A Pocono Milestone; ARCA Aims for 50th on Triangle (TOLEDO, Ohio) - Variety is a trademark of the ARCA Racing Series Presented by RE/MAX and Menards, and the June 5 Messina Wildlife Animal Stopper 200 at Pocono Raceway is a true indicator...
A Pocono Milestone; ARCA Aims for 50th on Triangle
(TOLEDO, Ohio) - Variety is a trademark of the ARCA Racing Series Presented by RE/MAX and Menards, and the June 5 Messina Wildlife Animal Stopper 200 at Pocono Raceway is a true indicator of just that.
But the series' diverse nature, which allows a trip to the 2.5-mile circuit in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania just after an event at the far shorter Toledo Speedway oval, may not be the best story of the weekend. This year's trip to Pocono, as it stands, will mark the 50th race for the ARCA Racing Series on the historic triangular course.
Since 1983, the ARCA Racing Series has made a custom of rolling onto the Long Pond track as a companion to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and the Messina Wildlife Animal Stopper 200 is no different. The 80-lap, 200-mile race is scheduled to take place a day before 500 miles of NASCAR Sprint Cup action, kicking off an exciting doubleheader and a thrilling season of stock car racing.
Frank Kimmel will steer the No. 44 Ansell/Menards Ford to Pocono as the active wins leader, with three. Chad McCumbee (No. 1 ModSpace/American Red Cross Ford) is another active past winner, as he won in his most recent of four starts on the track, in 2007. McCumbee has finished in the top four in each of his four starts, and Robb Brent (No. 36 Orchard Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Dodge) has been seventh or better in each of his four attempts. Craig Goess (No. 81 Greenville Toyota Toyota) made his first two starts on the track just last year, finishing in the top ten in each.
In all, 17 drivers have won from the pole in the 49 previous ARCA Racing Series races on the triangle, a fitting note given the poles won by recent ARCA winners Dakoda Armstrong at Talladega and Chris Buescher at Toledo.
Tim Steele is the all-time wins leader at Pocono with nine (including five consecutive from 1996-98), and he is closely followed by Bob Schacht (six) and Bob Keselowski (five). Familiar names like Ryan Newman and Casey Mears dot the winner list, and NASCAR Sprint Cup youngster Joey Logano triumphed in the track's most recent June race.
With Pocono recognized as one of the most challenging tracks in stock car racing, the Messina Wildlife Animal Stopper 200 will provide the rising stars of the ARCA Racing Series a key education. Kyle Busch set the single-lap ARCA track record in 2003 as a development driver for Hendrick Motorsports, and Newman, Mears, Scott Riggs, Justin Allgaier, and Travis Kvapil all conquered the superspeedway before advancing in their racing careers.
ARCA's history in Long Pond dates prior to 1983, however. Bobby Watson beat Benny Parsons to the line in 1969 to win the track's inaugural ARCA race on the defunct 0.75-mile track.
Last month, the ARCA Racing Series, Pocono Raceway, and New Jersey-based Messina Wildlife Management announced the repellent company's sponsorship of the Messina Wildlife Animal Stopper 200 as part of a complete marketing initiative that includes sponsorship of a special race prize, the Messina Halfway Leader Award. Pocono's rural setting provides a natural fit for the sponsor.
"The marketing programs associated with ARCA make this terrific branding and product exposure opportunity for us," said James Messina, vice president of Messina Wildlife Management. "With a broad selection of our Animal Stopper products now available nationwide at garden centers including Menards, our customers will be the big winners as they can find the products they need to stop animal damage more easily than ever."
The lone practice for the Messina Wildlife Animal Stopper 200 takes place from 10:15-11:55 a.m. on Friday, June 4, with Menards Pole Qualifying Presented by Ansell following at 1:45 p.m. The 80-lap, 200-mile race goes green at 1 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, June 5, with live streaming audio coverage featured on ARCARacing.com and same-day television coverage provided by SPEED at 4 p.m.
Tickets for the Messina Wildlife Animal Stopper 200 are available by contacting the Pocono Raceway Ticket Office at 1-800-RACEWAY (722-3929) or visiting PoconoRaceway.com.