Category: Featured Article

DJ Safety Rookie of the Year Candidate: Marcus Jones

March 24, 2011

“I have an addiction. And that addiction is called racing!” It doesn’t take long in talking to The ARCA Truck Series presented by the Phoenix Management Group’s newest DJ Safety Rookie of the Year contender Marcus Jones to find that out!

“I started racing at 16 in the Hobby Stock division in Washington, Indiana. I had no money and was working for my dad at our concrete business. After a while, the opportunity presented itself to where I could become more a part of the business. Since I had so little into my racing, I went to work full-time for my dad and soon, we created Jones and Sons, Inc. in 1970 in Vincennes, Indiana. Anything to do with concrete, ready mix, cinder blocks, supplies, that’s what we do. In 2004 we put up the Terre Haute plant. But, that fire still burned inside.”

The racing fire that is. That addiction burned so bad that after a while, he went to his uncle, champion drag racer Sam Jones, about helping fund his circle track aspirations. Unfortunately he was lovingly told, “you’re on your own,” but with the simple message that if Marcus wanted bad enough, he could find the funding himself, but little and it becoming harder to find, Jones was almost forced out of racing all together. Also, the business and his family were looming larger in his life.

After a few years, Jones eye began wandering back to competition. New racing fans would know the name Rollie Helmling as the current Motorsports Development Director for the State of Indiana, appointed by new governor Mitch Daniels, or as the former President of USAC, but Marcus met a sprint car and midget owner in Helmling in 1990, who at the time was employing one John Andretti, nephew of racing legend Mario Andretti. But Andretti, who Jones said he thoroughly enjoyed working with and still keeps in close contact today, was ready to move on to the Indy cars and with his departure, a young driver by the name of Jeff Gordon stepped behind the wheel. Surrounded by future talent in the region like the Kinser family, Tony Stewart and the late Kenny Irwin, among others, it wasn’t just Gordon’s arrival (whom Jones also lauded as a “nice kid, very talented, knew a lot about what was going on around him and on the track”) and the budding careers that Marcus remembers most, but his education at the feet of the legendary owner. “I learned a lot from him. Engines, chassis, how to run a team, and I also learned that I wanted to drive.”

But Jones had a decision to make – get out of racing, or potentially lose his family. So Marcus quit the four wheel business “cold turkey”, as he explained it, and returned to his home and company, but as he laughed when talking about his domestic efforts, “I wish I knew now what I didn’t know then!” Not watching it or barely even following results, that fire almost consumed him – he was still a fan as his lack of competition almost burned him alive.

In the movie “Shawshank Redemption”, the lead character says to his friend, “get busy livin’, or get busy dyin’”, and that seems to be what happened in a discussion between Marcus and his daughter in 2005. “She asked me if I was going back to racing. So, I signed up for the Gordon/Andretti Driving School at Kentucky Speedway. At the end of the day, the instructor was pleased with how well he thought I did. We got along well.” Jones, now married to Penny, who, as he says, “understands my passion”, then spent a year and a half buying racing packages and, as he explained, bought more and more where he would learn drafting, leading, following, passing, and took it “straight to the top”, which led him to the P.R.E. School in Kansas where he continued broadening his learning curve, being put in race situations, more drafting, and finally a “6 car 10 lap shootout”. When it was over, the father of five recalled, “the owner said he was impressed how I handled it all and asked if I would like to be an instructor because he thought I was good with people, how fast I got up to speed, how level headed I was and liked how I handled the race situations they put us in.” So for one year, Jones went throughout Kansas, to Texas, Talladega, St. Louis, and also started running karts again to, as he said, become more “smooth”. There were many runner-up finishes, but unfortunately no victories.

P.R.E soon folded, and Jones called the ARCA Series presented by Menard’s Vice President of Competition Joe Wells about a possible entry into the sanction. Wells suggested Andy Hillenburg’s Fast Track Driving School in North Carolina. But Jones began to share his teaching jobs and school work and the people he worked with and where he drove and finally Wells was able to issue him his Master License for competition. However, it didn’t quite work out that way.

“I worked with Norm Benning on his crew for a while. I greatly respect Norm and what he has done. He’s a very nice man and a tough driver, but with the equipment we had looked at that he was offering, I didn’t think it would be good for my career or my reputation I was trying to build as a driver to race in it, so it just never worked out to compete for Norm.”

But out of the blue, Jones was surfing the net and happened upon racingjunk.com and saw an ARCA Truck for sale “cheap”, so he bought it and he, Dan Eakins and Doug Miller put it all together with a goal of running three fourths of the 2010 events and to keep the truck in one piece. So they took the white and red #55 to Lorain County in Ohio for his first event last June. Despite two right side flats, they finished 12th. Next up was Motordrome in Pennsylvania, where the newly christened “Marcus Motorsports” team claimed their first top ten in eighth. With that success, Jones was ready for his favorite track, Salem Speedway, and after running as high as fourth, he encountered problems and spun, but recovered to finish 6th.

