Matt Crafton Enters ARCA Racing Series "Menards 200" at Toledo
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series veteran Matt Crafton has filed an entry to compete in the Sunday, May 23 ARCA Racing Series "Menards 200 Presented by Federated Car Care" at Toledo Speedway.
Crafton, who drives the No. 88 Menards-sponsored truck for ThorSport Racing, will attempt to officially qualify for his first career ARCA Racing Series race on Saturday, May 22, less than 18 hours after racing in the Truck Series race at North Carolina's Charlotte Motor Speedway.
One year ago, Crafton made the trip from Charlotte to Toledo after racing in the Truck Series on Friday night, to practice and qualify an ARCA car for Paul Menard. Qualifying was rained out, but Crafton enjoyed the ARCA experience.
"I'm really looking forward to racing at Toledo," Crafton said from his home in Mooresville, N.C. "Last year, practicing the car for Paul was fun. In fact, I really wanted to race the car last year!"
Menard, who was racing in the Sprint Showdown portion of the NASCAR All-Star event at Charlotte as ARCA activity took place Saturday, took a provisional starting spot (32nd) in the Sunday event at Toledo and raced his way up to second before being spun with less than five laps to go. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver recovered from the incident to finish fourth.
Crafton will race the same car Menard drove a year ago, fielded by Kimmel Racing. The No. 88 Ford Fusion will be decorated fluorescent red and carry co-primary sponsorship from Messina Wildlife Management and his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series sponsor, Menards, also the Toledo race sponsor.
"I know it will be a good car," Crafton continued. "I'm coming to try and win. Period."
Before moving to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series full-time in 2001, Crafton won the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series championship in 2000. He earned his first career Truck Series victory at Charlotte in May 2008 and has scored top-10 finishes in the series championship in six of the last seven years, including a career-best second in 2009. Over the course of his career, Crafton has started 227 Truck Series races with one win and 34 top-five and 112 top-10 finishes. His active streak of 227 consecutive starts is currently the longest in the series.
Ever the competitor, Crafton wants to win races, of course, but says the key to success is consistency.
"It's about being there at the end of the race, being in contention and giving yourself a chance to win each time out," he said. "I'm focused on being consistent each week, and winning the war instead of the battle. However, at Toledo, I'm coming to win!"
The annual ARCA Racing Series Presented by RE/MAX and Menards spring event at Toledo Speedway will kick off on Friday, May 21, with the touring Buckeye 305 Sprint Car Series and a full program of regular Toledo Speedway racing.
Menards Pole Qualifying Presented by Ansell is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 22, and will be followed by the season-opening event for the ARCA Truck Series.
Spectator gates and ticket sales for the Menards 200 will open at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 23, and an on-track autograph session featuring the entire starting ARCA Racing Series field is scheduled to take place from noon-1 p.m. The green flag will drop on the Menards 200 at 2 p.m.
Advance discount tickets for the Menards 200 are available at Toledo-area Menards stores, including locations in Sandusky, Findlay, and Defiance. Race fans can save $10 off the price of admission by purchasing tickets at Menards through May 18.
Toledo Speedway is located at 5639 Benore Road in northeast Toledo, near I-75 and Alexis Road. More information is available by calling (419) 727-1100, or by visiting ARCARacing.com.
The ARCA Racing Series Presented by RE/MAX and Menards features 20 events at 17 tracks on its 2010 schedule. The series has crowned an ARCA national champion each year since its inaugural season in 1953, and has toured over 200 racetracks 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.
Patrick Sheltra Leaving An Impact In Hometown Again
ARCA Racing Series (ARS) driver Patrick Sheltra continues to make a difference off the track as the 23-year old rising star donated several items to the upcoming Boys & Girls Club annual “Send A Kid to Summer Camp” Golf tournament at the Indianwood Golf & Country Club in his hometown of Indiantown, Florida set for this Saturday, May 8, 2010.
Sheltra, himself is a long-time supporter of the Boys & Girls Club of Indiantown is planning to make a personal appearance at the event this weekend.
“I haven’t forgotten where I come from,” said Sheltra, who currently sits third in the ARCA Racing Series point standings following his runner-up finish in the most recent ARS event at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway on April 23. “To bring a smile to kids’ faces let alone be considered a role model is an indescribable feeling. It really makes you see the true reward of what we (drivers) do.”
Lt. Forrest Yingling, a Patrol Lieutenant for the Martin County Sheriff’s department and member of the Board of Directors for the Boys & Girls Club of Indiantown expressed his gratitude for Sheltra’s involvement with the function.
“I would like to personally thank Patrick (Sheltra) and Sheltra Motorsports for their help and support of the upcoming Boys & Girls Club annual Golf tournament. You have to love Patrick’s character and concern for the local organizations that teach and mentor the children of this community,” he said.
