Bobby Dale Earnhardt Entered For The 2016 ARCA Truck Series Opener at Columbus Motor Speedway !
May 13th, 2016 (Millersport, Ohio) – Where did the off season go? It doesn’t matter; the 2016 ARCA Truck Series season is here! And the campaign opens tomorrow night at the Columbus Motor Speedway in Obetz, Ohio at the asphalt facility that has been around since 1946!
And it appears it’s going to be a competitive and exciting 2016 ARCA Truck Series offering! First off, five drivers have registered for the Holley Performance Rookie of the Year Award! Rich Gleason, 32, of Columbus, Ohio is the other driver with ARCA Truck Series laps under his belt, making his go last year at the season finale at Lake County, placing 11th, also in Yoak’s #20. Gleason is a regular at the Columbus Motor Speedway but also has 4 Cylinder dirt, Street Stock, Late Model and Super Late experience on his resume!
16-year-old Armani Williams will be in Steve Perkins and the SPEAR Motorsports Chevy championship winning #4. Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at age 2, Armani is seeking to become the first NASCAR driver diagnosed with Autism to make it to that series. Williams, from Grosse Pointe, Michigan, also is eyeing future opportunities with a NASCAR K&N Pro Developmental Series Team. Williams, also in the #4, has wins and championships in karts, Future Star Mini-Cup, Super Mini-Cup and Dwarf cars!
Tyler Kish of Middlefield, Ohio is a mainstay at the Lake County Speedway and also has wins in Factory Four, Renegades and Street Stocks. Competing in his own #41 Chevy, Kish is 19-years-old.
Nicholas Walentowski purchased Randy Moyes, Jr.’s #26 Chevy and brings 4 Cylinder, Sportsman and Late Model laps to the ARCA Truck Series. Registered in the #16, 36-year-old Walentowski hails from Lambertville, Michigan.
Brian Taylor may have witnessed the most ARCA Truck Series laps of any driver in the 2016 Holley Performance Rookie of the Year class. Driving for his owner Strehle, Taylor was also Billy’s crew chief and they finished fifth in points. The Cleveland, Ohio resident, 46, will wear the Coyote Entertainment #32 on his Chevy and has also raced in Street Stocks, Sportsmans and Modifieds.
Speaking of Strehle, the Parma, Ohio resident has stepped up his ARCA Truck Series game by adding trucks to his stable and investing significant dollars with a new Ford V8 engine. The DJ and owner of Coyote Entertainment has steadily been inching toward the front of the pack and finished second at Angola last season on a broken ankle!
East Palestine, Ohio’s Brandon Huff is another driver who took the V8 Chevy plunge. He won his first race last year at Angola and won three poles in a row and four total and if not for a few bad breaks, Huff may have been a title contender, eventually placing fourth in his #21 Pirate Marne Boat Trailer’s ride.
Marysville, Ohio’s Shawn Szep won not his first, second but third ARCA Truck Series races of his six year career and was a handful of laps away from a fourth in his own #81 Technicom Electric Chevy and also took his first two series poles and has also found funding to run the entire year and looks to be another threat as he placed third in the final standings in 2015.
Bobby Dale Earnhardt, grandson of the late NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt, Sr., is back for another campaign after taking the Holley Performance Rookie of the Year Award and the Door 2 Door Delivery Most Popular Driver in 2013. Despite a shaky last race at Lake County in October, Bobby Dale will have backing from Rocks Edge Gear and GFUEL and back with Frank Wilson, Jr., and will actually be behind the wheel of a Ford V8.
Last year Katlynn Leer basically broke every female driver record in the ARCA Truck Series in 2015: highest finish, most races consecutively run, the first to run an entire year, among other milestones, and became the first female driver to win the Holley Performance Rookie of the Year. She will again return in her familiar number 77 driving for her dad Joe Leer with backing from A & A Electric and Stajcar Farms.
Danny Jackson won his first ARCA Truck Series crown in 2014 in an orange number 5 Chevy. Last year’s ARCA Truck Series champion Jeff Myers, Jr. took the title in the same truck but decided not to defend his title. Enter Brad Yunker, who has stepped into that same Chevy, renumbered it 30, and feels this is his best chance to ever to win an ARCA Truck Series victory, bettering his second place at Skyline in 2010! And, it will be his100th start dating back to 2002 and feels that with owner Steve Perkins’ championship knowledge, will be picking up not just one trophy but numerous!
The roots of the ARCA Truck Series began right at the oval south of Ohio’s capital in the mid 1980’s with the Pro-4 Series which became the ARCA Pro-4 Series, and is now what’s known as the ARCA Truck Series, beginning in 1999. However, unfortunately both sides were not able to put together a schedule that included the Columbus track but that changed in 2011 when Kenny Kirsch Jr. claimed the maiden voyage there in his Chevy over hometown driver Shawn Szep. Then last year the ARCA Truckers ventured back again and although the first attempt was rained out, both parties worked out a deal to reschedule the first go for July 11th, which was taken by nearby Marysville’s Szep, a race in which he led a race high 39 laps out of 75 enroute to his second trip to the Lincoln Welders Victory Lane! The ARCA Truck Series returned August 1st and saw five lead changes in another 75 circuits. The battle up front was tight between Szep, Brandon Huff, Cody Quarrick, Billy Strehle and eventual winner Jeff Myers, Jr. who led the last 37 laps to claim his third race in six at the time which helped propel him to the 2015 ARCA Truck Series championship!
