ARCA TOWN: NEWS AND NOTES
Baird is Back, ARCA Hits the Airwaves and More
INSIDE ARCA RADIO SHOW IS ANNOUNCED

RaceTalkRadio.com will launch a new weekly radio show dedicated to the ARCA RE/MAX Series, as Inside the ARCA RE/MAX Series debuts on January 30th at 9 p.m. E.T.
Each week, the 60-minute show will break down the stories surrounding the ARCA RE/MAX Series including race previews and recaps, news from the garage area and interviews with industry insiders.

From a fun, fast-paced Hot Seat interview segment to the show’s Driver Question of the Week, Inside the ARCA RE/MAX Series will bring fans closer to the most competitive stock car racing series in the nation.

On-air talent will include Mike Harper (SpinOutZone.com) as host with co-hosts Dennis Michelsen (StockCarPitPass.com), Lori Munro (War-Wagon.com) and special contributor Chris Knight (Catchfence.com).

On the debut show, Mike, Dennis and Lori will welcome Don Radebaugh, ARCA RE/MAX Series PR/Media Director and NASCAR/ARCA driver Jason Jarrett.

Broadcasting exclusively over the Internet - RaceTalkRadio.com can be heard anywhere in the world, reaching millions of racing fans. Dedicated to producing the highest quality of programming, RaceTalkRadio.com provides live streaming audio, archive and downloadable audio file capabilities giving listeners full access at home or on the go. For more information please visit www.racetalkradio.com.

ALLGAIER TAKES THIRD AT CHILI BOWL

The surprise of the A Main feature in the 21st Annual O'Reilly Chili Bowl Midget Nationals was ARCA RE/MAX and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Justin Allgaier, who finished third Saturday in Midget racing's most prestigious event. Allgaier, 20, started in the sixth position on the grid after finishing second in his qualifying feature Thursday night.

Allgaier, despite some engine concerns in the afternoon practice session, came into Saturday night’s event with full force behind the wheel of the No. 86 Illinois Corn Marketing Board–Ethanol Performs, Auto Xpress, Hoosier Tire Midwest Spike Midget. 
Allgaier’s car was strong allowing him to get past Shane Cottle on lap 43 for the third place position and then kept the pressure on second place driver J.J. Yeley. With only a few laps left, Allgaier ran out of time to sweep past Yeley and get to former NEXTEL Cup Series champion Tony Stewart, who was the eventual winner of the prestigious Chili Bowl national event. There were 280 entries overall.

“This is incredible,” Allgaier said. “The car really came into me which made my job much more fun. I lost my brakes about lap three so I knew I had to be cautious but I really thought I had something for J.J. (Yeley) and
ARCA is hitting the airwaves at the end of the month.
maybe even Tony (Stewart). I just ran out of laps. I have to say being on the podium with two exceptional drivers is a dream come true.”

Allgaier qualified in 2006 for the A Main as well but his night ended early after a crash on lap one. Bound and determined, Allgaier with a borrowed powerhouse which was smoking after his qualifying race on Thursday, had no trouble motoring the Spike midget around the Tulsa, Oklahoma Expo Center earning the respect from all who saw him perform.

“I have to thank Ebby (Bergfield) & Rob (Buress) the car owners for this opportunity,” Allgaier said. “This is a tremendous night not only for me, but for my wife Ashley and my Mom and Dad. We really weren’t sure what was going to happen after our engine blew on the dyno last week. We arranged to borrow one from the Norris family and it was pretty stout. I have to thank the good Lord for giving me the ability to do what I do; I am humbled and grateful. If this is any precursor to how the 2007 season is going to be then we are in fantastic shape.”

Allgaier takes a few weeks off from behind the wheel before heading to the Daytona International Speedway for the running of the ARCA RE/MAX Series season opener at the famed 2.5 mile speedway.

