(TOLEDO, Ohio – January 27, 2015) – Entries are on the rise as excitement continues to build around the Lucas Oil 200 Presented By AutoZone, part of Budweiser Speedweeks 2015 at Daytona International Speedway.
The 200-mile Lucas Oil 200 Presented By AutoZone, the 52nd annual, will be the first of two races at the “World Center of Racing” on Saturday, Feb. 14. The Sprint Unlimited will cap off the night as the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series kick off the new season in an invitation-only non-points race.
However, before NASCAR’s finest set sail around the 2.5-mile superspeedway, the stars and cars of the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards will take center stage as the show-opener. Currently 45 entries have already been received for ARCA’s marquee event, with more expected.
Perhaps one of the entry list’s best-known applicants is 10-time champion Frank Kimmel. Despite his all-time mark of 80 series wins, the second-generation ARCA driver has nary a win at Daytona. Kimmel, who’s on-track to make his 24th consecutive start at Daytona, will be driving the No. 25 Ansell-Menards Toyota Camry for Venturini Motorsports.
“I’d have to say this will be one of my best shots to finally win this thing,” Kimmel said. “I’ve got the speed…got the equipment, but I still need to get it done.”
In addition to Kimmel, Venturini Motorsports has filed three other entries, including Rochester, Minnesota’s Leilani Munter, Delaware, Ohio’s Cody Coughlin and Monterrey, Mexico’s Daniel Suarez. Suarez, who finished fifth in his one and only ARCA start at Kentucky Speedway in 2014, is seeking further superspeedway experience via Venturini Motorsports in preparation for a full season ahead in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for Joe Gibbs Racing and a 13-race schedule in the Camping World Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
“I had a lot of fun and gained really good experience last season in Kentucky and I’m sure this opportunity will help me further develop as a driver for 2015 and beyond,” Suarez said.
Ken Schrader Racing is expected to file two entries with series veteran Mark Thompson driving a No. 11 Phoenix Air Chevrolet SS and Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell. Campbell finished third in Schrader’s No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet SS in 2014.
Eight-time Daytona winner Bobby Gerhart is entered in his own No. 5 Lucas Oil Chevrolet SS. The Lebanon, Penn. veteran, in search of his ninth win at Daytona, will be making his 28th consecutive Daytona start, a record among all drivers.
Defending Lucas Oil 200 champion Grant Enfinger is one of two entries from GMS Racing…the other being Statesville, N.C.’s Scott Sheldon, scheduled to make his second consecutive start at Daytona.
Cunningham Motorsports has also opted for two entries, one with series veteran Tom Hessert and rookie Blake Jones, scheduled to make his career-first start at Daytona. Hessert, who won last year at Talladega, finished fourth at Daytona in 2014.
The defending ARCA championship team, Mason Mitchell Motorsports, has entered two cars, one with defending champion Mitchell and last year’s SCOTT Rookie of the Year Austin Wayne Self. Series stalwarts Brennan Poole, Will Kimmel, Thomas Praytor, Karl Weber and Terry Jones are also entered. Sean Corr, fastest in both open tests at Daytona in December and January, is also expected to enter in the No. 48 Empire Racing-Hylton Motorsports Ford Fusion.
Newcomers entered include Summerland, British Columbia’s Sarah Cornett-Ching, Highland Park, Illinois’ David Levine, Plantation, Florida’s Patrick Staropoli and Millis, Maine’s Tommy Barrett, Jr. to name a few.
This year’s Lucas Oil 200 ARCA event will also take on a different feel with the race debut of the new ARCA Ilmor 396 engine and a group qualifying format to set the starting field. Single car qualifying runs had been the procedure for 52 years. Group qualifying will include the element of “drafting,” which will likely produce speeds significantly higher than last year.
The Lucas Oil 200, live on FOX Sports 1, is scheduled to get the green flag at 4:30 p.m.
ARCA Race Winners at Daytona Since 1964 (51 events)
8 – Bobby Gerhart, 3 – Iggy Katona; 2 each – Andy Hampton, Ben Hess, Andy Hillenburg, Jimmy Horton, Jeff Purvis; 1 each – Grant Adcox, Michael Annett, Charlie Blanton, Jack Bowsher, James Buescher, Kyle Busch, Grant Enfinger, Woody Fisher, Mickey Gibbs, Ferrel Harris, Ron Hutcherson, Kenny Irwin, Ralph Jones, David Keith, Ralph Latham, Chase Montgomery, Ryan Newman, Benny Parsons, Kyle Petty, Lennie Pond, John Rezek, Tim Richmond, Joe Ruttman, Jim Sauter, Glenn Sears, Nelson Stacy, Ramo Stott, John Wes Townley, Mike Wallace, Rick Wilson.
ARCA Raceweek Schedule of Events
The 63rd season for the ARCA Racing Series will kick off at Speedweeks in Daytona with its first practice session Thursday, February 12 from 4-6:00 p.m. ET with the second and final practice session following Friday morning from 9:30-10:30. Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell, in group sessions, will take place at 3:30 p.m. Friday, February 13. The Lucas Oil 200, which serves as the preamble for NASCAR’s Sprint Unlimited, is set to get the green flag at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. ARCAracing.com will feature live timing and scoring of all on-track activities.
