(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
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

Field Shaping Up for ARCA Lucas Oil 200 at Daytona