GERHART PICKS UP NEW SPONSOR

Bobby Gerhart Racing (BGR) has announced that they have formed a marketing partnership with Eagle Warranty Corporation, an Eynon, Pennsylvania-based company that offers mechanical breakdown coverage for automobiles. The announcement was made Friday afternoon at the Motorsports Race Car Show at the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey where Gerhart’s #5 Eagle Warranty Chevrolet was showcased in the Eagle Warranty booth. 
Allgaier (L) appears on the Chili Bowl podium with winner Tony Stewart (C) and runner-up J.J. Yeley (R).

“Walking away from racing was the toughest thing I ever did,” said Baird. “But I had no choice. My business was struggling, and I had to pay closer attention to what was going on with my business. Right now, the business is going great.”

So great in fact that the 57-year-old Sturgis, Kentucky driver is dusting off his helmet and donning the racing gear.

“I feel absolutely great. I’ve been working with a personal trainer. Other than a little ole back nag, I’d say I’m in better shape now than I was 10 years ago.

“I went to the Daytona test a couple weeks back to help someone out,” said Baird. “I had no intention of it turning into anything, but once I got in the car, I had a real tough time climbing out.

“Then me and (Ken) Schrader got to talking at Daytona. We were waiting for the weather to clear out when he said, ‘Let’s go racing’. We started talking some more, and the next thing I know, the talk’s getting a lot more serious.

“As we got into the discussion, I told him that if I was coming to Daytona, I wasn’t just coming to race; I’d have to have a car I could win with. Schrader did some checking around and called me a few days later, and said he thinks he found me the car I need."

Next step, or stop we should say – Ken Schrader Racing in Concord, North Carolina where Baird is today getting fit into his car for Daytona.

“I’ll be driving for Ken Schrader Racing. We acquired a Bill Davis Racing Dodge, Bill Davis motor; it’s an excellent car. Same car that Dave Blaney drove at the 400 (Daytona) last year. We’re putting the seat in it today.
It was also announced that BGR will feature the company as the primary sponsor in six ARCA RE/MAX Series events in 2007 as they compete for the RE/MAX Series national championship, including the two stops at Pocono Raceway, the closest superspeedway to BGR’s home base. 

For BGR, which is headquartered in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, the partnership makes sense on several levels. 

“With ARCA running two races right in both of our backyards it offers us an opportunity to give Eagle Warranty great exposure in our home state of Pennsylvania,” said Bobby Gerhart. “More importantly, ARCA has a tremendous following throughout the
country, which gives Eagle Warranty access to millions of potential customers.” 

Eagle Warranty will also serve as an associate sponsor on the team’s #5 Chevrolet Monte Carlos for the remaining 17 races of the 23-race RE/MAX Series schedule. 

“We are very excited to be partnering with a team the caliber of BGR,” said Sean Fadden, Vice-President of Eagle Warranty Corp. “We look forward to success both on and off the track. This will help take our company to the next level.” 

Bobby Gerhart Racing, celebrating its 20th year in the ARCA RE/MAX Series in 2007, is coming off its most successful season to date, winning its fourth ARCA 200 at Daytona in 2006 after capturing a record fourth consecutive pole award. Through it all, Bobby Gerhart finished a career-high second in national championship points in '06 and earned his 100th career top-10 finish. No doubt, the team has a huge amount of momentum heading into the 2007 season.  

“We accomplished a lot in 2006,” said Gerhart. “But with the addition of Eagle Warranty we feel we have another piece of the puzzle in place to make a serious run for the championship.”

Renowned for their restrictor plate savvy, the Gerhart’s took advantage of a three-day ARCA RE/MAX Series open test at Daytona Int'l Speedway in December, where the restrictor plate wizards timed in fourth quickest among a record 77 drivers that tested. Not completely satisfied, BGR is headed back south for more restrictor plate testing at Talladega Superspeedway in late January - all this in preparation for the 44th annual ARCA 200 at Daytona Saturday afternoon, February 10, LIVE on SPEED at 4 pm ET.

“Don’t get me wrong,” said Bobby’s brother and crew chief Billy Gerhart. “The test went extremely well at Daytona. We learned a lot. But we’re still undecided as to which car is going to be our primary car at Daytona. We may use the same car we won with last year, or, we have another really nice machine, a near replica of last year’s Daytona winner, that we’re still considering. After the test in Talladega, we'll make that final call as to which car we’re using. But we need one more test before we feel we can make that call. We’re very excited about the new season. And we certainly want to thank Eagle Warranty for their support and believing in our program, which we feel is very solid.”

