Since NASCAR's acquisition of the ARCA Racing Series was announced in April, many questions have surrounded the future plans for the series, as well as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. On Saturday afternoon, a new competition framework for the 2020 season was announced by officials from the sanctioning bodies.
Here are a few bullet points from the announcement:
- - The 2020 ARCA Racing Elite Series presented by Menards schedule will consist of 20 races mixed between short tracks and superspeedways, with at least half of the races being held at superspeedways.
- - The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West schedules will each consist of six to eight short track races held at race tracks less than a mile in size.
- - In addition to the previously existing series, a Stock Car Invitational series has also been created. The Stock Car Invitational will consist of 10 short track events that both ARCA & NASCAR K&N Pro Series teams will be eligible to compete in. In order to be eligible for the three-way combination series, K&N East and K&N West competitors must compete in a minimum number of races across those series – the exact number will be announced at a later date.
“Underscoring NASCAR’s commitment to short-track racing is number one,” Brandon Thompson, managing director of the NASCAR touring series, told NASCAR.com. “Making sure series veterans – a Bobby Gerhart on the ARCA side or a Ronnie and Dillon Bassett on the K&N side – have a home and we can kind of get back to creating those stables in those series is also very important. And finally we want to continue to highlight our up-and-coming stars in the sport.”
Chassis and body rules for all four series will remain relatively similar across the board. Teams competing in the ARCA Racing Elite Series will run the current ARCA engine package, while K&N East and K&N West teams will continue to run existing packages for those series.
Teams that elect to compete in the Stock Car Invitational will use the same engine that they used in either the ARCA Elite Series or the K&N Pro Series.
“It will be a meet-in-the-middle for the most part,” Thompson said. “Where there’s not a situation where you can exactly meet halfway, I think you’ll see us take what we all know and discussed as best practices from either one and implement that to take us forward.”
Age requirement have been set at 15 years old for the K&N Pro Series East, K&N Pro Series West and Stock Car Invitational. The ARCA Elite Series will have a minimum age requirement of 18 years old.
In addition to the announcements regarding the 2020 season, ARCA President Ron Drager also announced that 18 of the 20 tracks on the 2018 schedule are once again set to return to the ARCA schedule in 2019.
ARCA and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series will each continue to operate as separate entities during the 2019 season.
-Story by Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor - Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com