“This team is made up of three equal parts: Best One Tire, who have stores in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio; Jones and Sons, Inc., and our team, Marcus Motorsports, whom I’m so blessed to have found. They’re all volunteers, but without them, I wouldn’t want to do this – I couldn’t be here,” stated the 56-year-old. He even addressed the issue of his age. “I admire guys like Mark Martin, who’s what, 54? (52). The team and I had a meeting and we said, we don’t wanna be doing this if we aren’t having fun. Sure, we’re taking it seriously, but we don’t wanna be doing something we hate. I love what I’m doing and I want to show that my age doesn’t matter! I know some people may look at me differently because of my age, or my backing, but I think that I can help the ARCA Truck Series. I have a very strong commitment to the ARCA Truck Series, which has excellent young drivers and I believe a great stepping stone to other places like the NASCAR Truck Series, for example. And, I feel our team can help be a building block for the next up and coming young drivers.”

He continued, “Mark Martin raced around here (Indiana) when it was dirt and it was for next to nothing. There was very little to no money. I wonder how many of these drivers today would do that – race for next to little or no money?”

Jones can boast at least one victory, even before the 2011 ARCA Truck Series starts: he is the first to purchase the S347J Ford Crate Engine through the new program the series and the legendary car manufacturer set up. “I made a choice, just like everyone else has a choice. I chose to go this way because I think the Ford will be great for the series. We’re all starting at the same level – we’re all even with this program I feel at this time and I’m excited to be working with Ford and I feel it’s going to save the series. We’re almost finished with a truck we purchased from Gary Esterline, I picked up the Ford engine Wednesday (March 23rd), I hired Tonya McAllister and MPM Marketing and I’m happy to be making the plunge! I’m really excited!”

Okay, so what are this season’s goals for the father of children Salina, Rachele, Justin, Shawna and Morgan?

“The team agreed that the DJ Safety Rookie of the Year was within our reach because maybe we’re not ready for the championship.”

Following his family’s advice to return, now there is another goal Jones has attained – a full-time gig in racing to feed that addiction, to which, for most people, there seems to be no cure — other than participation that is! And Marcus Jones has proven that no matter the age, competition behind the wheel knows no age limits for any speed addict!

Contact: 
Kevin Schwarze
kswarze@arcatruckracing.com

JEG’S High Performance Joins the ARCA Truck Series in 2011

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Millersport, OH (03/16/11) Phoenix Management Group officials announced at the 2nd Annual ARCA Truck Series Winter Competitor Meeting that JEGS High Performance of Delaware, Ohio will be the exclusive wholesaler for the newly approved Ford S347JR engine for the series. In addition, JEGS they will post awards for the competitors at every event.

“There is not a better company in the high performance parts industry.” said Tom Cumbow, Phoenix Management Group General Manager. “Their accomplishments in delivering the best in high performance parts, their remarkably successful racing teams, and their dedication to Cancer Research with the JEGS Foundation are all reasons we are proud to be associated with JEGS.”  

Jeg Coughlin Sr. started JEGS High Performance in 1960 in downtown Columbus, Ohio when he struggled to find the quality parts he needed to bring his own hot rod up to his performance standards. Fifty years later, sons John, Troy, Mike and Jeg Jr. now own the company and run the day to day operations. What started out in a small, non-descript shop, now employs over 350 associates and has over 300.000 square feet of warehouse space.  

The Coughlin brothers have made a name for themselves in business and at the race track. The brothers, all four deeply involved in drag racing, proudly use JEGS products in their racecars and now boast six world championships and 15 divisional titles to their credit. Their familiar yellow and black JEGS transporters, seen at national and divisional events, are packed with a host of spare parts for their racecars, which are all available through JEGS.

Ordering the Ford S347JR engine will be easy from JEGS High Performance. Competitors can order on-line at JEGS.com, on the phone at 800-345-4545, or visit either one of their retail stores, ask for the Ford S347JR engine and have it delivered to their door. They offer same day shipping if order by 9pm, guaranteed customer satisfaction, and a no hassle on-line return policy.

For more information on JEG’S High Performance, please contact them at 800-345-4545 or at www.JEGS.com.

For more information on the ARCA Truck Series can be found at www.arcatruckracing.com. The next event for the ARCA Truck Series is May 14, 2011 at Toledo Speedway, Toledo, Ohio.

Contact:

Tom Cumbow

Phoenix Management Group, General Manager

740-503-5383

tcumbow@arcatruckracing.com

2nd Annual Competitor Meeting a Huge Success!

Toledo, OH (03/14/11) For the second year in a row, the ARCA Truck Series, presented by the Phoenix Management Group (now also known as “PMG”), held its Winter Competitor’s Meeting on March 12th in downtown Toledo, Ohio at the Park Inn Hotel. Started last year almost out of necessity but also as a courtesy to their members, the ARCA Truck Series remains the only major touring race sanction in the country that holds such an event. Present were PMG Chairman of the Board and competitor Frank Wilson, General Manager (and former ATS champion crew chief) Tom Cumbow — who also presided over the presentation, Operations Manager/Treasurer and former two-time ATS champion Robbin Slaughter, Board Member  Ed Yoak of Ed and Co. Racing Supplies, and Board Member and longtime competitor Craig Meyers.

