A New Finley in ARCA
Team Finley Racing has announced that Chad Finley will compete in as many as five ARCA RE/MAX Series races in 2009.
Finley is the 16-year-old son of ARCA RE/MAX Series veteran driver Jeff Finley.
"The ARCA RE/MAX Series is a big step for me," said the second-generation ARCA racer. "I know I'm going to have very talented and knowledgeable people around me, which will help me throughout my learning curve. I can't wait to get started."
The DeWitt, Michigan teenager is planning to compete in both events at Toledo Speedway as well as at Iowa Speedway, Berlin Raceway and the season finale at Rockingham Speedway.
Team Finley Racing also acquired the services of veteran crew chief Wayne Setterington to oversee the ARCA RE/MAX Series program. Setterington, who was a crew member on Finley's ARCA team, currently heads up Brad Keselowski's ARCA team.
"Wayne has a tremendous amount of knowledge and really clicks well with Chad," said Chad's father Jeff. "It will be a warm welcome for me to walk through the pit gate again in ARCA. I have a ton of respect for the Series and its people; I have a lot of friends over there too, so that will be really neat."
Jeff Finley made 67 career ARCA RE/MAX Series starts between 1992 and 2001 earning 24 top-five finishes and 38 top-10s, including a victory at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds in 1999. His career-best championship points finish was sixth in 1998.
"I'm really excited to get to race great racecar drivers like Frank Kimmel, Kenny Schrader, and all of those guys that have been around this sport for so long," added Chad.
In addition to his five-race ARCA schedule, Finley will be racing in late model divisions at Berlin Raceway, Dixie Motor Speedway, Owosso Speedway and Spartan Speedway, all in his home state of Michigan.
"It will be a year full of racing between the Outlaw (late model) car and the ARCA car, and I'm looking forward to showing the ability of this race team once it's all put together with the right people."
Chad began his racing career in go-karts at age 10 before graduating to full-bodied stock cars in the ASA Late Model Series Northern Division and Outlaw late model circuits. He earned Rookie of the Year honors in the late model division at Spartan in 2007, becoming the youngest driver in track history to earn the Rookie title.
In 2008, Finley earned his career-first feature win in the outlaw late model division at Spartan. Two months later, Finley added his first win in the Super Pro Late Model Series at the same track.
To learn more about Team Finley Racing and to inquire about sponsorship opportunities for the 2009 racing season in the ARCA RE/MAX Series as well as other select events, email firstname.lastname@example.org or check out the team's website http://www.chadfinley.com.
Arpin Has Friends in High Places
It's the hope and dream of every aspiring racer to catch the right person's eye, or to finally get that phone call.
That's, in part, how it happened for ARCA RE/MAX Series rookie Steve Arpin. Arpin, a dirt modified standout, was in a hospital recovering from injuries when his phone rang. It was veteran NASCAR driver Carl Edwards on the other end.
"I couldn't believe it," said Arpin. "I had never spoken to Carl in my life. He called to wish me well. He had always been my favorite driver. He said he was one of my biggest fans - I had no idea. It's hard to get your arms around something like that when your hero calls."
Both Arpin and Edwards came from similar backgrounds - barnstorming across the states racing dirt modifieds on short-tracks.
Arpin was not hurt racing his modified, but got burned standing next to his modified when a radiator hose burst.
"We had just blown the engine in the heat race (at Volusia County Speedway/2008), so we needed to change it for the feature. I was taking the carburetor off when the top radiator hose blew off - sprayed me like a pressure washer. Carl found out about it and called to wish me well. That was our initial introduction.
"We spent a week in the hospital. The hospital wouldn't let me drive home and I couldn't fly commercial because of the possibility of infection. It was getting frustrating because they were talking another week in the hospital."
That's when some friends he never knew he had, nor had ever met, stepped up and got Arpin home to Fort Frances, Ontario - friends like Ken Schrader, Kenny Wallace, Carl Edwards and Bobby Labonte, who shared in the necessary resources to make Arpin's trip home possible.
"Bobby Labonte supplied the jet and his people, and they flew my wife and I, and my mom and dad home. It was wonderful."
