The ARCA Truck Series (ATS) ran exhibition races late in 1998 with the first full season in 1999.
The series evolved from the old Pro-4 Series which ARCA sanctioned from 1990 through 1998. The Pro-4
Series cars were full tube chassis all out race cars with highly modified 4-cylinder engines. Both full
body and open wheel cars competed in the series together which made it unique but also lacking a true
identity with the fans. With the popularity of the NASCAR Truck Series and trucks in general, long
time ARCA Official Jim Clarke came up with the idea to race compact trucks.
The basic rules required the use of a tube frame racing chassis from ARCA approved builders, stock
appearing fiberglass body from ARCA approved suppliers and a spec Hoosier Racing tire. Body
styles permitted are Ford Ranger, Chevy S-10 and Colorado, Dodge Dakota, and Toyota Tacoma. The
rules have been very stable in the eleven year history of the series. The biggest change being the
introduction of V-6 engines in 2003. The V-6 has proven to be much more reliable and cost effective
than the 4-cylinder engines partially because of the rules ARCA has established to build them. Plus
the fans seem to be more interested in the V-6 powered trucks.
The inaugural season consisted of eleven asphalt and four dirt races in four states. The series produced
ten different winners but sixteen year old Aaron Hulings dominated the series with six wins and eight
pole awards but sat out the last race of the season for unknown reasons and the Championship went
to Pro-4 Series veteran Bill Withers. The decision to go to trucks was popular with fans and
competitors alike. Over twenty three different trucks with twenty five drivers competed in the fifteen
races the first season.
The series has become known for close Championship point battles starting with the 2000 season.
Pro-4 Series veteran Robbin Slaughter won his first Championship by a mere twenty-five point
margin over Chad Guinn. Slaughter followed that up in 2001 becoming the first two-time and back to
back Champion by holding off 1999 Champ Bill Withers by forty points.
Chad Guinn captured his first of three Championships in 2002 by a comparatively large one hundred
point margin with five wins in thirteen races. The series returned to tight point battles in 2003 when
Guinn won his second Championship by thirty points over rookie Brian Rowe. In 2004 at the season
finale at Salem Speedway Chad had to make a last lap pass to finish third and tie rookie sensation
Brett Rowe (Brian’s brother) in championship points. With the first tie breaker being the number of
wins they were still tied with five each. Guinn, by virtue of a better average finish throughout the
year, was declared the series champion for the third consecutive season. Brett Rowe came back to win
the championship in 2005 over Paul Hahn.
Hahn picked up his first Championship in 2006 and Bill Withers garnered his second in 2007. The
2008 and 2009 seasons were dominated by Paul Hahn as he won the Championship both years as well
as taking the overall lead in the Series all-time wins and poles. In the eleven year history of the Series
there have been just five Champions, Hahn and Guinn with three each; Slaughter and Withers with
two each and Rowe win one.
Most of the teams in the series are owner-driver combinations or family owned. Like all racing some
of the teams are better financed than others.
Some are young guys/gals looking to move up but most are racers that enjoy traveling and racing at
this level. The experience level runs from the young guns with not much experience but a lot of guts
up to the veterans with fifteen or twenty years of racing under their belts. Current NASCAR
Nationwide Series owner Todd Braun started as an owner/driver in the ATS. Todd has since retired
from driving but has been very successful as an owner in the ARCA Racing Series and the Nationwide
The ARCA Truck Series is without a doubt one of the most versatile series in short track racing. The
series has competed on everything from quarter mile and up asphalt tracks like Flat Rock, Kentucky,
Midvale, Spartan, Lake Erie, Lorain County, Kil-Kare, Illiana, Toledo, Salem, Winchester, Mansfield,
Iowa and many more. The series even raced on the one mile asphalt Chicago Motor Speedway before
it closed down. Some of the dirt tracks the series has visited are LaSalle, Crystal, Tri-City,
Thunderbird, Eldora, Lawrenceburg and the legendary DuQuoin and Springfield State Fairgrounds one
mile dirt ovals. As if that wasn’t enough diversity the ATS competed on the 1.1 mile road course at
Virginia International Raceway in 2004 and 2005. The ARCA Truck Series is the place to be in 2016!
Check it out when it comes to your area or at www.arcatruckracing.com
The ARCA Truck Series is operated by the Phoenix Management Group of Ohio, LLC, under a licensing
agreement with ARCA. Phoenix Management Group’s board members, all seasoned veterans of
ARCA Truck Series competition, are Tom Cumbow, Ed Yoak, Todd Gearhart, Shawn Szep and
two-time series driving champion Robbin Slaughter.