Proceeding the meeting, the Board and officials met to refresh what was expected of a race day steward, how to handle situations such as on-track injuries, how to deal with potentially unruly people, as well as their representation of the ARCA Truck Series and how to work together with the fine speedways that allow the circuit to visit that particular weekend.

The meeting started out with announcing the ARCA Truck Series Special Sponsors. Ed & Co. Racing Supplies who is sponsoring the “Hard Charger Award, Fire Tiger Fire Suppression Systems who is sponsoring the “Pole Award”, DJ Safety Equipment who is sponsoring the “Rookie of the Year”, Safety-Kleen who is sponsoring the “Crew Chief of the Year” and CGS Imaging sponsoring the “Race to the Wrap”. As well, Hoosier Racing Tire, Lincoln Welders, Bassett Wheels, Racing Electronics, Sunoco Racing Fuels, Butlerbuilt Seats, Landrum Springs, Bilstein Shocks, TNT Rescue, FireAde, Intercomp, Whelen Engineering and Schoenfeld Headers were officially vetted as ARCA Truck Series sponsors.

Cumbow introduced Mike Delahanty of Ford Motor Company, who was on hand to answer the many questions and take part in the lively debate of the announcement of the Ford S347JR crate engine that PMG made competition legal for 2011. Introduced also was JEGS High Performance as the exclusive engine wholesaler and Scorpion Racing Engines as the exclusive engine rebuilder and engine recertifier. PMG assured the competitors that as soon as the weather cooperates, they will accomplish more testing on the Ford power plants.

Also present to sign on the dotted line were John Hoffman and James Hart of Arctic Racing Air, a company who sought out the ARCA Truck Series to get the word out about their driver cooling systems. They established a program designed to allow drivers to try their apparatus in race conditions, hand it to the next competitor for the following event, and at the season ending 2011 ARCA Truck Series Championship Banquet on November 12th, a unit will be given to one lucky recipient.

The point fund was also presented to be at least $15,000 minimum if all events are completed and computerized scoring will be made available to those with the capability during the season. The 2011 rulebook was handed out, too, and Cumbow went over the small but important changes inside the booklet. PMG also dropped the minimum age requirement one can compete at from 16 to 15 years of age. Competitors on hand were, among others, three-time champion and all-time ARCA Truck Series race winner Paul Hahn, Ashley Hawkins, Brad Yunker, Mike Young,  Paul Vanderhoff,  and DJ Safety Rookie of the Year candidates Shawn Szep, Marcus Jones and Zac Carter who are just part of the record high count rookie class. And car owners who were able to attend were the mending Ray Schafer, Rick Hahn, Doty Bischoff, Kenny Kirsch Sr., Paul Young, Rick Hahn among others. In all, over 20 teams were represented.

The ARCA Truck Series released its Missions Statement as well at the meeting, stating: “The mission of the Phoenix Management Group is to provide a safe, affordable and competitive touring race series, which competes in a regional area, to be used as a stepping stone for competitors who have ambitions to compete at a higher level of motorsports, and the veteran competitors alike.” To dovetail with that, ATS also released its Vision Statement: “The Phoenix Management Group believes this can be achieved by building partnerships with regional and national companies, as well as partnerships with regional tracks and grass roots racers. We also believe that board members personal achievements and ambitions must be set aside for the betterment of the group.” +Truly attainable goals!

Contact: 
Kevin Schwarze
 kswarze@arcatruckracing.com

Wilson Motorsports and Team Wilson Driver Development have signed Deana Groves and Jenny Thomas as part of their driver line-up for 2011 ARCA Truck Series

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Immediate Release

(St. Marys, WV) 9 March 2011- Wilson Motorsports and Team Wilson Driver Development announced today that Deana Groves and Jenny Thomas will be a part of their driver line-up for 2011 ARCA Truck Series season.  “I am excited to announce these two young ladies as part of our driver line-up,” exclaimed Frank Wilson, team owner.  “They both are committed to racing and they have shown to have a lot of ability.”
 
Groves, of Morgantown, WV is the daughter of modified racer Dave Groves.  She was a 5-time feature winner at the Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex and a second place finisher in points at Roaring Knob and Elkins Motor Speedway in 2010.  She was also the first female to qualify for a feature at Carl Short’s Dirt Track World Championship and the first female to win a feature at the Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex.  She is a graduate of Fairmont State University with a B.S. in Health Sciences.  She is employed with Melvin’s Transmissions.
“I’m looking forward to working with Team Wilson,” said Groves.  “My dad has known Frank for years so we feel it is a good fit for me and my career.”  You can follow Deana in her racing endeavors at www.grsmodifieds.com.

