches), but has a lower compression ratio to lower the horsepower.
The series is known for using veteran steel-bodied Generation 4 cars from the Monster Energy Series, running cars until they are several years old and even after a model's discontinuation in the Monster Energy Series. For example, Bobby Gerhart's winning DAYTONA car in 1999 used a chassis built by Hendrick Motorsports in 1989.
Following the transition of the Monster Energy Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series to the Car of Tomorrow in 2007 and 2010 respectively, ARCA continued to use the 2007-style models of the Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, and Toyota.
The ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards is a great stepping stone for up-and-coming NASCAR drivers, largely due to the similarity between the cars and racetracks of the two series. In fact, several former NASCAR champions have been ARCA champions, including Benny Parsons, AJ Foyt and Mario Andretti. More recently, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers Kyle Busch, Justin Allgaier, Casey Mears, and Sam Hornish Jr. became familiar with stock cars by racing in the ARCA Racing Series. Other drivers, however, such as 10-time champion Frank Kimmel and nine-time race winner Bobby Gerhart, remain in the series as opposed to pursuing a full-time career in NASCAR.
The 54th Lucas Oil Complete Engine Treatment 200 Driven by General Tire will serve as the season opening race for the 65th season of ARCA Racing Series competition. The race will run right before the Advance Auto Parts Clash caps off the evening.
For tickets and more information on the racing doubleheader to open Speedweeks 2017, visit us online or call 1-800-PITSHOP.