For ticket information, order online at DaytonaInternationalSpeedway.com or call 800-PITSHOP.
|2015 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards Event #1|
|Daytona Int'l Speedway, Daytona Beach Florida, 2-14-15|
|Official Entry List, Lucas Oil 200 Presented By AutoZone|
|NO||DRIVER/HOMETOWN||TEAM & CAR||TEAM OWNER|
|0||James Swanson/Clarksboro NJ||Kan Do Chevrolet||Wayne Peterson|
|2||Sarah Cornett-Ching/Summerland BC||Hixson Construction Chevrolet||Wayne Hixson|
|3||Karl Weber/Ambia IN||Hixson Construction Chevrolet||Wayne Hixson|
|5||Bobby Gerhart/Lebanon PA||Lucas Oil-MAV TV Chevrolet||Bill Gerhart|
|6||Russ Dugger/Owasso OK||Gosselin-Williams Racing Chevrolet||Theresa Williams|
|7||TBA||Bobby Gerhart Racing Chevrolet||Bill Gerhart|
|8||Austin Hill/China Grove NC||Empire Racing Ford||John Corr|
|9||Thomas Praytor/Mobile AL||DK-LOK Ford||Thomas Praytor|
|10||Garrett Smithley/Kannapolis NC||Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet||Andy Hillenburg|
|15||Daniel Suarez/Monterrey Mexico||Venturini Motorsports Toyota||Bill Venturini|
|17||TBA||Roulo Brothers Racing Ford||Russ Roulo|
|22||Blake Jones/Sevierville TN||Cunningham Motorsports Dodge||Kerry Scherer|
|23||Grant Enfinger/Fairhope AL||Alamo Rent A Car Chevrolet||Maury Gallagher|
|25||Frank Kimmel/Clarksville IN||Ansell-Menards Toyota||Cathy Venturini|
|30||Terry Jones/Amherstburg Ontario||Jones Group Ltd Toyota||Terry Jones|
|40||Donnie Neuenberger/Edgewater MD||Carter 2 Motorsports Dodge||Roger Carter|
|42||Bo LeMastus/Louisville KY||Crosley Dodge||Bo LeMastus|
|45||Brennan Poole/The Woodlands TX||Motor Honey Ford||Paula Bixman|
|52||Clay Campbell/Martinsville VA||Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet||Ken Schrader|
|54||Matt Kurzejewski/Mansfield PA||Lexington Inn & Suites Daytona Beach Chevrolet||Daniel Kurzejewski|
|55||Cody Coughlin/Delaware OH||JEGS Toyota||Billy Venturini|
|57||Bryan Dauzat/Concord NC||O.B. Builders Chevrolet||Bryan Dauzat|
|58||TBA||Gary Yeomans Ford||Amanda Lira|
|59||TBA||Gary Yeomans Ford||Amanda Lira|
|66||Leilani Munter/Rochester MN||Energy Freedom Toyota||Cathy Venturini|
|68||David Levine/Highland Park IL||Kimmel Racing Ford||Bill Kimmel|
|69||Will Kimmel/Sellersburg IN||Kimmel Racing Ford||Bill Kimmel|
|73||Dale Shearer/Chillicothe MO||Shearer Racing Ford||Dale Shearer|
|75||TBA||Bob Schacht Motorsports Chevrolet||Bob Schacht|
|77||Tom Hessert/Cherry Hill NJ||Barbera's Autoland Dodge||Briggs Cunningham|
|78||Mason Mitchell/West Des Moines IA||Mason Mitchell Motorsports Ford||Mason Mitchell|
|82||Patrick Starapoli/Plantation FL||Empire Racing Ford||John Corr|
|83||Derrick Lancaster/Christiansburg VA||Total Car & Truck Service Chevrolet||Derrick Lancaster|
|88||Cole Powell/Mount Brydges Ontario||Tricar Developments Ford||Paula Bixman|
|94||Dalton Hopkins/Avondale WV||Roo Racing Ford||Noel Saunders|
|97||Roger Carter/Sunfield MI||Carter 2 Motorsports Dodge||Roger Carter|
|98||Austin Wayne Self/Austin TX||AM Technical Solutions Ford||Mason Mitchell|
|99||TBA||Roulo Brothers Racing Ford||Gary Roulo|
|02||Tommy Barrett Jr./Millis MA||Our Motorsports Chevrolet||Chris Our|
|00||Barry Fitzgerald/Sykesville MD||ColonialBus-Roy's Body Shop-RAD Ford||Michael Peterson|
|06||Ed Pompa/Ballston Spa NY||Double H Ranch Chevrolet||Wayne Peterson|
|120||Scott Sheldon/Statesville NC||Allegiant Travel Chevrolet||Maury Gallagher|
-ARCA Racing Series Press Release. Photo credit: Speed51.com