Big Things In Store at Toledo
What's up at Toledo Speedway? How about 5 racing events in 10 days; the Buckeye Super Sprints this Friday, the K-100 presented by All Sport ARCA Lincoln Welders Trucks Series race Saturday and a trio of NASCAR drivers in town for this Sunday's Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care for the ARCA RE/MAX Series event, with Ken Schrader and Paul Menard racing and David Ragan signing autographs.
How about mingling with the drivers and crews Friday night and Saturday night at the Toledo Speedway Bar and Grille to watch the NASCAR Truck race Friday and the NASCAR Nextel Cup All Star race from Charlotte on the Aaron's big screen TV's? You can head out to any of the 3 Aaron's Stores in the Toledo area and register to win the Aaron's Dream Seats "Best Seats in the House" for Saturday and Sunday's Toledo events!
And don't forget the All Sport ARCA FanFest in the track parking lot Friday through Sunday! Food, music and fun await fans of all ages!
And then next week, it's the Big Red Crème Soda 100 lap Late Model race Friday, May 22 for the ARCA Hantz Group/Allegiant Air Late Models, topped off by the Burge Wrecking Night of Destruction Sunday evening, May 24, featuring School Bus Figure 8, Boat Figure 8, Train Figure 8 and Factory Stock Figure 8 racing!
8 different types of race cars will tackle the Toledo oval in the next 2 weeks of action. This Friday, May 15 kicks off 3 big days of racing. The popular Buckeye Super Sprints, powered by 305 cubic inch engines, use every spot of asphalt on the big ½ mile paved oval and provide exciting action! The track's ARCA Sportsman division will also compete on the ½, while the ARCA Factory Stocks and Figure 8's go at it on the short track. This will be the first appearance of the season for the wild Figure 8 division at Toledo.
Friday is also Kids Night, with all kids admitted FREE of charge! Each child will also receive a free hot dog, chips and a drink, courtesy of Sherwood Foods, Seyfert's Potato Chips and the Dr. Pepper/Snapple Group of Toledo. Friday's race card is being sponsored by the Western Lake Erie Insulation Industry. The gates open at 4:30 and racing begins at 7:30 p.m. May 15.
Saturday, May 16 is practice and qualifying day for the superspeedway-style stock cars of the ARCA RE/MAX Series, in the Glass City for the running of the Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care. The ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series will battle in a 100 lap feature, with sponsorship from K-100 Radio and All Sport. Fans can bring an All Sport label to the track Saturday and get in free of charge. The gates open at 11 a.m., practice starts at 11, time trials are set for 2 and the 100 lap truck race begins at 5 p.m.
Sunday, May 17 is the big day! The gates swing open at 11 a.m., with the on-track autograph session set for noon. Schrader, Menard and Ragan, along with all the ARCA RE/MAX Series stars, will take part in the session. The 200 lap event, the Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care gets the green flag at 2 p.m.
Fans can save $10 per ticket if purchased by May 14 at any participating Menards stores. The track has some reserved seating still available for this weekend. Please call 419-727-1100 today for reservations. Visa and Mastercard are accepted for phone orders.
Toledo Speedway is located on Benore Road at the I-75/Alexis Road exit on the Michigan-Ohio border.
ARCA Racing Day at Toledo Mud Hens Baseball Game this Friday
Nine-time ARCA RE/MAX Series Champion Frank Kimmel and Eddie Sharp Racing's Justin Lofton and Steve Arpin will bring the excitement of stock car auto racing to the baseball field on Friday evening, May 15 as part of ARCA Racing Day at Fifth Third Field in downtown Toledo, Ohio, home of the Toledo Mud Hens Triple-A Baseball Team.
Kimmel, a veteran racecar driver and the all-time active leader in the Toledo, Ohio-based ARCA RE/MAX Series, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch for the Toledo Mud Hens/Pawtucket Red Sox Triple-A Baseball Game to help promote the Sunday, May 17 Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care ARCA RE/MAX Series race at Toledo Speedway.
Kimmel is attempting to earn his tenth ARCA RE/MAX Series victory at Toledo Speedway and heads into the race as the all-time Series winner at the half-mile short track.
"It always comes back to Toledo," said Kimmel, driver of the No. 44 Ansell-Menards Ford Fusion. "I made my first ARCA start at Toledo, my first win came at Toledo, and I have clinched championships there. I love the track and Toledo fans are great so it's neat that I get to spend some time with area baseball fans."
Lofton and Arpin, teammates who drive for Eddie Sharp Racing, will give baseball fans a glimpse of their competitive nature on Friday, May 15, when they race against each other on giant tricycles during an inning break.
"I'm hoping to use the tricycle race as a warm-up for Sunday's ARCA RE/MAX Series race at Toledo," said Lofton. "Rubbin' is racing and I'm in it to win it!"
Kimmel, Lofton and Arpin will participate in a meet and greet at Fifth Third Field to sign autographs for fans from 7-7:30 p.m. Baseball fans who attend the game will also have the opportunity to win tickets to attend ARCA RE/MAX Series practice and qualifying and the K-100 presented by All Sport ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series race at Toledo Speedway on Saturday, May 16.
Tickets to the Friday evening, May 15, ARCA Racing Day Toledo Mud Hens Game at Fifth Third Field are available by calling 419-725-HENS! The game starts at 7 p.m. and marks the first cross-promotion between the Toledo Mud Hens Baseball organization and the Automobile Racing Club of America.
The Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care, race six of the 22-race ARCA RE/MAX Series, rolls off at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 17, 2009. Call (419) 727-1100 for race tickets or visit the front service desk at participating Menards locations.
Road Racing and ARCA Worlds Unite For a Great Deal
Local motorsports facilities, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Mansfield Motorsports Park, are joining to offer discounts to race fans during the dual-event weekend of June 19-21, 2009.
For every weekend general admission ticket purchased at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, fans will receive a discount voucher that grants them $5 off each weekend general admission ticket bought at Mansfield Motorsports Park for the June 20th Inaugural Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA-RE/MAX 200. The same offer is available for fans who visit Mansfield Motorsports Park before Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The tracks decided to collaborate on this offer to assist motorsports fans in a down economy.
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is opening their season the weekend of June 19 with the EMCO Gears Classic presented by KeyBank, the sixth event of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series' season. A short drive northwest, Mansfield Motorsports Park hosts the 9th of 22 dates on the ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule with the inaugural Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA-RE/MAX 200. This is the only weekend of the summer that both area tracks have feature events scheduled.
"This is a great weekend for the surrounding area," said Michelle Trueman Gajoch, president of TrueSports, Incorporated, owner and operator of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and The Mid-Ohio School. "It's an opportunity for fans of both series to enjoy two premier events at two of the finest facilities in the region."
Joe Mattioli, co-promoter of Mansfield Motorsports Park, found success with a similar partnership with another one of his tracks in Virginia. The Mattioli family, owners of South Boston Speedway, and Virginia International Raceway ,offered a similar joint discount for fans on the weekend of April 24.
"South Boston and VIR teamed up two weeks ago and it was great for the fans. It's a lot of fun to hook up with another great facility like Mid-Ohio help people save money in the process," said Mattioli.
This discount offer is only available at each facility's gate box office. Fans can also save by purchasing tickets in advance. See www.midohio.com or www.mansfieldmotorsportsonline.com for more details.
Mansfield Motorsports Park is a half-mile oval racetrack located in Mansfield, Ohio. Featuring moderately high banks and a wide racing surface, it is suitable for close racing and passing. The track hosts an ARCA RE/MAX Series race in 2009.
A comprehensive motorsports facility, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course features a permanent road-racing circuit with two primary configurations: a 2.4-mile, 15-turn, and a 2.25-mile, 13-turn circuit. Located 60 miles north of Columbus and 75 miles south of Cleveland near Mansfield, the track has been called the most competitive in the U.S. and annually hosts a diversity of locally, regionally and nationally sanctioned racing events for amateur, club and professional drivers and riders.
Special Edition "Inside ARCA", Via Live Video Stream, Airs Sunday from Toledo Speedway
A Special Edition of "Inside ARCA", ARCA's weekly online talk show, will air live from Toledo Speedway this Sunday, May 17 from 10:30 to 12 noon ET featuring an All-Star line-up of guests.
NASCAR veterans' David Ragan, Ken Schrader, Paul Menard and Matt Crafton are all scheduled guests as is 9-time ARCA RE/MAX Series champion Frank Kimmel.
Schrader, Menard and Kimmel will be competing in the same-day Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care while Ragan will stick around to watch his driver - 16-year-old Chris Buescher - compete in the DavidRagan.com Ford. Crafton, a veteran of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, will be spotting for Menard in Sunday's race.
The Special Edition Inside ARCA Show will be positioned just outside the main gate of the speedway in the All Sport ARCA Fan Fest area. The ARCA Fan Fest is free and open to the public.
The show will also be featured in a live video stream over ARCAracing.com inside the ARCA Nation, all via the ARCA Racing Network. The live video stream will accompany the live audio stream with Inside ARCA's Don Radebaugh as host alongside all the aforementioned guests.
Kimmel is the all-time winner at Toledo with nine victories including his career-first series triumph in 1994.
Schrader has won four times at Toledo, but not since May of 2006. The race at Toledo will launch Schrader into an 8-race run during which he will race 8 times in 9 days in 4 states. Schrader has 15 career ARCA victories and 15 pole awards.
Menard has made five previous ARCA RE/MAX Series starts, four of which came in 2003. He scored two top-five finishes including one win at Talladega Superspeedway.
Menard's participation in the Menards 200 will not be without its logistical challenges as the driver of the No. 98 Menards Ford Fusion for Yates Racing will attempt to race his way into the prestigious Sprint All Star event Saturday night during the Sprint Open.
Following his on track activities in Charlotte, Menard will board a plane for Toledo first thing Sunday morning where he will get in a racecar that he's never seen before - let alone raced in.
Menards only laps around Toledo Speedway came two weeks ago when the fulltime NASCAR driver took the half-mile semi-banked oval in his rental vehicle while in town for a Menards store appearance.
"It was like a mini test in a sedan," said Menard. "From what I can tell it's an interesting little racetrack that feels like a really small half-mile with wide corners. You're definitely not going straight for very long at any point on the track."
Menard's only cause for concern is the complex pit road entrance at Toledo Speedway.
"That's one heck of a pit road entrance," added Menard. "Getting on pit road will definitely be a challenge on race day when we pit for the first time and take that ramp down. It almost feels like a jump!"
Ragan, who finished second to race winner Kimmel at Toledo in 2005, will also be en route from the Sprint All Star event in Charlotte.
Inside ARCA airs weekly at ARCAracing.com every Wednesday afternoon from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM Eastern. The show re-airs every Wednesday night at 8:00 PM ET.
Tim Richmond Still Recieves Accolades Decades Later
Tim Richmond was a genuine "people person" who enjoyed his fans, friends and family as much as he did climbing into a race car to compete.
Sondra "Sandy" Welsh, is the sole survivor of Richmond's immediate family. The driver passed away from complications caused by the AIDS virus two decades ago this year. His mother, Evelyn died in 2001, and his father, Al, died in 2004.
While Tim's illness and death were shrouded in privacy in the 1980s, the mere mention of AIDS raised controversy. Shortly after he died, the family released the cause to put an end to the secrecy. In the early years of the age of AIDS, not even the President of the United States would discuss the emerging worldwide health crisis. Richmond died an unjustly maligned man, due mostly to a societal lack of understanding about the disease.
Richmond was a good son and brother, his sister says. She whole-heartedly endorses the naming of the inaugural Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA RE/MAX 200 for her brother. The race will be held at Mansfield (Ohio) Motorsports Park on August 20. Welsh plans to join a growing number of Richmond's contemporaries who are said to be making plans to attend the event.
Over the years since the driver's passing, Richmond began receiving respect and honor for his 13-win NASCAR career, and his close association with his fans. Richmond was enshrined in the Ashland County (Ohio) Sports Hall of Fame in 1996, selected as one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers during the sanctioning body's 50th Anniversary celebration in 1998, and inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega, Ala., in 2002. He is certain to one day be enshrined in the still-under-construction NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C.
"Tim never forgot where he came from," Welsh says, "and these honors are great because he still has a lot of fans. Tim was always ahead of his time," Welsh says. "He was the first to bring a motor-home to stay in at the track. Now all the tracks have special areas for drivers and owner's coaches. He was the first in NASCAR to wear a flame retardant head sock underneath his helmet. He brought that over from his IndyCar racing. Mom thought Tim was crazy for buying some real estate, but he turned out to be a good at that, too."
Fifteen years older than her brother, Welsh was her brother's favorite baby sitter. "When he was little, he couldn't say my name. When I would leave, he would cry 'Nany, Nany, Nany, don't leave!' I still have his Raggedy Andy, and it's tattered. Mom saved everything, and so do I. We loved each other, and we were always there for each other. Tim wasn't a bad boy. He just couldn't sit still. Even as a teen. Al had airplanes for business, and Tim had to learn to fly. He had to be able to fly planes and helicopters. Cars? He wasn't impressed with cars. He did sneak off to Dragway 42 which was near Ashland and drag race. He got racing from our dad. Racing was Al's passion.
Richmond's first NASCAR race car owner D.K. Ulrich remains impressed with Tim's driving talent. "If Tim Richmond, Alan Kulwicki and Davey Allison hadn't died, the NASCAR record books would have looked a lot different today," D.K. commented.