ARCA Racing Series Announces Return to Winchester Speedway; June 25 the Date for 22nd Race at Historic Half-Mile (TOLEDO, Ohio) - The ARCA Racing Series will return to Winchester Speedway, the "World's Fastest Half-Mile," on Saturday, June 25,...
ARCA Racing Series Announces Return to Winchester Speedway; June 25 the Date for 22nd Race at Historic Half-Mile
(TOLEDO, Ohio) - The ARCA Racing Series will return to Winchester Speedway, the "World's Fastest Half-Mile," on Saturday, June 25, 2011, for the series' first visit to the Indiana track since May 2007.
The race will be the 22nd for ARCA in Winchester, Ind., located near the Indiana-Ohio border and approximately 75 miles northeast of Indianapolis. The first ARCA race at Winchester was held in 1957, just the fifth season of ARCA Racing Series competition.
"It's important for the ARCA Racing Series to be at Winchester Speedway. It's exactly the type of Midwestern facility where the ARCA brand is well-known and has the chance to be successful," said ARCA president Ron Drager. "Winchester is big enough and fast enough to play to the very nature of our cars."
Drager noted the important influence of Menards, the series' presenting sponsor, in scheduling the Winchester event.
"One of the significant advantages of racing at Winchester is hosting an event inside the Menards footprint. As Menards emerges as our highest-profile marketing partner, being inside that retail area has a lot of value," Drager said.
Featuring a 37-degree banking, Winchester is known for true speed and has hosted numerous USAC Silver Crown, Midget, and Sprint events in addition to its history with ARCA. The storied facility also hosts highly successful CRA events, including Labor Day weekend and the Winchester 400.
"I think ARCA has a good name, and is known really well country-wide. ARCA is an asset to Winchester Speedway, and I think Winchester Speedway can be an asset to ARCA too," said Charlie Shaw, owner of Winchester Speedway.
"ARCA has been around a long time and it's a well-respected association. The series races around most of the country at big tracks, small tracks, and so forth, and it's a stepping stone for stock car drivers. I think that's an important part of Winchester Speedway, too, as it's a stepping stone. If people can run well at Winchester, they can usually run at the bigger tracks."
Indiana native Frank Kimmel is the leading ARCA Racing Series winner at Winchester, with five victories (1996, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006), followed by three-time series champ Tim Steele, who won four times (1993, 1995, 1997, 2001). Billy Leslie won from the pole in the series' most recent visit to the track, in May 2007. Leslie's father, 1988 series champion Tracy Leslie, was also a winner at Winchester, triumphing in 1988 and 1999.
ARCA's tenure at Winchester reaches back to 1957, when on June 30th Don O'Dell won the inaugural event in a Chevrolet. Other ARCA winners at Winchester over the years include Jack Bowsher (1964), Ralph Latham (1972), Bobby Watson (1972), and two-time series champion Marvin Smith, who won back-to-back races in 1982 and 1983. Other winners include Bob Keselowski (1990), Gary Bradberry (1994), and Bob Strait (1998).
One of the oldest speedways in America, Winchester debuted in 1914 as a flat half-mile dirt oval and remained that way through 1921. The high-banks were added in time for the 1922 season; however, the track would not be paved until 1952. A 1995 re-paving provided the surface found today.
Races at Daytona International Speedway on February 12, Michigan International Speedway on June 17, and Salem Speedway on May 1 and September 17 have already been announced, and the remainder of the diverse 2011 ARCA Racing Series schedule will be released shortly. Meanwhile, the thrilling 2010 campaign will close Saturday, December 4, with the series' Championship Awards Banquet at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington, Ky., near Cincinnati.