As the saying goes – out with the old and in with the new. That may just become the theme of this year’s ARCA Fest.
Out with weekday event shows and in with a three-day weekend event chalk full of entertainment.
Out with a ten minute half way break and in with live pit stops on pit road.
Out with NASCAR veterans and in with up and coming NASCAR stars.
Over the past two years ARCA Fest has brought some big names to the Milwaukee Mile and to ARCA Midwest Tour presented by Scag Power Equipment racing. Guys like Matt Kesneth, Kyle Busch, David Stremme and Kenny Wallace have all taken their turn to try and tame the Mile, with Busch being the only one to be able to do so; winning the event in 2013.
As The ARCA Midwest Tour’s premiere event moves to a weekend event, veteran NASCAR names like Busch and Kenseth will be left off the entry list, making room for up and coming NASCAR drivers to grab the attention and maybe the hearts of fans.
After years of successful Super Late Model racing, both John Hunter Nemechek and Erik Jones are testing the waters in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series this year. Nemechek is fresh off a sixth place at Dover last weekend, while Jones will pilot the KBM 51 truck this weekend at Pocono. Despite hectic racing schedules, both drivers want to race whatever and whenever possible and both will be competing at the Milwaukee Mile on Sunday.
“The trucks are definitely exciting races, and ones that I look forward too, but the super late models have a special place with me,” says Erik Jones, “They are such fun cars to drive, and I take the chance every time an opportunity comes up to race one. It is going to be slightly hectic going back and forth between the two, and the truck is the main focus of the weekend. But I am secretly pretty excited to make the trip up to Milwaukee.”
“It’s a lot of fun jumping back and forth. I’m blessed with the opportunity to run in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. It’s a lot of racing between late models and the truck but it’s all about gaining experience in different cars and running the truck I think has made me better in a late model,” says John Hunter Nemechek, “I love racing and I will get in anything with a motor to race.”
Neither Jones or Nemechek are strangers to the Milwaukee Mile. Jones, who will be in a Kyle Busch Motorsports car this weekend, brought home a 17th place finish last year, while Nemechek set fast time in 2012 and earned a 12th place finish a year ago. Both drivers know the importance of having a good car underneath you at this fast one mile oval.
“Last year we had a decent car, but we were so down on motor that we were not able to compete. I think that this year we will have another great car with KBM,” says Jones, “They have their motor package figured out to go run there. I have high expectations for this year; I believe that we are going to have a very strong Toyota Care Camry capable of contending for the win.”
“Having the set up right is so important. All my guys and I are working our butts off trying to make sure that we have the best car possible,” says Nemechek, “You have to be there at the end and not have any issues throughout the race in order to come out on top.”
While it is their love of racing that fuels their hectic schedules, bouncing around the country for races and from Trucks to Super Late Models, both drivers made extra sure ARCA fest at the Milwaukee Mile was on their 2014 calendar.
“Milwaukee is a place that is special to every racer in the Midwest. It’s a very cool race track; a flat one mile is pretty fun in the super late models, “says Jones, “There have been so many great names that have been able to win there throughout the years. I think that’s really what brings me back and having the race in memorial of Howie Lettow makes the race even more special. He was such a legend in the sport, and a mentor to so many great drivers.”
For race fans these two drivers will highlight an already esteemed cast, including the ARCA Midwest Touring Stars and drivers like Nathan Haseleu and Johnny Sauter. So whether it’s the ‘new’, like Nemechek or Jones, or the ‘old’, like first year winner Travis Sauter, in Victory Lane on Sunday, this stout cast of drivers is sure to leave fans wanting more.
“Every year when the entry list comes out for the event, it’s clear that the competition is going to be big,” says ARCA Midwest Tour Vice President Steve Einhaus, “We have some of the toughest veterans in the country racing in the Midwest Tour and when you bring everyone together at one big event, it is bound to be very dramatic. I’m confident the fans are going to see some very exciting racing especially with the new pit stop procedures in place for this event.”
WHAT: ARCA Fest featuring The Swiss Colony Howie Lettow 150 presented by RaceTeamGear.com. The weekend will also include the CRA JEGS All-Stars 100, Mid-American Stock Cars, Midwest Trucks, and Vintage Stock Cars, as well as a Hot Rod Show & Shine and Monster Truck Summer Nationals.
WHERE: The Milwaukee Mile, West Allis, WI
WHEN: Friday-Sunday, June 6th-8th
TIMES: Friday: All-division practice from 10:00am-6:00pm. Saturday: qualifying begins at 2:30 with racing to follow at 4:00pm. Sunday: qualifying begins at 9:00am with racing slated to begin at 2:00pm
Hot Rod Show & Shine will be from 8am-8pm on Saturday. The Monster Truck Summer Nationals will begin at 6:00pm on Saturday.
TICKETS – Friday is ARCA Fest Fan Appreciation Day with FREE General Admission. Saturday General Admission prices are $21 for ages 13+ and $11 for ages 3-12. Children 2 and under are FREE. Sunday General Admission for ages 13+ is $26 and $11 for ages 3-12. Reserved Seats are $32-$36. General admission Pit Passes are $50 per day.
Reserved Ticket Bundles are also available for $153-$157. General Admission Pit Pass Bundles are also available for $139 and General Admission Seating Bundles are $52 for ages 13+ and $34 for ages 3-12.
Infield camping spots are also on sale now! Email [email protected] or call 262-607-6266.
For reserved seating ticket information, visit www.arcafest.com or call 262-607-6266.
Be sure to follow the ARCA Midwest Tour on Facebook (midwesttour) and Twitter (@midwesttour).
To learn more about the Automobile Racing Club of America Midwest Tour, log on to arcamidwesttour.com. For questions call the ARCA Midwest Tour office at (262) 729-4111 or Tim Olson at (612) 327-5831 or Steve Einhaus (630) 212-6022 at or e-mail Tim Olson at [email protected] Steve Einhaus at [email protected]
The Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is among the leading auto racing sanctioning bodies in the country. Founded in 1953 by John and Mildred Marcum, the organization administers more than 100 events each year in multiple racing series, including the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, the ARCA/CRA Super Series, the ARCA Truck Series and the ARCA Midwest Tour, plus weekly racing at Toledo and Flat Rock Speedways.
– By Jana Wimmer. Photo credit: Bruce Nuttleman/Speed51.com