Thomas, of Moundsville, WV comes from a racing family as well.  She is the only female to win a feature at the historic Tyler County Speedway where she raced in the ultra-competitive Street Stock division.  She is a graduate of John Marshall High School in Moundsville, WV and is currently employed as a courier for FedEx.  “I’ve wanted to try asphalt racing for years,” said Thomas.  “Working with Frank and his team gives me the opportunity I’ve always dreamed of.”
 
Both have a trailblazing personality and an enthusiasm that is infectious.  Both have a goal to be the first female to win an ARCA sanctioned event and both have the drive and desire to make it to the highest levels of auto racing.  Check www.arcatruckracing.com to track their progress during the 2011 racing season.

Wilson Motorsports is currently seeking marketing partners from the ARCA Truck Series; the ARCA Series presented by Menard’s, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the NASCAR Nationwide Series. For Team Wilson driver or sponsorship information contact Brandon Gregory at brandon.gregory@hotmail.com and/or phone (304)991-8092 or (304)483-2536. Join Team Wilson’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Team-Wilson-Driver-Development/114070821988209

Ford Racing Joins the ARCA Truck Series in 2011 !

Millersport, OH (03/05/11) Phoenix Management Group officials announced today that they have reached a multi-year agreement with Ford Motor Company to use the Ford S347JR V8 Sealed Race Engine as an additional option under the hood beginning in 2011 season for the ARCA Truck Series .

“We are very happy to be on board with the ARCA Truck Series”, Mike Delahanty, Program Manager of Ford’s Sportsman Circle Track Racing. “This is a superior race engine which will allow the competitors years of success at an economical price.”

Ford racing’s involvement continues at the track as well. Any team which uses the Ford S347JR engine and scores a victory will receive a bonus of $200 from Ford Racing. If no Ford S347JR wins, then the highest finishing S347JR will receive $100. In addition to the bonus, at the 2011 ARCA Truck Series Championship Banquet, Ford Racing will recognize the top three Ford S347JR powered teams with bonuses of $200, $100, and $50 respectively. Ford racing has also guaranteed pricing on rebuilds, from cylinder head service, short block service, to a complete rebuild thru the 2013 race season.

“Having the support of Ford Racing in the ARCA Truck Series, will not only allow the competitors to have more choices for under the hood of their trucks, but shows the racing community the strength and the stability of the series,” said Tom Cumbow, General Manager of the ARCA Truck Series.

The S347JR Ford engines which are legal to run in the ARCA Truck Series will be sold exclusively thru a designated warehouse. All engines purchased in the program will be delivered to the competitor’s race shops, which is included in the purchase price. Any competitor, who purchases a Ford S347JR engine that is not from the designated warehouse, will have to have it recertified before it can be run in the ARCA Truck Series. Phoenix Management Officials will announce the designated warehouse and the only approved engine rebuilder/certifier at the 2011 Winter Competitor Meeting on March 12, 2011, at the Park Inn Hotel in Toledo, Ohio. Ford officials will also be available at the meeting to answer any question from the competitors.

For more information on the ARCA Truck Series, please visit www.arcatruckracing.com.

For more information on Ford Racing, please visit www.fordracing.com.

The next event for the ARCA Truck Series is the 2nd Annual Winter Competitor Meeting on March 12, 2011 at 1 pm at the Park Inn Hotel, located at 101 N Summit St, Toledo, OH 43604.

Contact:

Tom Cumbow

tcumbow@arcatruckracing.com

740-503-5383

ARCA Truck Series Begins 13th Season May 14th at Toledo!

ARCA Truck Series Begins 13th Season May 14th at Toledo! 

 Millersport, OH (02/25/11) As Phoenix Management Group (PMG) officials continue to put the final touches on the 2011 ARCA Truck Series schedule, the 13th consecutive season will begin May 14th at the ARCA “home track” Toledo Speedway. That race is in conjunction with the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards “Toledo 200” Sunday May 15th. From there the series with move to Flat Rock (MI) Speedway for a 100 lap event May 28th. The ARCA Truck Series will return to Toledo Speedway Sunday September 11th for a second event in the 2011 season.  

Some other highlights confirmed for this year includes the first ever ARCA Truck Series race at Lake County Speedway in Painesville OH September 3rd. Lake County Speedway is a challenging 1/5-mile oval track, with concrete corners and asphalt straights, sure to ignite tempers.

The series will return to the “Worlds Fastest Half Mile” Winchester (IN) Speedway for a June 25th event also with the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards. This historic race track has been a stop for the ARCA Truck Series several times in its 13 year history, creating some very memorable events.

After a very successful inaugural visit in 2010, the ARCA Truck Series will return to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course September 17-18 for the EMCO Gears Classic presented by Key Bank. This was the event that one everyone talked about last year, from the competitors to the fans. It is quickly becoming the most prestigious event on the ARCA truck Series schedule.

Phoenix Management Group will continue to release dates of events over the next few weeks, with the complete schedule to be release at the 2011 Winter Competitor Meeting on March 12, 2011 at 1:00pm.

Watch our website www.arcatruckracing.com for major series announcements in the coming weeks.

