General Tire 200 ARCA News & Notes for Kickoff to Talladega Superspeedway’s Tripleheader Weekend

The General Tire 200 ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards event is set to get the green flag on Friday at 5:00 p.m. (CDT). See the below weekend information provided by ARCA in advance of the highly-anticipated tripleheader weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, which also includes Saturday’s Sparks Energy 300 and Sunday’s GEICO 500 for NASCAR’s top two series:

Hoping to Join the Winning List
Since 1969, the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards has been a staple at Talladega Superspeedway. Jim Vandiver won the inaugural Vulcan 500 on Oct. 29, 1969. The list of all-timewinners is impressive and includes names Ramo Stott, Mark Martin, Davey Allison, Red Farmer, Grant Adcox, Charlie Glotzbach, Tim Steele, Mike Wallace, Paul Menard, Bobby Gerhart, Frank Kimmel, Justin Allgaier, Ty Dillon and the most recent winner, Justin Haley. Steele, a 3-time ARCA champion, is the last repeat winner at Talladega, taking three victories consecutively in ’96, ’97 and ’98. Grant Adcox is the all-time Talladega ARCA victor, winning 5 total, including 4 straight from ’86 through ’87. Adcox repeated in the win column in the second race of ’88.

All Composite Cars at Talladega
ARCA will have a completely new look at Talladega when, for the first time in series history, the entire ARCA field will be made up exclusively of the newer composite material, flange-fit bodies. The composite bodies debuted in the Series on short tracks in 2015 and were approved on tracks over a mile for the 2016 season, excluding Daytona and Talladega. The body’s debut was met with resounding applause from team participants and race fans alike. Not only did the car perform successfully in competition, the aesthetically appealing new design was a crowd pleaser everywhere.

The Bill France 4 Crown
As a snapshot of the ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards diversity, this year’s four-race spectacular – the Bill France 4 Crown championship – kicks off this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway in the General Tire 200.

The Bill France 4 Crown provides a link to ARCA’s roots by featuring a combination of tracks in any given season. Points are distributed based on race finishing positions only. Following Talladega, which has been a part of ARCA since 1969 when it hosted the first Vulcan 500, will be the half-mile Madison Int’l Speedway short track on June 15, before heading to the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway on July 27 before concluding at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds dirt mile on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 3.

11 and Counting in General Tire 200 
The last 11 General Tire 200 ARCA Racing Series events have seen 11 different winners. In fact, over the last 20 years, there have been 19 drivers go to Gatorade Victory Lane with Frank Kimmel as the lone driver with two victories (2006, 2013). Haley is the defending champion.

Venturini, MDM battle for Series supremacy
Venturini Motorsports is off to an incredible start in 2018, winning the first 3 General Tire Pole Awards at Daytona (Natalie Decker), Nashville (Chandler Smith) and Salem (Chandler Smith). The longtime ARCA team is also solid in the victory column, winning two out of three with Michael Self at Daytona and Christian Eckes at Salem. However, it’s MDM Motorsports that rules in the championship standings with Sheldon Creed leading by 90 points over his MDM teammate Zane Smith, the winner at Nashville. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Riley Herbst is currently 3rd in points with Venturini’s Natalie Decker in 4th. MDM’s Chase Purdy is 5th.

10-time ARCA champ Kimmel to crew chief for Leilani Munter; Venturini enters 4
Leilani Munter is feeling pretty good about her next ARCA race at Talladega. And as well she should. The Rochester Minn. driver is coming off her career-best finish in the season-opener at Daytona where she steered the No. 20 Vegan Strong Toyota to an 8th-place finish after qualifying a career-best 5th. Munter is one of four entries received from Venturini Motorsports for Talladega. She’ll join teammates Self, Decker and Brandon Lynn. Like Daytona, her crew chief at Talladega will be 10-time ARCA Racing Series champion Frank Kimmel. Kimmel, the all-time ARCA winner with 80 victories, two of which came at Talladega (2006, 2013).

Teammates Decker, Munter look to make history at Talladega
Eagle River, Wisconsin’s Decker and Rochester, Minnesota’s Munter are looking to make history at Talladega as potential winners of the General Tire 200. In 66 consecutive ARCA seasons, no female driver has ever won an ARCA Racing Series race. Shawna Robinson and Erin Crocker came the closest, each earning 2nd-place finishes — Robinson at Daytona and Crocker at Kentucky and Kansas. Both Decker and Munter earned career-best ARCA finishes in this year’s season-opener at Daytona — Decker coming home 5th and Munter 8th. Decker also won the General Tire Pole at Daytona.