Yingling continued, “Growing up in Indiantown, Patrick is all too familiar with the missed opportunities that this rural farming and cattle area sometimes brings to families. He has not stepped out of bounds nor forgotten his roots. He has used his opportunities to make something of himself and give back in return. He is an incredible young man.”
Sheltra who floats between Mooresville, North Carolina and Indiantown, Florida during race season visited the YMCA of Indiantown in February to sign autographs, take pictures and answers questions from the local youngsters before competing in the Tire Kingdom 150 presented by ModSpace at Palm Beach (Fla.) International Raceway where the ARCA pro scored one of his five consecutive top-10 finishes this season.
Spots are still available for the Boys & Girls Club “Send A Kid to Summer Camp” Golf tournament which is set for this Saturday, May 8, 2010 at the Indianwood Golf & Country Club (14574 S.W. Rake Drive, Indiantown, Florida 34956). Registration begins at 7:30 a.m., with tee-off set to launch at 8:00 a.m. The event includes 18 holes of golf, a golf cart, lunch and an awards ceremony. For further information please contact Juliet Ciaravino at 772.545.1255.
Ken Schrader Enters Menards 200 ARCA Racing Series Event at Toledo Speedway
NASCAR/ARCA veteran Ken Schrader has officially filed his entry for the Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care coming to Toledo Speedway Sunday May 23rd.
Schrader, entered in his own Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet, has nine ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards starts at Toledo since 1997 earning four victories on the half-mile oval, including three consecutive - 2004 through 2006. Schrader also won in his 1997 Toledo ARCA debut driving for the Roulo Brothers.
"One of the things I really like about Toledo; it's got multiple grooves, and you can pass on the outside if you need to, which is real helpful on a tight little short-track."
Schrader also annual races with ARCA at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds mile dirt in DuQuoin, Illinois.
"But it's more than that; I'm just a really big fan of the series (ARCA). I have a lot of respect for the club. Toledo's its hometown track, and I really enjoy being there. We're looking forward to running at DuQuoin (mile-dirt) later this year too. I'm just a real fan of a series that runs all those different types of places."
Schrader has led 400 laps at Toledo since '97.
The annual ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards spring event at Toledo Speedway will kick off on Friday, May 21st, with the touring Buckeye 305 Sprint Cars Series, and a full program of Toledo Speedway regular racing.
Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell is set for Saturday afternoon, May 22 at 3:30pm, followed by the season opening event for the ARCA Truck Series.
Spectator Gates and ticket sales for the Menards 200 open at 10:30 AM on Sunday, May 23. An on-track autograph session with the entire starting field of drivers is scheduled for 12 noon to 1:00 pm. The green flag for the Menards 200 is set for 2:00pm.
Advance, discount tickets for the Menards 200 are available at Toledo Area Menards Stores, including Sandusky, Findlay and Defiance. Race fans can save $10 off the price of admission by purchasing their tickets at Menards through May 18.
ARCA Rookie Mattioli Enters Exam Break and Closes In On Point Lead
With a season-best 13th place finish on Friday night at Talladega Motor Speedway under his belt, ARCA Rookie of the Year candidate Chase Mattioli will take a respite from racing over the next few weeks so he can prepare for exams and complete his sophomore year at Fordham University, where he is majoring in business administration.
The 20 year old, a member of Andy Belmont Racing and driver of the #14 Maui Mobile Suites APS.com Ford has made a steady rise in the points race, and is only 14 points behind current rookie leader, Dakoda Armstrong and just behind his own cousin, Nick Igdalsky. Mattioli will return to racing on Sunday, May 23rd, making his second appearance at Toledo (Ohio) Speedway, competing in Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care. That race will be followed by his much-awaited return to Pocono on June 5.
“Each race, and especially at Talladega, the #14 crew shows that passion, determination, and an unrelenting will not to surrender is far more powerful than a few hundred horse power,” Mattioli added. “I have a great crew and team owner supporting me, and I am confident that our hard work will begin to pay off on track,”
Mattioli’s steady rise up the points list has been in spite of a series of unfortunate mishaps which have caused him to either start races at the back of the pack or lose ground from top spots during a race. They include a blown tire (Daytona), a loss of power steering (Palm Beach), fuel pick up issues (Salem), and a broken sway bar (Texas). In his most recent outing at Talladega, Mattioli overcame an overheating engine to secure 13th .
This confidence is also shared by his team owner, Andy Belmont. "I am very pleased with Chase's progress as a young driver and his potential for the rest of the season," he added. "He is listening to his spotter, Charlie Vest, and is doing all that his crew chief Andy Shaver has asked of him and the results are starting to come."
The break for final exams will be the final one for Mattioli going into what will be a very heavy summer schedule, which will include two ARCA races at Pocono, as well as a Camping World Truck Race on July 31.