Contact:

Robbin Slaughter

rslaughter@arcatruckracing.com

614-306-4343  

Tim Schafer, the ARCA Truck Series’ New “Iron Man”!

Longevity. Most seek it in their chosen, lifelong professions. It certainly looks better on a resume and it certainly sounds better in interviews – like in sports — being able to explain why you have been doing something a “long” time, for the most part, can only be a plus! In the ARCA Truck Series, presented by the Phoenix Management Group, two-time champion Bill Withers could boast the longest active streak, never having missed a race since the very first one at Flat Rock Speedway in May of 1999! However, with Withers skipping the last three of the 2010 season, there is a new “king” of the streak, and that would be 32-year-old Canfield, Ohio resident Tim Schafer.

Driving a #22 Chevy that resembles the old NASCAR Cup Series star Ward Burton’s #22 yellow and black entries, Schafer, with some backing from his wife Angela’s G’s Pizza World, his dad’s Double S Construction and bairdbrothers.com, has since his first green, claimed a fifth place at Flat Rock last May and 16 Top Ten’s in 43 straight green flags! And the team, which is owned by his dad Ray, hasn’t missed even the bound-to-happen assorted rain-outs and cancellations either!

Okay, there have been others who have missed some events, even while leading the points over the years, but you haven’t been absent since your debut at Indiana’s Anderson Speedway on April 21st, 2007 where you finished 16th! How has that happened?

“We’ve always traveled, even when I was a kid — we were always going someone place! And, we always loved to go to the Truck races and we always made it a priority to go, and I just can’t imagine not going! We love this series! When I first came here, I kind of wanted a place where the rules were applied equally and fairly, it was more professional, and I could perhaps get noticed. Well, I’ll be 33 March 13th, so I’ve kind of given up on the idea of someone maybe giving me a ride in a bigger series, but really, it wouldn’t break my heart at all to race here the rest of my life! It’s a good group of guys, they’re always willing to help you and it’s a great series and I think it’s only going to get better! And, I don’t think Tom Cumbow (ARCA Truck Series/Phoenix Management Group General Manager) likes to give up on anything easily!”

Schafer, who is foreman at Baird Brothers Saw Mill, where they make assorted wood products, said his hobby is racing. “I guess I really don’t do anything else! I do little things, tinkering around I guess. I’ve got a three-wheeler in the garage I’m trying to get going, mess around in the garage a little bit. And, we go racing!” He and the family also went to Bristol for years for the NASCAR Cup race (but last year didn’t attend because prices got too high), where Tim became a fan of the older Burton for his personality, and because, “he’s a pure country boy, into taking care of his equipment, and, he didn’t win a lot, but he was always there near the end. And, I also admire him for wanting to take care of wildlife. And I’ll tell you, when Sterling Marlin got out of his car during that red flag near the end of  the 2002 Daytona 500 and got penalized for it and it put Ward into the lead, I was just hollering! I couldn’t believe it! I’ll never forget it!” Hence, where he got the inspiration for his distinctive paint scheme, after Burton’s!

Starting in a subcompact/front wheel drive division about eight years ago around Canfield, Schafer and his dad put together a pick-up truck, “a little S-10 off the street” as he would explain, and then after a year of that, came to the ARCA Truck Series.

“My dad thought I could do it,” said Schafer, who has two sisters and when asked, admitted that since he’s the only boy that perhaps he gets all the racing equipment! “My dad is a Vietnam veteran, belongs to the local VFW, and is the kind of guy who would do anything for you. We put the camper on the back of the truck and camp at the race track! That’s our vacations! My sister Misty and her husband Vince come along when they can and she videos the races for YouTube and the internet. Without my family and my dad, there’s no way I could do this and I owe them so much.

“As a matter of fact, my dad is going in for shoulder surgery in a couple of weeks – he’s been doing physical therapy after tearing his rotator cuff but it didn’t seem to be working, so he went in and the doctor saw him and my dad lifted his arm over his head and the doctor said my dad was only the second person he ever saw who could lift his arm over his head with a torn rotator cuff! It’s probably from all the muscles he’s built up over the years from his construction company.”

As Schafer talked about his streak and years in the series, he also offered up a bit of sad irony. “It’s funny, because I don’t think I’ll be able to run this year. My wife owns her pizzeria and the building she was leasing , the owner apparently didn’t pay the mortgage and the building was lost. So this year, it looks like we’ll have to get her going again – she’s the priority right now because we’re in the pizzeria business and we need a place to run our business. Plus, my dad and his surgery – the doctor said his arm will be in a sling for two months and that’s it! It stays there and doesn’t move and it has to stay that way or it won’t heal right. Plus, we’re looking for funds. Baird Brothers, where I work, has always given me something every year, but I still need more funds to keep going and maybe even get some better equipment, but right now, for 2011, it doesn’t look good.