Alabamian “Ole Man” Dave Mader headed home to Talladega
The last time Homewood, Alabama’s Dave Mader III raced at Talladega was 1992, driving to an 18th-place finish in the NASCAR Cup Series. Mader also raced in ARCA in 1991, winning at Michigan and finishing 2nd at Pocono. The 62-year-old veteran, 26 years later, resurfaced at Daytona this year and was running in the top-10 late in the race before getting caught up in a multi-car crash. Mader has since repaired the car and is entered at Talladega. Mader won the Snowball Derby in 1978 and is a 4-time NASCAR All-American Challenge Series champion.

Munford, Alabama’s Bret Holmes “doing the double” at Talladega
Bret Holmes is as hometown as it gets for Talladega. As the crow flies, histheMunford native is no more than 20 minutes from Talladega. The Auburn University studentgrew up racing dirt late models across Alabama. His ARCA shop is in North Carolina, but his dirt late model shop is in Munford. That will prove to be convenient for Holmes who, after the ARCA race Friday afternoon, is planning to hightail it over to the Talladega Short Track across the street and race his dirt late model. If all goes will Friday night, Holmes his planning to return to the Short Track Saturday night. Holmes is currently 6th in ARCA Racing Series standings after threeevents.

Alabamian, “Ironman” Moose Praytor adds 105th consecutive at Talladega
Mobile, Alabama’s Thomas “Moose” Praytor is living up to his “Ironman” status as he’ll be making his 105th consecutive ARCA Racing Series start at Talladega Friday. Praytor has raced in every ARCA race from Daytona 2013 forward and has finished in the top-10 championship points in five consecutive seasons (2013 through 2017). His career-best points finish is 5th in 2016. He’s currently tied for 9th in championship standings with Travis Braden.

ARCA champ Austin Theriault to join Wall of Fame ceremony
2017 ARCA national champion Austin Theriault, who drove for Ken Schrader Racingin 2017, will be officially inducted onto the ARCA Wall of Fame inside the Int’l Motorsports Hall of Fame Thursday afternoon at Talladega Superspeedway. Theriault’s image will serve as the centerpiece on the wall among all of the other ARCA champions going back to 1953. Theriault, recently inducted into the Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame, is the first ARCA champion from the state of Maine. The awards ceremony takes place at 2:30 p.m. local time.

General Tire Superspeedway Challenge continues; double points at Talladega
The 2018 General Tire Superspeedway Challenge continues at Talladega in the General Tire 200, the second of nine events that will make up ARCA’s superspeedway title fight. The General Tire Superspeedway Challenge is a series within the overall series that recognizes achievement exclusively on superspeedways, defined by ARCA officials as any track over one mile in length. ARCA’s superspeedway championship dates back to 1984; however, a new tradition began in 2016 that awards double points at all superspeedway events when General Tire is the race entitlement and/or presenting sponsor. Those events include Daytona, Talladega, Charlotte and the June Pocono race. However, drivers will earn race points at all nine superspeedway events in 2018.

Navy Officer, Midshipmen, ARCA rookie Iwuji entered at Talladega
Metaphorically speaking, it’s a long way from the Naval Academy and the gridiron to Talladega; but it’s exactly how Carrollton, Texas’ Jesse Iwuji got here. The ARCA rookie made his ARCA debut at Daytona earlier this year and is entered for the General Tire 200 at Talladega. Iwuji, a Navy veteran and four-year safety for the Navy Midshipmen football team, is entered in the No. 34 BBMC Mortgage Chevrolet for Patriot Motorsports, a new ARCA team set to race in superspeedway events in 2018. The team is owned by John Wood who has partnered with Iwuji and retired NFL linebacker Shawne Merriman.

ARCA drivers in full force at the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind
ARCA Racing Series drivers are coming out in full force in support of the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind (AIDB). Several ARCA drivers will be visiting with students today (April 26)between 1 and 3 p.m. local time. ARCA drivers appearing at AIDB include Gus Dean (2016 Talladega winner), Decker, Riley Herbst,Iwuji, Lynn,Munter, Blaine Perkins, Chase Purdy, Codie Rohrbaugh, Will Rodgers, Self, Z.Smith, Theriault and Max Tullman.

The General Tire 200 at Talladega Superspeedway is live on FS1 at 5 p.m. local Central Friday, April 27. Look for live timing, scoring and chat at arcaracing.com.

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