And just as soon as Arpin had completely recovered from injuries, he was headed to another dirt track to sling mud in his modified when the phone rang again.
"It was Carl. He wanted to know what I was doing tomorrow. He told me he wanted me to drive his Silver Crown car at Richmond that weekend."
Arpin would finish the year in Edwards's Silver Crown car and earned 2008 USAC Silver Crown Rookie of the Year honors while he continued to barnstorm across the states racing his dirt modified.
Arpin has earned quite a name for himself in the dirt modified ranks with some very impressive stats.
In 2007, Arpin won seven out of nine A-Main events at Volusia County Speedway during Speedweeks. Later that year, he dominated the IMCA-sanctioned Big Dog Dakota Classic in North Dakota winning every heat and every feature he entered. There were more than 100 modifieds entered each night of the Dakota Classic. In that same season, Arpin competed in 26 different states at approximately 50 different tracks.
"Never won a touring series title. We never stayed with one long enough to win one. We always went to the money races. We had to in order to pay for our racing program."
Arpin's racing program began at the ‘ripe old age' of 15 when his father put him in a modified for the first time at his hometown Emo Speedway, just 15 minutes from the house. For the next two years, Arpin, not only won the track championships, he won every race, every week, for the next two years.
So after a few years of dominating just about everywhere he went, people were beginning to notice the incredible records this ‘kid' out of Canada was putting out there - people like Carl Edwards.
"Carl actually put me up in his house to do some testing in a late model at Caraway Speedway."
And from all of the above more opportunity began to develop.
"My wife and I started a business building modifieds. I joined forces with Steve Taylor Motorsports who builds chassis. We've got 26 sold out the door and six more being delivered."
And it's through Arpin's business partnerships that he's able to take the next step in his career via the ARCA RE/MAX Series.
Arpin is one of three rookies signed with Eddie Sharp Racing for the 2009 season.
"Right now, we have 13 out of 22 events secured. And we're working very hard at running the full schedule. My goals are Rookie of the Year and the championship - we're working on funding to do that.
"Actually, Salem was not originally on our schedule, but we've added it. We're going to test at Rockingham this Saturday, and we're scheduled to test at Salem the following week. Never been to Salem, but, outside of Iowa, I haven't been to any of the tracks on the ARCA schedule."
Arpin, who was involved in one of the multi-car wrecks in the Daytona season opener, finished 26th, 34 laps down.
"Daytona was an absolute incredible experience for me. It was so incredible to be a part of that experience at Daytona with all those great drivers. I learned a ton. I had Carl (Edwards) on the pit box coaching me through, Lorin Ranier (Jamie McMurray's spotter) spotting for me. I was so disappointed we got caught up, but still so excited just to have had the experience.
"The wreck bent the front clip under and it was binding up the steering so we had to take the sway bar out."
When Arpin returned to the track, pieces and parts were missing, including the hood.
"I told my guys on the radio that it felt like I was back in my dirt car the way it handled, but I still had a blast."
At the time of this interview, Arpin was in Rochester, Minnesota teaching at Racewise Chassis School.
"I'm partners with Mark Bush (co-founder, AFCO Shocks) on this school. School starts this Friday, but I'll have to cut out to go do the open test at Rockingham on Saturday.
"I am 110% committed to my ARCA program. We'll keep running our business, teaching and running the modifieds, but the ARCA program comes first. Everything else we do will be according to what we have time for outside the ARCA program.
"I'm working really hard to make this my career. Not just make it my career, but to be very successful at it. Carl told me once he always wanted to find and help a young, up-coming racer that wanted it as much as he did."
Sounds like Carl Edwards found that person.
Menards to Sponsor Toledo Race
Officials from the Automobile Racing Club of America and Toledo Speedway announced today that Menards Home Improvement Stores will sponsor the Spring ARCA RE/MAX Series race event weekend at Toledo Speedway on May 16 and 17, 2009. The Menards 200, race six of the 22-race ARCA RE/MAX Series, rolls off at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 17.
The Menards 200 at Toledo Speedway marks the first time that Menards has provided title sponsorship of an ARCA RE/MAX Series race event and is part of a comprehensive marketing program within the Series. Menards is positioned as the Official Home Improvement Store of the ARCA RE/MAX Series and, along with Ansell Gloves, sponsors the Series' Pole Award Program. Menards and Ansell Gloves are co-primary sponsors of nine-time ARCA RE/MAX Series Champion Frank Kimmel.
Race fans can purchase general admission tickets to the Menards 200 at 29 different retail locations, including all 15 Ohio locations. General admission tickets, which will sell for $25 at the track, can be purchased at Menards at a discounted rate of $15 between April 1 and May 14, 2009.
Retail offerings at Menards range from lawn and garden supplies to lumber, tools and supplies for landscaping, building and remodeling. The home improvement stores cater to the do-it-yourself consumer and the professional contractor, jobber and installer. Menards is based in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and currently has 245 locations in 12 states.
The Menards 200 ARCA RE/MAX Series race weekend at Toledo Speedway will include the annual ARCA Fan Fest event, a family friendly, interactive promotion on speedway property that is free to race fans. The race weekend includes three days of racing, including an appearance by the touring Buckeye Sprint Car Series on Friday night and ARCA RE/MAX Series practice and Menards Pole Award Qualifying presented by Ansell on Saturday. The Menards 200 rolls off at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 17, 2009.
This Saturday, the ARCA RE?MAX Series will test at Rockingham Speedway. The etams that are expected to take part in this test will include Andy Belmont Racing, Eddie Sharp Racing, Venturini Motorsports, Cunningham Motorsports, Coulter Motorsports, Fast Track Racing, Hixson Motorsports and
Here is more about the test session, as it appeared on Speed51.com this past weekend....
ARCA Test Set For Rockingham on March 14th
With Daytona getting further away in the rearview mirror, the ARCA RE/MAX Series is looking out the front windshield more and more.
After being silent for a month, the series is headed back to the track for an open test Saturday, March 14th at Rockingham Speedway.
The open test is in preparation for the Carolina 200, LIVE on SPEED Sunday afternoon, April 19th. It will also serve as an opportunity for teams to meet up with media, who will be invited out for the test.
The ARCA RE/MAX Series debuted at Rockingham Speedway on June 10, 1973 when Charlie Glotzbach won the 300-mile event from the pole.
However, the series would not return to the ‘Rock' until May of 2008 when Joey Logano in a Venturini Motorsports Chevrolet, won the race from the pole.
As part of the ARCA Safety Initiative, ARCA RE/MAX Series officials have scheduled several other open tests throughout the 2009 season. Other open test dates this year include Talladega Superspeedway April 8 & 9, Kentucky Speedway April 29, Michigan Int'l Speedway May 27, Iowa Speedway June 30, Kentucky Speedway July 6, Chicagoland Speedway August 19, Kansas Speedway September 1, Rockingham Speedway September 23, and Daytona Int'l Speedway December 18, 19 & 20. ARCA RE/MAX Series officials mandate that all drivers with no superspeedway experience, prior to competing, participate in open tests to gain approval for competition.
If you're planning on testing at Rockingham, here are some reminders:
* Contact Joe Wells at the ARCA office to register for open tests. Failure to pre-register will result in increased test fee and reduction in track time.
* All Drivers must be pre-approved by ARCA Competition Committee.
* All Drivers must have a current year physical and drug screen on file with ARCA.
* No car will go on track unless Owner and Driver is registered and licensed by ARCA.
* Team must have a paid entry for the event prior to going on track.
* There will be a $150 test fee per driver and/or car that participates in the open test.
* Car must conform to 2009 ARCA Rule Book.
* Must have spotter with 2-way radio communication whenever car is on track.
* Only licensed members will be allowed in the garage area and garage rules (age, attire, etc.) will apply.
* Hoosier tires will be available for purchase at the open tests.
* Sunoco fuel will be available for purchase at the open tests.
* Unless otherwise informed, garage area will open up at 7:00 am, on track activity will start at 9:00 am and end at 5:00 pm. Tracks will shut down for a one hour lunch break.