“Still, I haven’t won yet and I want to do that! We’ve had good runs, but just had some terrible circumstances! Like at Mid-Ohio last year, I was second fastest and missed being fastest by a couple hundredths of a second! And during the race, I blew a hole in my header pipe, got a flat tire, and then when we came home and unloaded and were looking at things, we saw the distributor cap bolts both came undone and it was just sitting there floating!”, laughed Schafer. “Just goes to show you the kind of year we had! Then at the dirt track, I missed the pole by six-one hundreds of a second but led 20 some laps but just couldn’t win it! And look at Lorain County – on the initial start, guy in front of me missed a shift and I ran right into the back of him and broke the radiator and didn’t even make a lap! I guess if there was a year to sit out, it probably could’ve been last year!”

Still, no matter what, Schafer has nothing but love for the series he has been associated with for so long! “I try to do my part; I have a Facebook page called ‘Tim Schafer Racing’, and would update it on the way to the race track and after the races.”

No matter what, Tim Schafer, we’ll still keep watching the ARCA Truck Series new “Iron Man”!

For more information, please contact Kevin Schwarze at: kschwarze@arcatruckracing.com

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Ed and Company Racing Supplies Supports The ARCA Truck Series for the 13th Consecutive Year

Millersport, OH 02/07/11 The Phoenix Management Group announced today that Ed and Company Racing Supplies would be the at track supplier and the sole provider of Hoosier Racing Tires for the ARCA Truck Series in 2011. Ed and Company Racing Supplies will also sponsor the ARCA Truck Series “Hard Charger Award.”

“Ed has been instrumental in the success of the ARCA Truck Series for the last 12 years.” said Frank Wilson, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Phoenix Management Group. “His support and dedication has been unmatched in the industry.”

Ed and Company Racing Supplies has been involved with the ARCA Truck Series since its inception in 1999. They have also been the sponsor of the Ed and Company Hard Charger award for many years, an award that recognizes the driver who passes the most trucks in each event with a $50 product certificate.

Founded in 1959 in Columbus, Ohio under the original name of Ed Yoak & Carl Smith, Ed and Company Racing Supplies has always focused on quality and personal service. Attention to detail, superior craftsmanship, and pride are included in everything they build. In addition to custom fabrication, Ed and Company Racing Supplies handle a full line of Hoosier Racing Tires, Howe Racing Chassis and every part a competitor would need for the race vehicle, rather it is on the short tracks of the Midwest or the super speedways of the south.  

For more information on Ed and Company Racing Supplies, please visit their website at www.edcoracetrucks.com or contact them at 614-274-5889.

For the latest news and information on the ARCA Truck Series, please visit www.arcatruckracing.com.

Contact:

Tom Cumbow

tcumbow@arcatruckracing.com

740-503-5383

Shawn Szep First to Declare Intent to run for DJ Safety Rookie of The Year in 2011 !

Adventure defined: “A bold, usually risky, undertaking; participation in an exciting or very unusual experience; hazardous action of uncertain outcome”. The first few minutes you listen to Shawn Szep, he uses that phrase, “this adventure”, more than once in describing his life behind the wheel of a race car! But, dig a little deeper, and the first ARCA Truck Series competitor to declare his intent to run for the 2011 DJ Safety Rookie of the Year honor, paints an even more “exciting” portrait of life experiences that you certainly stop and listen to!

“I was in the Air Force for ten years and got to see the world — Europe, Japan, Korea — and, well the best way to describe my job there was, you remember the Bugs Bunny cartoon where they’re tapping the top of the bomb with the little hammer? Well, that was me,” laughs the Columbus, OH resident. “I could tell you more, but — how did Tom Cruise say it in the movie ‘Top Gun’? He could tell them more but then he’d have to kill them?”

After his discharge, Szep settled in Las Vegas at the infamous Las Vegas Motor Speedway “Bull Ring”, competing in Legends cars, graduating to them after, as, he explains it, “too many broken bones in California motocross races!” Part of the Szep adventure was witnessing the beginning of a now well-known career in current NASCAR star Kyle Busch. The 39-year-old explained, “(Kyle’s older brother) Kurt had just moved on to NASCAR with Jack Roush, but Kyle was just getting going. And he drove pretty much the same way — start at the back, running guys over, and pretty soon either is at the front, or crashed out. I feel when learns to calm down, he’ll be a NASCAR Cup champion”.                                            

It wasn’t long, though, and he soon heard his native Midwest calling, and returned to his roots in 2004, welcomed home by his three children Shane, Seth and Marissa. Explained Shawn, “no doubt the place to race is out west and it’s huge in Vegas, but the Midwest is the best and I missed my family so much, so I came back.” He then started competing at legendary Columbus Motor Speedway in among, all things, their modified division! Gathering a reputation as a tough competitor, Szep caught the eye of winning ARCA Truck crew chief Tom Cumbow when he and his partner/driver, former two-time champion Robbin Slaughter, was unable to continue their program due to lack of funds, which Szep could now offer.                             

“I leased  the truck but had never been in one before, so Tom wanted to see how I’d do, so we tested at Columbus, and after a few laps, Tom was satisfied we would be fine. So we headed for Toledo but got in a wreck at the start when everyone checked up in front of me, but we still finished 14th.” Szep and Cumbow then towed to Mansfield, but after a few hot laps, lost the brakes and spent the rest of the day rebuilding them, and even though they didn’t get a chance to qualify, they started in the back but again mechanical bugs bit and they again placed 14th. Iowa, however, was a different story!

“I had obviously never seen the place before. But the truck felt good and we started in the back and before long, we were sixth, then fifth and pretty soon I got to fourth but then the race was over. (Winner) Paul Hahn had us all covered, but I feel if we had more time, we might have got up to maybe third or second.” Now bolstered with a top five, Szep made plans to go to Salem, but Cumbow parked the truck and started making plans to become General Manager of the Phoenix Management Group and the ARCA Truck Series. Before the 2010 season Cumbow sold his truck to former two-time champion Bill Withers.  When Withers hung up his goggles in the middle of last season, Szep bought the truck and is now eyeing this campaign with two Trucks! And, of course, like others, is looking for dollars to be able to step up his efforts.

“I work for ADT Security as an operations manager at large companies and construction sites, places like that,” said Shawn. “It’s a good job but by no means can I do this on my own. I’ve got some guys looking and got some little programs put together here and there, and am open to other opportunities, but nothing is 100% yet. But, I do have all the guys from when I drove for Tom returning – I call them the ‘Three J’s’; Jeff, John and Jim Long. And also, Tim Devers. And, my former, I guess you could call him my teammate when I drove at Columbus, my crew chief Jerry Harlan.”

Also, Szep thinks he can run another truck, which of course, is dependent on dollars. “We’ve got the second truck and I’ve talked to a few people, and so far, nothing is solid, but we’ve got the word out there and had some bites. I have even offered it to Withers, in case, like I told him, ‘you get that urge to drive again’”.

What are his goals for 2011? “The DJ Safety Rookie of the Year Award – that’s it. We want to compete in all the races, make no mistakes and get top fives, and we think we can do that. I’m looking forward to it because I think we’ll run good.” However, ARCA has a rule stating a competitor can only claim one award that of being the championship or the rookie of the year, and Szep was asked if he was in the same position as current champion Chris Bailey was last season, which would he choose? “Of course I’d take the title. But I’ll tell you, I don’t like that rule at all. I think if you earn them both you should win them both! Look at the Bailey’s – they are a great family and they deserved everything they accomplished last year and I think he should have had them both. I mean, Chris is, what, 22 or something? And they said at the banquet he’s won almost 20 championships? I’m highly impressed. And I certainly hope I can be in position to win the title this year!”

Looking ahead to the ARCA Truck Series and Phoenix Management Group’s season, there is little doubt that, indeed, we may see Szep in that position to add to his tails of “unusual, exciting, bold, risky, adventures”!

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Contact: 
Kevin Schwarze
 kschwarze@arcatruckracing.com

Safety-Kleen Makes Green Work in 2011 with the ARCA Truck Series “Crew Chief of the Year Award”

 

Millersport, Ohio (01/21/11) Phoenix Management Group official’s announced today that Safety-Kleen, based out of Plano, TX, will be a contingency sponsor for the 2011 ARCA Truck Series and the sponsor of 2011 Crew Chief of the Year award.

“We are excited to be involved with the ARCA Truck Series in 2011.” said Drew Patey, Director of Safety-Kleen Motorsports. “Our continual effort in educating competitors in the motorsport industry has allowed us to show competitors the benefits using many of our green products and allowing the teams to Make Green Work.”

Safety-Kleen owns and operates the largest re-refinery of used oil in North America.  Currently, they recycle more than 200 million gallons of used oil annually returning it to the marketplace as clean, reusable motor oil.

Today, Safety-Kleen with headquarters located in Plano, Texas, is a leading provider of environmental services, oil re-refining and responsible cleaning solutions. They are still at the forefront of developing practical green processes for business, just as they were the day the company was founded. Few people share their passion for keeping workplaces safe by keeping the environment clean. Safety-Kleen’s passion has fueled innovation and that combination punctuates their history with notable firsts and remarkable achievements.

In 2011, Safety-Keen will provide the 2011 Safety-Kleen Crew Chief of the Year with a personalized parts washer, free Pig products, Profession Cleaning Products, Eco Power Oil, and SK Anti-Freeze.  In addition, Safety-Kleen will provide 1st, 5th, and 10th place in the year end point standings with product packages. The 2011 champion will also be featured in the 2012 Safety-Kleen calendars, with over 130,000 distributed a crossed the United States

For more information on the products and services provided by Safety-Kleen, and how to Make Green Work with Safety –Kleen, please visit the Safety-Kleen website at www.safety-kleen.com.

