ARCA Prepares for Championship Night December 12
The Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) will hold its 2015 Championship Awards Banquet December 12 in Indianapolis, capping off another successful season for the sanctioning body. Grant Enfinger will be honored as the Champion of the 2015 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards after piloting his GMS Racing entry to six wins in the 20-race season. The Fairhope, Alabama native has been an ARCA competitor since 2008, compiling a total of 12 wins in 87 starts in the series. He opened the 2015 season with three consecutive wins, then late in the year rallied to win three of four events in a stretch that gave him control of the points race.
Other honorees at the December 12 event include the youngest winner in series history (Todd Gilliland) and the youngest superspeedway winner (Cole Custer). Kyle Weatherman will be honored as the SCOTT Rookie of the Year, and 10 first-time winners will receive special recognition.
2015 ARCA marks the 63rd consecutive season for the series founded in 1953 originally as the Midwest Association for Race Cars (MARC). At its outset, ARCA’s intent was to serve as a northern counterpart to NASCAR, and during NASCAR’s early years MARC did indeed add a regional balance to NASCAR’s southern orientation. Under founder John Marcum, MARC operated independently as a professional motorsports sanctioning body through the 1950s and into the early 1960s, and in 1964 took the step of becoming part of NASCAR’s Daytona Speedweeks. Marcum was a close friend of Bill France Sr., and accepted the invitation that year to fulfill the role of a support event for the Daytona 500. France was also instrumental that year in convincing MARC to consider a name change that would enhance its national exposure, and the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) was born.
ARCA maintains its close alignment with NASCAR, frequently joining as a support race for Cup events. In fact, ARCA is consider by many to be a feeder system for NASCAR’s three primary divisions (Cup, Xfinity, and Camping World Trucks) in which the talents of many young drivers are showcased for car owners. Some of the current NASCAR regulars who got their start in ARCA include Chris Buescher (2015 Xfinity Champion and 2012 ARCA Champion), Ty Dillon (2011 ARCA Champion), Alex Bowman, Michale McDowell, and Justin Allgaier and, in years gone by, NASCAR stars like Benny Parsons, Davey Allison, and Kyle Petty also launched successful careers through ARCA’s entry path.
In addition to being a source of future NASCAR talent, though, there have been a number of great drivers who have chosen ARCA as their sanctioning body of choice. Frank Kimmel, for example, has been a mainstay of ARCA competition for many years, earning the series Championship a record ten times and capturing the most wins in the history of the series (80). For a complete rundown on ARCA’s rich racing history, visit their website.
Similar to NASCAR, ARCA hosts multiple series including ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, the ARCA/CRA Super Series, the ARCA Midwest Tour, and the ARCA Truck Series, and also presents weekly racing at Toledo (Ohio) and Flat Rock (Michigan) Speedways.