Sparta KY, 8-18-00 - If you happen to be in the mode of discussing ARCA, then sooner or later, youâ€™ll have to mention Mark Gibson. After nearly 20 years of chasing the ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Series tour, Gibson will reach a major milestone when...
Sparta KY, 8-18-00 - If you happen to be in the mode of discussing ARCA, then sooner or later, you’ll have to mention Mark Gibson.
After nearly 20 years of chasing the ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Series tour, Gibson will reach a major milestone when the series heads back to the blue grass state. The ARCA veteran will go after his 200th career ARCA start there Saturday, August 26 when the Blue Grass Quality Meats 200 rolls off at the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway. Gibson’s 200-race tally gives the Winder, Georgia driver, at present, more starts than any other active ARCA driver.
“It’s hard to believe I’ve been hanging around this series for that long,” said Gibson. “But it’s been a great ride. ARCA’s a rock-solid club with some of the most interesting stock car history anywhere, and I’m just glad to have been part of it. I think it’s even more significant because I’ve really only run a half-dozen full-time seasons with ARCA. And even when we were lucky enough to do it full-time, ARCA typically averages about 20 shows a season or less, so to get 200 under those circumstances, well, you really have to hang in there. But ARCA, and the people who race with it, have become like family to me and I’ve met so many great friends here. Now if we could just pull off the win in our 200th start, it would be all that more special. I’d like to get Joe (Cooksey) a good run too.”
At present, Gibson races for the only multi-car team in ARCA competition alongside teammate Joe Cooksey who along with his brother Mike Cooksey fields Chevrolet Monte Carlos under the banner of Maurtco Motorsports.
Cornwell Quality Tools, one of Gibson’s sponsors, has a special paint scheme for his Cornwell Tools Chevy specifically for the Kentucky event as well as a commemorative diecast car soon to be released.
Gibson, a Daytona Beach, Florida native who started racing in 1973, won a track championship at New Smyrna Speedway in Florida in ’74 before beginning his ARCA career in ’82, one that has seen him as a player every season since.
ARCA Gibson highlights include 3 victories, one at Gateway International Raceway in ’97, one at Texas Motor Speedway in ’98 and the other at Anderson Speedway earlier this year. Gibson had his best point finish on the tour in ’98 finishing second to Frank Kimmel. In addition, Gibson was the Prestone ARCA Rookie of the Year in ’86 and won the HG Adcox Sportsman of the Year Award in ’91. In all, Gibson has posted 41 top-five finishes and 71 top-10s.