ARCA Heads to Talladega for 51st Running of International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250Press Release
ARCA on the March
Straight from a short-track match at Salem Speedway, the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards has a tight turnaround for Talladega. After competing in the 93rd ARCA race at Salem on Sunday, April 28, the series immediately steers for Talladega where the 51st annual Int’l Motorsports Hall of Fame 250 is set for Friday afternoon, May 3.
ARCA Champ Chris Buescher to be Honored at Int’l Motorsports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards champion driver Chris Buescher will be among the list of inductees to be inducted into the Int’l Motorsports Hall of Fame Thursday evening during the Int’l Motorsports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Talladega Superspeedway. Buescher’s likeness will officially be added to the ARCA Wall of Fame, which was rededicated with a brand new design just last year. The ARCA Wall of Fame includes an impressive assortment of imagery representing 60 years of ARCA racing dating back to 1953. The ARCA Wall of Champions features all 30 different ARCA champions from 1953 forward, Buescher to be the latest addition.
Eddie Sharp Racing Inks Ricky Erhgott for Talladega
2009 ARCA car owner champion Eddie Sharp will partner with rookie driver Ricky Ehrgott for the ARCA race at Talladega. Ehrgott, who finished third in the Daytona opener driving for Coulter Motorsports, is set to drive the No. 6 Chevrolet for Eddie Sharp Racing at Talladega with primary sponsorship from Platinum Partners Plus. Veteran crew chief Jamie Jones will serve as the team’s crew chief.
Venturini Motorsports x 4 at Talladega
Venturini Motorsports is headed to Talladega well stocked with four teams entered, including a No. 15 Zaxby’s-sponsored Toyota with Daytona winner John Wes Townley driving. The victory at Daytona was Townley’s career-first in ARCA competition, and the first at Daytona for the Venturini family, which has been attempting a Daytona victory for 31 years. Venturini Motorsports has also entered its flagship machine with Baltimore, Maryland rookie Justin Boston behind the wheel of the No. 25 ZLOOP Computer and Electronics Recycling Toyota. Other Venturini Motorsports entries include Caracas, Venezuela’s Milka Duno in the No. 35 CanTV-Milkaway Toyota and New Castle, Indiana’s Caleb Armstrong in the No. 55 Toyota. Duno qualified second at Daytona in the same car, and led the first 11 laps before mechanical issues stopped her run. Armstrong is the cousin of the 2010 ARCA Talladega winner Dakoda Armstrong.
Venturini Led the Charts in April Testing at Talladega
Venturini Motorsports led the charts in the ARCA open test at Talladega, taking the top-four spots with John Wes Townley the quickest overall with an average speed of 180.264 mph. Milka Duno was second fastest overall. The Caracas, Venezuela driver circled the track with an average speed of 179.625 mph. Caleb Armstrong was third fastest at 179.108 mph, ahead of Justin Boston, who was fourth fastest overall at 178.720 mph.
Former Series Champ Kimmel/Talladega Winners Gerhart, Kimmel Ready for Another Talladega Adventure
Frank Kimmel is the only former ARCA Racing Series champion entered. Kimmel, driver of the Ansell-Menards Toyota, will be making his 20th start at Talladega since 1992. Although the nine-time ARCA champion has 76 career ARCA wins total – second all-time to Iggy Katona’s 79 – the second-generation racer has just one win at Talladega, in 2006. Kimmel and Bobby Gerhart are the only former ARCA Talladega winners entered. Gerhart, an eight-time winner at Daytona, also has one win at Talladega, in 2001. Stock car legend James Hylton is also on the win list at Talladega; however, the 78-year-old Inman, South Carolina veteran earned his victory in 1972 in the NASCAR Grand National division (current Sprint Cup Series) in the Talladega 500.
Farewell James Harvey Hylton
James Hylton has announced his retirement from driving race cars. The 2013 season will mark his farewell tour behind the wheel of his famous No. 48. “I’ve been thinking about this for quite a while,” Hylton said. “I’m 78, and the time has come.” Hylton made 602 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts since 1964, winning twice at Talladega and Richmond. Since 1997, Hylton has made 146 ARCA starts. Hylton also finished 15th in the ARCA race at Talladega, on the lead lap, in 2009 at the age of 74.
Gerhart Double-Teaming Talladega
In addition to entering his own No. 5 Lucas Oil Chevrolet for the ARCA race at Talladega, Gerhart will attempt to make the starting grid in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Talladega in his own No. 85 Lucas Oil-sponsored Chevrolet Camaro.
All in a Name – Gerhart Bringing old Reliables “Sweet Pea” and “Joe”
Bobby Gerhart, noted for his superspeedway success/savvy, especially at Daytona where he has a record eight victories, is returning to Talladega with some old classics. Still undecided as to which car will be his primary machine and which will serve in the back-up role, the Lebanon, Pennsylvania veteran is bringing cars he calls “Sweet Pea” and “Joe”. According to Gerhart, Sweet Pea is his most successful race car in his entire fleet with three victories – two at Daytona and one at Talladega way back in 2001. The car has also three earned Menards Pole Awards presented by Ansell, one at Talladega and two at Daytona. Gerhart will also have old reliable Joe, which won at Daytona in 2007 and 2010. Sweet Pea was wrecked in a multi-car pile-up at Talladega during last year’s race, but has been reconditioned for 2013. Gerhart tested both cars in early April. “Both of the cars we tested are former Daytona winners. In fact, there are four Daytona wins between these two cars – two apiece. One of our goals was to find out which car is the best, and leave it at that.”
