Toledo, OH, 1-29-01 - Armed with a new series sponsor as well as an extremely diverse and impressive schedule, the ARCA RE/MAX Series, in its 49th season of competition, is ready to roll out the Discount Auto Parts 200 presented by ACDelco at ...
Toledo, OH, 1-29-01 - Armed with a new series sponsor as well as an extremely diverse and impressive schedule, the ARCA RE/MAX Series, in its 49th season of competition, is ready to roll out the Discount Auto Parts 200 presented by ACDelco at Daytona Int’l Speedway on Sunday, February 11.
This year’s superspeedway classic, slated for 11 AM ET preceding NASCAR’s Bud Shootout, will be the 38th visit for the RE/MAX Series on Daytona’s prestigious high-banks since the series first raced on the 2.5-mile legendary track in 1964. And that’s good news for the more than 60 drivers already entered as entrants, young and old, vie for their share of the Daytona glory.
Entrants in this year’s Discount Auto Parts 200 include RE/MAX Series regulars Tim Steele, Frank Kimmel, Mark Gibson, Kirk Shelmerdine, Bobby Gerhart, Bob Strait and many more as well as second and third generation NASCAR drivers’ Kerry Earnhardt, Jason Jarrett, Ricky Hendrick and Justin Labonte. In addition, Shawna Robinson, whose career-best RE/MAX Series finish was second at Daytona in ’99, makes her return to the RE/MAX Series in a Michael Kranefuss Ford while Ryan Newman, who exploded onto the RE/MAX Series tour last year with 3 wins at Kentucky, Pocono and Lowe’s Motor Speedway, will be aboard Roger Penske’s Alltel Ford.
Also in a Ford at Daytona will be defending champion Kimmel who has switched from Chevrolet to Ford in an effort to improve his superspeedway program. “Aerodynamically speaking, we just felt the Ford Taurus is the way to go on the superspeedways,” said the ’98 and ’00 RE/MAX Series champion. “We still plan to stick with our Chevy program on the short-tracks but we’re changing direction on the big tracks to hopefully upgrade our speedway program. For ARCA, there’s nothing bigger than Daytona, and we’re coming to win, so we’re bringing a Ford to help us accomplish that.”
Only six RE/MAX Series drivers have won from the pole at Daytona including Benny Parsons in '69, Andy Hampton in '72, Iggy Katona in '74, Woody Fisher in '77, Jeff Purvis in '93 and Andy Hillenburg in '97. Six-time Re/MAX Series champion Katona is the only driver who has won 3 Daytona events while several drivers have won twice including Andy Hampton, Ben Hess, Hillenburg, Jimmy Horton and Jeff Purvis. Although, no driver has repeat wins in consecutive years.
In addition to the obvious Daytona prestige, the renowned superspeedway also played a big role in giving birth to ARCA’s name. ARCA was originally founded as MARC, the Midwest Association for Race Cars, in 1953 by the late John Marcum. Marcum, who got his start as an official in Bill France Sr.’s then-new and fledgling NASCAR sanction in 1949, liked what he saw in NASCAR and, with France’s blessings, headed back north to his hometown of Toledo, Ohio and founded MARC fours years later. But it wasn’t until 1964 when France invited Marcum south to compete at Daytona for the first time that Marcum’s Midwestern-based stock car club took on a whole new meaning. It was also then that Marcum reconsidered the original MARC title in favor of a more applicable name to accommodate his proliferating stock car tour. Taking on a more national scope, Marcum decided on the Automobile Racing Club of America, thus the acronym ARCA was born to accommodate its expanding schedule outside its traditional Mid-western perimeters. And since then, ARCA, now under the helm of Marcum’s grandson Ron Drager, has continued in its expansion of the schedule to include some of the most prestigious venues in the world, beginning with, as it has for nearly 40 years, the Daytona ARCA 200.