Series announces 2011 season opener date

ARCA Racing Series Announces Date for 2011 Season Opener (TOLEDO, Ohio) - Continuing a long-standing series tradition, the ARCA Racing Series will open its schedule at Daytona International Speedway in 2011. The Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200, ...

ARCA Racing Series Announces Date for 2011 Season Opener

(TOLEDO, Ohio) - Continuing a long-standing series tradition, the ARCA Racing Series will open its schedule at Daytona International Speedway in 2011. The Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200, consisting of 80 laps on the historic 2.5-mile superspeedway oval, will air live on SPEED at 4 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, February 12.

The race will be the 48th for ARCA at Daytona, which has hosted the series' season opener every year since the first visit by ARCA in 1964. The ARCA Racing Series will mark its 59th year of competition in 2011.

The Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 will precede Saturday night's feature race, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Budweiser Shootout. The ARCA event is the first in an appealing weekend which also includes pole qualifying for the Daytona 500 the next day.

On-track activity begins with practice Thursday, February 10 and continues with Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell on Friday, February 11. Start times will be announced shortly. Television coverage of the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 will begin at 4 p.m. Saturday with the green flag set to fly at 4:30.

"We race on the same day, at the same track, just a couple of hours before the Bud Shootout, which is the first race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup tour. It's a great opportunity for us. It's a great platform. The race is always televised live on SPEED, and annually draws the greatest field of entrants, the greatest number of paid admissions, and the highest TV ratings," said ARCA president Ron Drager.

Nine-time series champion Frank Kimmel will be in search of his first ARCA victory at Daytona after finishing third in 2001 and 2002 and second in 2004 and 2005. Bobby Gerhart, the all-time ARCA victory leader at Daytona with six, is expected to enter in defense of his win in 2010.

Seven drivers have won from the pole in the Daytona ARCA 200. Gerhart accomplished the feat twice, in 2005 and 2006, and was preceded by Andy Hillenburg (1997), Jeff Purvis (1993), Woody Fisher (1977), Iggy Katona (1974), Andy Hampton (1972), and Benny Parsons (1969). Gerhart is the only driver with wins in consecutive years (2005, 2006, 2007).

The remainder of the diverse 2011 ARCA Racing Series schedule will be released in the coming weeks. 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.

-source: arca

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Series ARCA
Drivers Frank Kimmel , Jeff Purvis , Bobby Gerhart , Benny Parsons