Championship Battle Already Taking Shape – Rookie and a Veteran
Albeit early in the 2013 season, nine-time ARCA champion Frank Kimmel and 18-year-old rookie Mason Mingus are neck and neck for the championship points battle. In fact, headed into Salem Speedway, just days prior to the 51st running of the ARCA race at Talladega, Kimmel and Mingus were tied for the lead. It’s an odd match-up, a teenager who’s still in high school and a grown man with kids graduating from college, yet it’s there, as loud and compelling as ever. In plain numbers, 33 years separate Kimmel, who turns 51 on April 30th, from Mingus, who won’t be 19 until November. “It’s kind of the way it’s been over the last decade here,” Kimmel said. “If it’s not Mason, it’s some other rookie coming with all the right equipment and lots of talent. Mason might be new around here, but he’s been around for a while. He’s driven late models quite a bit, and has shown a lot of promise. I consider him a formidable opponent for sure.” A formidable opponent indeed. Mingus, in his first full season on tour, is off to a spectacular start in 2013 beginning with a solid seventh place showing in his Daytona debut, followed by a career-best fourth place finish on the Mobile Int’l Speedway short track where he earned his career-first Menards Pole Award presented by Ansell to boot.
Cunningham Motorsports Takes Two – a Rookie and a Veteran
Cunningham Motorsports, renowned for grooming very successful stock car drivers, is coming with two drivers – veteran Tom Hessert and rookie Korbin Forrister. Current NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series drivers Parker Kligerman, Dakoda Armstrong and Alex Bowman all graduated from Cunningham Motorsports. The operation is headed up by co-car owners Kerry Scherer and Briggs Cunningham. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion crew chief Paul Andrews fields the fleet of Dodges for a wide variety of rookies and veterans.
Rookie Matt Kurzejewski and Keselowski team-up at Talladega:
Mansfield, Penn. rookie Matt Kurzejewski has teamed up with the Keselowski family for Talladega. 1989 ARCA national champion Bob Keselowski will serve as Kurzejewski’s crew chief. The union of Kurzejewski and Keselowski is more like a reunion. The two joined forces in 2008 for their first ARCA start together at Toledo Speedway where they finished 18th. Kurzejewski then reunited with Keselowski for this year’s Daytona opener where they finished ninth on the lead lap.
Rookie Bo LeMastus pairing up with Geoff Bodine for full ARCA Season
Louisville, Kentucky rookie Bo LeMastus is getting assistance for his first season on tour from NASCAR veteran driver Geoff Bodine, who will be serving in the capacity of coach and raceday spotter for Lemastus’s No. 42 Crosley Radio Dodge. LeMastus is CEO of Crosley Radio, which manufactures vintage electronics under the Crosley brand. LeMastus recently purchased the complete inventory from Mark Gibson Racing for the 2013 ARCA Racing Series season. LeMastus’s racing background includes 20 years in AMA motorcycle racing and five years of SCCA road course racing.
Currently, Fairhope, Alabama’s Grant Enfinger and Mobile, Alabama’s Thomas Praytor are the only Alabamans entered. Enfinger is one of the more recent ARCA winners with his victory at Mobile Int’l Speedway in early March.
Expected entries also include the defending car owner ARCA champions Roulo Brothers Racing with rookie driver Mason Mitchell in the driver’s seat, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers Brennan Newberry and Sean Corr, Martinsville Speedway track president Clay Campbell (Spraker Racing), ARCA veteran Mark Thompson (Turner Motorsports), and Will Kimmel (Kimmel Racing).
Event Coverage also includes Live Timing & Scoring at ARCAracing.com
All of the on-track activity at Talladega will be featured in Live Timing and Scoring at ARCAracing.com. The event is also live on SPEED TV and live at WTDR Thunder 92.7 FM radio.
RACE WINNERS AT TALLADEGA SINCE 1969 (50 events; 1 event was rained out): Grant Adcox 5, Davey Allison 4, Tim Steele 4, Charlie Glotzbach 3, Red Farmer 2, Jimmy Horton 2, Tracy Leslie 2, Ramo Stott 2, Jim Vandiver 2. Tied with 1 each are Justin Allgaier, Michael Annett, Dakoda Armstrong, Ty Dillon, Blake Feese, Bobby Gerhart, Johnny Halford, Billie Harvey, Bruce Hill, Ron Hutcherson, David Keith, Frank Kimmel, Kraig Kinser, Justin Lofton, Mark Martin, Brandon McReynolds, Paul Menard, Jeff Purvis, Rick Roland, Sandy Satullo, Keith Segars, Bob Strait, Jim Vaughan and Mike Wallace.
The Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is among the leading and most diverse auto racing sanctioning bodies in the country. Founded in 1953 by John and Mildred Marcum, the organization administers more than 100 events each year in multiple racing series, including the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, the ARCA/CRA Super Series, the ARCA Truck Series and the ARCA Midwest Tour, plus weekly racing at Toledo and Flat Rock Speedways.
Source: Automobile Racing Club of America Press Release
Article Tags: ARCA, ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, Automobile Racing Club of America, International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250, Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway