Continuing its history of racing alongside NASCAR's three premier touring divisions, the ARCA Racing Series has announced three additional dates for the 2011 race season.
Talladega Superspeedway will host the series on Friday, April 15 to open a weekend of NASCAR Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series action, and Kansas Speedway will do the same on Friday, October 7 before its event weekend in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Chicagoland Speedway will welcome ARCA on Saturday, June 4 as the first event of a same-day doubleheader with the Nationwide Series.
Notably, the Chicagoland event aligns with the Nationwide Series for the first time, and moves from its former slot in late August or early September. In 2009 and 2010, the event had taken place on the same day as a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at the Joliet, Ill. track.
Additionally, the Kansas event date moves back to a Friday, where it had been situated in 2007. The series' races at the Kansas City, Kan. track in 2009 and 2010 had taken place on Thursdays.
"These three tracks are great facilities in great markets, and speak to the long-standing relationship between ARCA and the International Speedway Corporation tracks, which dates back to ARCA's first race at Daytona in 1964. This is a real opportunity for our teams and drivers to be on track during the high-visibility ISC race weekends," said Ron Drager, president of ARCA.
"Our relationship with these tracks is continually evolving, as evidenced by Kansas moving our race from a Thursday afternoon to a Friday evening and expanding our potential audience, and Chicagoland offering this opportunity for us to run with the Nationwide Series."
Talladega has hosted 48 previous ARCA Racing Series races, with the most recent race won by rookie Dakoda Armstrong in April. Grant Adcox is ARCA's all-time leading winner on the 2.66-mile superspeedway oval, with five wins. Davey Allison and Tim Steele each won four times at the historic Alabama track, which hosted ARCA for the first time in 1969.
Chicagoland and Kansas - both 1.5-mile ovals - have hosted 10 ARCA Racing Series events apiece since each opened in the summer of 2001. Current series champion Patrick Sheltra won at Chicagoland in August to take his second victory of 2010, and rising star Ty Dillon won for the first time in his ARCA Racing Series career at Kansas in September.
The following race dates for the 2011 ARCA Racing Series schedule have already been announced:
February 12 - Daytona International Speedway
May 1 - Salem Speedway
June 11 - Pocono Raceway
June 17 - Michigan International Speedway
June 25 - Winchester Speedway
August 6 - Pocono Raceway
September 17 - Salem Speedway
The remainder of the schedule will be released shortly. Meanwhile, the thrilling 2010 campaign will close Saturday, December 4, with the series' Championship Awards Banquet at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington, Ky., near Cincinnati.
The ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards has crowned an ARCA national champion each year since its inaugural season in 1953, and has toured over 200 race tracks in 28 states since its inception. The series tests the abilities of drivers and race teams over the most diverse schedule of stock car racing events in the world, annually visiting tracks ranging from 0.4 mile to 2.66 miles in length, on both paved and dirt surfaces as well as left- and right-turn street and road courses.
Founded by John Marcum in 1953 in Toledo, Ohio, the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is recognized among the leading sanctioning bodies in the country. Closing in on completing its sixth decade after hundreds of thousands of miles of racing, ARCA administers over 100 race events each season in two professional touring series and local weekly events.