Mansfield Motorsports Park Roars Back to Life as ARCA Breathes New Energy into Central Ohio Short Track; Inaugural Tim Richmond Memorial 200 Coming This Saturday, June 20 MANSFIELD OH (6-19-09) - At a time when businesses are closing ...
Mansfield Motorsports Park Roars Back to Life as ARCA Breathes New Energy into Central Ohio Short Track; Inaugural Tim Richmond Memorial 200 Coming This Saturday, June 20
MANSFIELD OH (6-19-09) - At a time when businesses are closing faster than anyone can keep up with, there is a shimmer of light in the quaint little town of Mansfield, Ohio where Mansfield Motorsports Park is preparing to roar back to life this weekend.
A classic short track double header is on the way under the ARCA sanction where both the nationally touring ARCA RE/MAX Series and the ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series will breathe new life into the tight, little half-mile short track this Saturday night when the inaugural Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA RE/MAX 200 will give local fans a reason to cheer.
"The return of racing here at Mansfield, if nothing else, provides, not only entertainment, but a distraction from the tough times that are upon us," said ARCA VP of Marketing & Communications Mark Gundrum.
Just six months ago it was announced that the Mansfield track would close, another victim of the challenging economic times. Then track owner Mike Dzurilla, event promoter Joe Mattioli and ARCA officials rallied around the cause to re-open the Mansfield short track jewel for this weekend's big show.
From the two-mile Michigan Int'l Speedway last weekend to the half-mile Mansfield short track this weekend, the ultra versatile ARCA RE/MAX Series will feature the same cars and stars that opened its 2009 season at Daytona Int'l Speedway.
And with the event comes big stories, like 18-year-old Penske development driver Parker Kligerman, who will attend his high school graduation in Westport, Connecticut late Friday afternoon before boarding a plane bound for Mansfield Friday night in time for Saturday's race. Kligerman, the most recent winner on tour with his victory at MIS, is also the current point leader over Westmorland, California driver Justin Lofton, entered in one of four teams from the Eddie Sharp Racing stable.
Other entrants include 9-time ARCA RE/MAX Series champion Frank Kimmel, second-generation ARCA driver Billy Leslie, and Floridians Patrick Sheltra, Bryan Silas and rookie sensation Joey Coulter. Coulter is one of several hungry rookies entered including Craig Goess, Chris Buescher, Robb Brent, Jeremy Petty, Stephan McCurley and Tim George, Jr. A healthy combination of series regulars including Joe Cooksey, James Hylton, Tom Hessert and Darrell Basham must also be reckoned with.
The event also boasts a good bit of international flavor with entries from Nice, France's Michel Disdier, and Ontario, Canada's Steve Arpin and Terry Jones.
This weekend's inaugural ARCA RE/MAX Series race at Mansfield is named in honor of the late Tim Richmond, who was born and raised in nearby Ashland, Ohio.
The inaugural Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA RE/MAX 200 presented by National Speed Sport News is slated to get the green flag at 8:30 PM Saturday night.
Richmond, who died 20 years ago at the age of 34 from an AIDS-related illness, won the 1981 Daytona ARCA 200 the year after he was the top rookie in the 1980 Indianapolis 500 where he finished ninth.
"Tim Richmond won the 1981 ARCA 200 at Daytona, and he won in supermodifieds at our Toledo Speedway track," said ARCA President Ron Drager. "We're proud to have played a role in the development of Tim's amazing racing career."
Richmond eventually made his way to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series where he won 13 times and finished a career-best third in championship points in 1986 driving for car owner Rick Hendrick.
The ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series will join the ARCA RE/MAX Series for the same-day double-header at Mansfield. Raceday features an action-packed day of activity with ARCA Truck practice from 1:30 to 2:30 followed by RE/MAX Series practice from 2:30 to 4:00. Qualifying for the Trucks is at 4:15 followed by RE/MAX Series qualifying (Menard Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell) at 5:00. The fan-friendly affair also features an on-track autograph session from 6:00 to 6:45. Racing gets underway at 7:00 with the 50-lap ARCA Lincoln Welders 50 Truck Series event followed by the grand finale - the Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA RE/MAX 200 mile race, set for 8:30 PM.
ARCA Racing Network to Broadcast All Day at Mansfield The ARCA Racing Network will be covering all the on-track activity for both the ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series and the ARCA RE/MAX Series from Mansfield. Listen and watch live streaming audio and video of practice, qualifying and both races at ARCAracing.com inside the ARCA Nation.
More information and advance tickets for the event are available at www.mansfieldmotorsportsonline.com.