Of the 25 ARCA Truck Series competitors who have driven in the three events, five come from the immediate Columbus area!
“CMS” (as it is also known), is a 1/3 mile asphalt oval and figure 8 racing track located south of Columbus, Ohio just off of the Interstate 270 bypass. With a mailing address of 1845 Williams Rd., Columbus, OH (but actually situated in the city of Obetz), the track began in In 1945 with John Nuckles & Robert Roseberry purchasing 50 acres of land for site of the future race track. It opened in 1946 as a dirt facility for motorcycles. In 1950 the track was given lighting, and in 1957, it was paved for the first time as car racing, specifically stock car racing became more popular. Robert Roseberry sold his portion to John Nuckles after the paving was complete. The track was run by the late Nuckles for many years, and is still owned and operated by the Nuckles family today. Among the drivers to make their names at CMS are, Jack Bowsher, Neal Sceva, Dick Freeman, Benny Parsons and Ralph O’Day.
The Columbus ARCA Truck Series category leaders vary. There has never been a repeat visitor to the Lincoln Welders Victory Lane and only three drivers have run every event staged: Szep, Brandon Huff and Brad Yunker. Huff claimed both Rocco Kirsch Pole Awards in 2015 (setting the track record at 14.569 seconds in July) which makes him the pole leader while four time series champion Paul Hahn took the 2011 honor.
“Homeboy” Szep is the only driver to have never finished out of the top five (second, first and third). The all-time lap leader is still 2011 Kirsch Jr. with 74. Myers Jr. is next with 53 while Cody Quarrick is third at 47 and Strehle led six laps last year in two races while Huff led two in July.
Following the ARCATruckRacing.com 75 at Columbus this Saturday night, the series will continue on to Toledo Speedway, a 1/2 mile, high banked, asphalt oval on Saturday afternoon, May 21. This race will be the only companion event with the ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards in 2016.
The ARCA Truck Series will return this year to the 1/5 mile facility of Lake County Speedway on June 4, 2016 and October 15-16, 2016. These dates will mark milestones for Phoenix Management Group of Ohio, LLC. It will be the 10th and 11th straight annual event held at Lake County Speedway. And as a whole, the ARCA Truck Series will celebrate its 200th event during the October race.
Kentucky Motor Speedway, a 1/4 mile paved oval in Whitesville, Kentucky, will host the annual ARCA Truck Series family celebration during Labor Day weekend. Keeping with tradition, the cookout will be September 3, 2016 and the race will be September 4, 2016.
The series will present six of the events at four new venues this season. Spitzer Speedway (formerly known as Mansfield Motorsports Park) will host two events, June 18, 2016 and August 27, 2016. The Spitzer Speedway is a half-mile oval race track located in Mansfield, Ohio. It features moderately high banks and a wide racing surface, making it suitable for close racing and passing.
Lorain County Speedway will host two events as well. The first event will be held on July 9, 2016 and the second will be a two day event, October 1-2, 2016. Lorain County Speedway is located in Amherst Township, near South Amherst, Ohio. This track is a 3/8-mile asphalt oval, with 12 degree banking in both turns, and slight banking on the straightaways. It will be at the Lorain County Speedway where additional milestones will be reached. As a company, Phoenix Management Group of Ohio, LLC will celebrate its 60th race during the July event. As part of PMG’s celebration, the annual ARCA Truck Series Family Day at Cedar Point is scheduled for July 10, 2016.
Shady Bowl Speedway, the world’s fastest 3/10th of a mile asphalt speedway, will open its track to ARCA Truck Series on July 2, 2016. Shady Bowl Speedway is located in De Graff, Ohio.
On August 6, 2016 the series will race at Midvale Speedway, in New Philadelphia, Ohio, a 3/10 mile, semi banked, asphalt oval.
So make your plans now to be a part of another historic ARCA Truck Series season!
The ARCA Truck Series just completed its sixth full season presented by the Phoenix Management Group of Ohio, LLC, (or PMG) of Millersport, Ohio in 2015, under a licensing agreement with the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA).
The ARCA Truck Series (ATS) ran exhibition races late in 1998 with the first full season in 1999. Today, the series has grown into one of the most versatile in short track racing, having taken popular four cylinder, V-6 & V-8 sealed crate engine powered trucks to asphalt tracks of many sizes under one mile, road courses, and numerous dirt tracks in its history.
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.
Following the ARCA Truck Series has become easier than ever lately! For in-depth stories, continually log on to ARCATruckRacing.com. You can now also follow the series on Twitter at @ARCATruckRacing, there is an “ARCA Truck Series” Facebook page, “ARCA Truck Series” on YouTube and “ARCA Truck Racing” is on LinkedIn.