BAIRD TO DRIVE FOR SCHRADER AT DAYTONA

Bill Baird, the 1999 ARCA RE/MAX Series driving champion, just can’t seem to stay away.
After retiring in 2002, Baird stepped out of retirement for what he thought would be one final hurray in 2004. That was in August of ’04 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds where he climbed back into the driver’s seat for the first time in more than two years, and then climbed out soon after in victory lane. Three weeks later, he finished second at DuQuoin. 

Outside of two more ARCA RE/MAX Series attempts at Springfield and DuQuoin in 2005, we haven’t seen, or heard, much from him since. 
“It’ll be car #52. Schrader’s guys will crew the car. Donnie Richeson will be crew chief.”

And if Schrader and Baird have their way, they’ll run a lot more than Daytona. 

“We’re looking for sponsorship right now said Baird. If nothing develops, I’ll probably run the first two shows since they’re in Florida, and I’m about 60 miles from Lakeland. Springfield and DuQuoin for sure, and probably Talladega. But if we can find us a sponsor, a marketing partner to work with, we’ll be there every week, which is what we want to be.”

The last time Baird was ‘there’ every week was 1999, the year he won the ARCA RE/MAX Series championship driving for – you guessed it – Ken Schrader Racing.

“Schrader and I go way back. There is total respect from both sides. I think he’s more excited about this than I am, and I’m pretty darn excited. Since I quit racing, Schrader and I have talked, I’d say, about every six months. We’ve always
remained close friends. I can tell you we’re talking a heck of a lot more now.”

Baird made his ARCA RE/MAX Series debut at Daytona in 1997 driving the 52 car for Ken Schrader Racing. Baird qualified third and finished fourth, which is still his best Daytona finish. In 1998, Baird earned the pole position at Daytona in a car he bought from Schrader.

“I can’t tell you how impressed I was when I was at the (Daytona) test in December. I couldn’t believe the quality of equipment and race teams. You had over 70 drivers test, and there wasn’t one single spin on the track. I think that speaks volumes for the series, which is obviously getting more competitive every year.

“Anyway, we’re coming to Daytona with Ken Schrader Racing, and we hope it can turn into a lot more than that.”

In 59 career ARCA RE/MAX Series starts, Baird has 6 wins at the Springfield mile dirt in 2004, Atlanta Motor Speedway ‘99, Salem Speedway ‘99, Flat Rock Speedway ‘99, Shady Bowl Speedway ’99 and Springfield ‘99. He also won 5 poles in ’99 at Salem twice, Anderson, Toledo and Flat Rock. Baird was also the ’99 Superspeedway Challenge championship and Bill France Triple Crown winner. In all, Baird has 26 top-5 finishes and 34 top-10s, and has led 989 laps in 24 races. Baird was also the 1998 ARCA RE/MAX Rookie of the Year finishing 4th in points in his first full season.
SEEGAR CREW MEMBER PASSES AWAY

Jamie Yankowski, a member of ARCA RE/MAX Series driver Art Seeger’s race team, passed away this past weekend in his hometown of Throop, Pennsylvania. He was 28.

Yankowski was a personal friend of Seeger, assisting with pit crew and marketing duties for Seeger Racing over the past 8 years. A driver himself, Jamie enjoyed racing in the small block dirt and modified series throughout the northeast, with hopes of one day reaching the ARCA ranks. 

In honor of his niece, Mariah Yankowski, memorial contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Association, 63 N. Franklin St., Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701. 

51 offers our condolences to Yankowski’s family and friends.



Gerhart showed off his new look at Motorsports 2007 in Atlantic City last weekend.  (51 Photo)

Baird has driven Schrader's #52 many times in the past.  (ARCA Photo)

Baird has six career victories at Springfield. (ARCA Photo)

Jamie Yankowski  (ARCA Photo)