For more information on the ARCA Truck Series, please visit www.arcatruckracing.com

 

Contact:

Tom Cumbow

740-503-5383

tcumbow@arcatruckracing.com

DJ Safety to Sponsor Rookie of the Year Award in 2011

        CLICK HERE FOR ROOKIE DECLARATION FORM

Millersport, OH (01/10/11) Phoenix Management Group officials announced today that DJ Safety Equipment of Los Angeles, CA has signed on to be the DJ Safety 2011 ARCA Truck Series Rookie of the Year sponsor.

 DJ Safety Equipment is a manufacture of safety equipment for several different types of racing, from the highest ranks of NASCAR, NHRA, IHRA, INDYCAR, and all the way to the high speeds of SDBA, and pretty much everything in between. This year DJ Safety Equipment has increased their involvement with the ARCA Truck Series with not only the DJ Safety 2011 Rookie of the Year, they are providing teams a free trade in program on seatbelts which have exceeded the SFI Specification date.

 “We are very excited to have DJ Safety as the sponsor for the 2011 Rookie of the Year!” said Tom Cumbow, General Manager of the ARCA Truck Series. “The quality of their products is only out measured by their exceptional customer service!”
This year the DJ Safety 2011 Rookie of the Year will receive a premium driver’s package of DJ Safety Equipment. The package includes a Pro-Flow helmet, safety gloves, driver’s shoes, and a custom driver’s suit. All registered 2011 ARCA Truck Series Rookies are eligible and points will be awarded per the 2011 ARCA Truck Series Official Rule Book.

 DJ Safety, Inc. was founded in 1996 by Retired Navy Lieutenant Commander Joseph Hansen and wife Darlene Hansen, to fill a niche for high-level design engineering applications in specific industries. Targeted were the aviation, aerospace, film, and theme ride industries, as well as the specialty of racing assemblies. Some of the customers of DJ Safety Equipment include Los Angeles Times, NASA, Boeing/Rocketdyne, Caterpillar, Disney Imagineering, and Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab.

 DJ Safety Equipment’s East Coast store is now open for business. You can contact Loren Hill at 909-746-7255. For more information on DJ Safety Equipment please visit their website at www.djsafety.com or call them at 323-221-0000.

For information on the ARCA Truck Series please visit us at www.arcatruckracing.com.

Contact:
Tom Cumbow
740-503-5383
tcumbow@arcatruckracing.com

 

                                   

DJ Safety Free Belt Trade In For ARCA Truck Series Competitors

 

1/5/10

 (Los Angeles, CA) As the 2011 ARCA Truck Series fast approaches, many teams might realize that their seatbelt SFI certification is out of date. DJ Safety has got you covered with a free trade in program exclusively for ARCA Truck Series competitors. Simply send DJ Safety your recently expired belts and they will be replaced with a new set of competition belts in any configuration or color, the only cost to the racer will be shipping. Trade in special extends only to current ARCA Truck Series competitors, latch and link release only ($45 upgrade for cam release) and belts must be expired no more than 12 months. Belts have not expired yet? Not a problem, DJ Safety SRL free belt trade in program does expire until June 31, 2011. For information give DJ Safety a call at 323-221-0000, contact Ben Ryan

 

DJ Safety

2623 N. San Fernando Road

Los Angeles, CA 90065

www.djsafety.com

ben@djsafety.com

2011 ARCA Truck Series Number Registration

2011 ARCA Truck Series Number Registration Form

**CLICK HERE FOR FORM**

The teams that competed in the ATS in 2010 have the first chance at their numbers. Application deadline is February 15, 2011. If your application has not been received by this date, your number request will fall to the next individual that is requesting the same number. All others requesting a number can request it on a first come first serve basis. No duplicate or 3 digit numbers are allowed. All numbers are owned by and will be officially issued at the discretion of the Phoenix Management Group.

All Owners must have their 2011 ARCA Truck Series Owners License by March 15, 2011 to complete the number registration process.

Please fill out the form completely.

**CLICK HERE FOR FORM**

Happy New Year from Phoenix Management ! Let’s Go ARCA Truck Racing !

Merry Christmas from the ARCA Truck Series/Phoenix Management Group Staff !

 

By Kevin Schwarze


Christmas is like no other time of year. It is a time of unparalleled giving and sharing, planning and travel. It is a time when people seem a bit nicer, a bit more forgiving and a bit more thoughtful. Christmas is also a period when folks will travel to see their family or loved ones that perhaps they haven’t had the pleasure of being with in quite awhile. As well, it is also a period when many holiday traditions are observed, whether generational or ethnically.

Racers, on the other hand, travel constantly, especially in a traveling circuit like the ARCA Truck Series, where competitors make their way from Flat Rock, Michigan to Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, among other destinations. In the end, haulers log thousands of miles just in getting to the next race alone! And with that, some even follow the same routine, either by habit or to follow “lucky” patterns that have garnered success in the past.

So, when the Series ends, the banquet silverware is put away and drivers, owners, crew people, sponsors and officials head home, what fills their plate until the first engines fire in 2011? What do they do to approach this time of year? Do they observe tradition? Do they travel some more? Or, do they stay in the garage until the first bird appears as the snow melts?

Click here to see what Truck Series people are doing for Christmas!