Rain or Shine, ARCA Series Stock Cars are Headed Road Course Racing at New Jersey Motorsports Park August 14 & 15 Rain or shine, the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards is going road course racing at New Jersey Motorsports Park ...
Rain or Shine, ARCA Series Stock Cars are Headed Road Course Racing at New Jersey Motorsports Park August 14 & 15
Rain or shine, the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards is going road course racing at New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) Sunday afternoon, August 15th.
The third annual Garden State 150 presented by American Red Cross is scheduled to get the green flag at 1:00 p.m. EST regardless of any inclement weather.
With the combination of the purpose-built Hoosier 'wet' tire and a commitment from the series to race in the rain if need be, ticket buyers can be confident they'll witness a high-speed, competitive ARCA Series stock car race on the track's 2.25-mile Thunderbolt Raceway road course.
In fact, the Hoosier 'wet' tire came into play earlier this year on the Palm Beach Int'l Raceway (PBIR) road course in Jupiter, Florida where Justin Marks, driving for Win Tron Racing in the Construct Corps Dodge, drove to victory lane in a driving rain storm that lasted for most of the event.
While the victory was momentous for Marks - his career first - it was arguably even more momentous for the series itself.
The event marked the first time in the 58-year history of the ARCA Series that it competed in the rain when precipitation hit just 20 laps into the event. Steve Arpin, the first to come down pit road for rain tires, triggered the historic moment and the majority of the teams followed Arpin's cue and steered for pit road for rain tires. From there, teams raced in the rain for the next 50 laps before monsoon-like rains engulfed the PBIR course during which series officials stopped the race on lap 70, just five laps shy of the intended mark. Further, just three cautions for nine laps - one of which occurred before the rain - slowed the event.
"Based upon the feedback we got from both the teams and Hoosier, we were very pleased with the performance of the new rain tire," commented Joe Wells, ARCA VP of Competition. "The event at Palm Beach was truly a historic day for our series. We are certainly prepared to do the same, if necessary, at New Jersey Motorsports Park."
Race winner Marks, a road racing veteran with experience in SCCA regional and national road racing, Speed World Challenge GT Championship, Touring Car, Grand-Am Cup and the Rolex Sports Car Series, also commented on the experience.
"It was awesome - great rain tire," Marks explained. "Hoosier has always built a good rain tire. This tire was very consistent. It had great grip. What is great about it is that when you have Hoosier rain tires, you worry about driving the car, finding grip on the racetrack and having good rain racetrack, you never worry about the tire. You never have to worry about driving around on an ill-handling tire. It's just consistent and you know it's going to be there for you."
ARCA's Rich Road Course History Dates Back to 1958
Although it was ARCA's first experience racing in the rain, it certainly was not the first road course appearance for ARCA. ARCA made its road course debut in 1958 at the now-defunct Meadowdale Raceway in Carpentersville, Illinois where Fred Lorenzen earned the victory. In addition to Lorenzen, ARCA's road course history holds an elite group of winners including Nelson Stacy (Meadowdale/1960), Curtis Turner (Virginia Int'l Raceway/1962), Elmer Musgrave (Meadowdale/1964), Jack Bowsher (Mid Ohio Sports Car Course/1965), Bob Schacht/St. Louis Int'l Raceway/1986), Ken Schrader (Heartland Park Topeka KS/1991), Darrell Waltrip (Heartland Park/1992), Scott Lagasse, Sr. (Des Moines Grand Prix/1994), John Finger (Watkins Glen Int'l/2001), Justin Allgaier (New Jersey Motorsports Park/2008), Patrick Long (New Jersey/2009) and Justin Marks (Palm Beach Int'l Raceway/2010).
New Jersey Motorsports Park has established itself as the most prolific road course in ARCA history by hosting the series event for the 3rd consecutive season in 2010.
To purchase tickets, please visit www.njmp.com or call 856-327-7217.
Children 12 and under are admitted free to every spectator event at New Jersey Motorsports Park.