The ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards will hit the high-banks of Daytona International Speedway Saturday afternoon. Founded in 1953, ARCA has opened its season in Daytona Beach, Florida since 1964, the same year the series changed its name from MARC (Midwest Association for Race Cars) to its current title ARCA (Automobile Racing Club of America).
Seeded with deep roots in the Midwest, the series has seen numerous big names win its annual opener. Kyle Petty, son of Richard Petty won in 1979. Two years later, Ashland, Ohio native Tim Richmond drove to victory lane. Other winners include Ryan Newman (2001), Kyle Busch (2004) and James Buescher (2009).
Saturday’s race features series veterans with experience at Daytona along with drivers making their first start at the “World Center of Racing.” Lebanon, Pennsylvania native Bobby Gerhart is an 8-time winner of the race. Dalton Sargeant will pilot the #77 Cunningham Motorsports entry. The 2016 ARCA Rookie of the Year, making his first career start at Daytona replaces 2016 series champion Chase Briscoe, who left the ride to join the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series full-time. Like Sargeant, Wheeling, West Virginia native Travis Braden will attempt his first Daytona start. Braden ran legend cars in Northeast Ohio early in his career at local short tracks including Lorain County Speedway. Braden won his first career ARCA start in July 2015 at Lucas Oil Raceway.
Cars will hit the track for practice Thursday and Friday. Qualifying is scheduled for Friday afternoon. Saturdays Lucas Oil Complete Engine 200 Driven by General Tire is scheduled to take the green at 4:15 p.m. and can be seen live on FS1.
ARCA will make its annual visit to Ohio on May 21stfor the Toledo ARCA 200 at Toledo Speedway.