National Speed Sport News ARCA Nation Most Popular Driver Award to Continue in 2010; Voting begins on Feb. 1, 2010 TOLEDO, Ohio (January 31, 2010)-Fort Frances, Ontario's Steve Arpin entered his first year of competition in the ARCA Racing ...
National Speed Sport News ARCA Nation Most Popular Driver Award to Continue in 2010; Voting begins on Feb. 1, 2010
TOLEDO, Ohio (January 31, 2010)-Fort Frances, Ontario's Steve Arpin entered his first year of competition in the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards as a relative unknown--just another rookie among a sea of unfamiliar faces at the Daytona season-opener. But the credentials of the young dirt track racer from way up North were quickly verified and now, it seems, everyone in the world of ARCA is familiar with the name Steve Arpin.
Arpin worked hard in 2009 and was named the 2009 National Speed Sport News ARCA Nation Most Popular Driver.
It wasn't because he was good on the racetrack (although he was), it wasn't because he has the right friends (both Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Carl Edwards have publicly song his praise this year) and it wasn't because his sponsor spent a lot of money (he went the entire year without a primary marketing partner). It was because race fans liked him. And that was not by accident.
Arpin became ARCA's Most Popular Driver by steadily building a fan base throughout the United States and Canada, beginning with his first foray into motor sports racing snowmobiles, including the hundreds of dirt races he has competed in and, of course, stock car competition in the ARCA Racing Series. Arpin made the most of his rookie campaign in ARCA, extending his popularity off-track through participation in driver appearances and autograph sessions, all of which helped him build a fan base and become the National Speed Sport News ARCA Nation Most Popular Driver.
"My absolute favorite thing to do is to put my driving suit on, go into the grandstands at whatever track we are racing at, sit next to the kid that looks the shyest and just talk," said Arpin. "It does not matter who that kid is--his eyes light up when a racecar driver pays attention to him. Yes, as racecar drivers we are living the dream, but these fans can talk to us and communicate with us and we are approachable. You can make a fulltime career out of ARCA Racing-Frank Kimmel has done very well for himself doing that--but for me it is essentially a stepping stone and I have been working really hard in this series to help build the Steve Arpin brand. Beyond the racetrack there is a pretty intense business aspect to this sport and I am learning how to be a good role model and brand ambassador."
A key component to Arpin's National Speed Sport News ARCA Nation Most Popular Driver campaign was, of course, ARCA Nation, the social networking website upon which all voting takes place. Arpin's ARCA Nation Page allowed the fans he met at-track to communicate directly with him via private messages and comments on his page. They could also view team and driver-specific photos and videos.
While Arpin and his fans were able to utilize ARCA Nation to its fullest potential, MPD Award sponsor National Speed Sport News saw the benefits of the social networking site as well, increasing circulation of the weekly publication by providing ARCA Nation site visitors with the opportunity to purchase specially-priced subscriptions, both in print and online.
Recently, National Speed Sport News and ARCA signed an agreement to continue the National Speed Sport News ARCA Nation Most Popular Driver competition in 2010.
Just like last year, National Speed Sport News will provide one lucky race fan with a trip for two to the end-of-season Championship Awards Banquet in December.
"We've had a long, mutually beneficial relationship with ARCA and this is a great way to keep it going," said National Speed Sport News Publisher Corinne Economaki. "ARCA fans and participants are regular readers of NSSN, and this shows our appreciation, and gives one lucky fan a lifetime experience."
To be eligible for the Most Popular Driver Award, a driver must attempt to compete in at least 50 percent of the Series' races in 2010 and have an active ARCA Nation page. All ARCA Racing Series drivers must have a valid 2010 ARCA Competitor's License and be members in good standing to be eligible for the award. Voting begins on February 1, 2010 and ends on October 23, 2010.
Race fans can log onto ARCA Nation to vote for their favorite ARCA Racing Series driver by clicking on the "vote" button at the top of that driver's ARCA Nation page. All race fans will be permitted to vote once per day for the Most Popular Driver but votes from fans who are ARCA Nation members count 2:1 as compared to their non-member counterparts.
National Speed Sport News, the most recognizable name in weekly motor
The 2010 National Speed Sport News ARCA Nation Most Popular Driver Award will be presented at the ARCA Racing Series Championship Awards Banquet in Covington, Kentucky, in December.