60th Anniversary Season Celebration to Winchester
The 2012 season marks the 60th Anniversary season for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards. As part of the 60th anniversary celebration, pre-race ceremonies at Winchester will include the dedication and honoring of past ARCA champions, including Frank Kimmel, Bill Venturini, Bobby Bowsher, Scott Stovall and Tim Steele. Kimmel and Steele are the only past ARCA winners at Winchester.
Eight Races, Six Different Winners; Buescher Second Repeat Winner of 2012
The first six events in 2012 produced six different winners: Bobby Gerhart at Daytona, where he picked up a record eighth career Daytona triumph; at Mobile, Cale Gale, who’s spending the majority of his time on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule; at Salem, Alex Bowman, who’s coming off a second place finish at Michigan; Brandon McReynolds at Talladega; Chris Buescher at Toledo, and point leader Brennan Poole at Elko. However, Poole became the first repeat winner in 2012 with his dominant win Pocono Raceway. Buescher, as a result of his thrilling victory at Michigan last Friday, become the second repeat winner of 2012. Although it was Buescher’s seventh ARCA Racing Series win overall, it was his career-first superspeedway victory. Despite winning no superspeedway races in 2011, Buescher is the defending Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge champion.
Series Standings Tight to Winchester; Buescher Narrows Lead Gap
What was a 55-point spread prior to last Friday’s race at Michigan, is now just 20 points between current championship point leader Brennan Poole and runner-up driver Chris Buescher. Veteran and nine-time champ Frank Kimmel trails in third, 95 points from the lead.
Matt Lofton, Man on the March
After a bumpy start in 2012, Matt Lofton has become one to watch. The Roxboro, N.C. driver struggled at the onset with a 34th place finish at Daytona followed by 16th and 14th place results at Mobile and Salem, respectively. However, after shaking off the first three, Lofton was second at Talladega, 11th at Toledo, second at Elko, fourth at Pocono, and third most recently at Michigan. As a result, Lofton, who was nowhere near the top-10 in points after the first three races, has catapulted to sixth in the championship standings, 165 behind the leader.
Veteran Kimmel Still in the Hunt; Winless Streak at 71; Only Former Winchester Winner Entered
Frank Kimmel turned 50 years young in late April, yet the nine-time ARCA champion is clearly still on his game. Kimmel, whose winless streak is 71 races long, has not gone to Victory Lane since September 13, 2008. After struggling with his own team for four seasons, the 74-time ARCA Racing Series winner (second all-time to Iggy Katona’s 79 wins) has new life with ThorSport Racing in 2012. After a disappointing start in 2012, Kimmel has rebounded with runner-up finishes at Salem and Toledo, coupled with a solid seventh-place finish at Talladega, a fourth-place finish at Elko, a sixth place result at Pocono and a seventh place finish at Michigan. Kimmel is the all-time ARCA Racing Series lap leader with 10,395 laps led in 195 races. Kimmel is also the all-time superspeedway lap leader with 2,677 laps led in 81 races. His victories at Winchester reach back to 1996 when he earned his first at the legendary short track. Kimmel also scored Winchester wins in 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2006.
Venturini Motorsports x 5 at Winchester
Venturini Motorsports is headed to Winchester with plenty of momentum, not to mention five race teams. On the near heels of back-to-back wins with Brennan Poole at Elko and Pocono that has The Woodlands, Texas driver atop the series standings, Venturini Motorsports has entered five teams at Winchester: the No. 15 Chevrolet with Ryan Reed (Bakersfiled, Calif.), the No. 25 Chevrolet with Poole, the No. 35 Toyota with Nelson Canache (Caracas, Venezuela), the No. 55 Chevrolet with Erik Jones (Byron, Mich.), and the No. 66 Chevrolet with Clint King (Denton, N.C.).
Jones and King Youngest Drivers Entered; Both Impressive in Limited Starts
Erik Jones made history earlier this year when he, at 15, became the youngest driver to ever start an ARCA Racing Series race at Mobile in early March. Jones turned 16 in late May, and, in four series starts, has two finishes inside the top-10: fifth at Salem and eighth at Elko. King’s brief tenure at ARCA is even more impressive, with two Menards Pole Awards presented by Ansell in 2011 at Madison and Salem – the pole at Madison coming on King’s 16th birthday. King has also been quite impressive in 2012 with three finishes inside the top-10 in three starts: fourth at Toledo, fifth at Mobile and sixth at Salem.
Hylton Oldest Driver Entered; Shares Birthday with King
Hylton, who turns 78 this year, is separated in age with King by 61 years. Hylton has 62 years on Jones, who won’t turn 17 until next May. If either King or Jones wins at Winchester, either would become the youngest winner in ARCA history, surpassing that mark set by James Buescher at USA Int’l in 2007, just two days shy of his 17th birthday.
Hackenbracht a Winchester Victory Lane Threat
New Philadelphia, Ohio’s Chad Hackenbracht is knocking on the Victory Lane door, and Winchester Speedway could, arguably, be his next best shot to get there. Hackenbracht’s best finish in 2011 was a then career-best third place run at Winchester. With crew chief Kevin Reed turning the wrenches and Hackenbracht’s confidence on the rise, his 2012 results sheet is even healthier. Hackenbracht has already finished second twice in 2012, at Mobile and most recently at Pocono. In between, the driver of the No. 58 family-owned Chevrolet finished third at Talladega, seventh at Elko, and eighth at Toledo. Hackenbracht is currently fifth in the championship standings, 145 points from first.
All-ARCA Branded Weekend at Winchester
The Herr’s Chase the Taste 200 serves as the grand finale in an all-ARCA branded weekend during which the ARCA Truck Series will kick things off with a 50-lap feature followed by a 100-lap main event from the ARCA CRA Super Series Saturday, June 23. The big ARCA triple header race weekend will culminate with the Herr’s Chase the Taste 200 finale Sunday afternoon. All three divisions will divide track time Saturday with back-to-back practice sessions beginning at 11:30 a.m. Menards Pole Award Qualifying presented by Ansell for the ARCA Racing Series is scheduled for 4:30 p.m., followed by the ARCA Truck Series race at 5:30 and the ARCA CRA Super Series race at 6:30.
ARCA’s Tenure at Winchester Touches Seven Decades
ARCA’s tenure at Winchester reaches back to 1957 when Don O’Dell won the inaugural event in a Chevrolet. Jack Bowsher won the only ARCA race held at Winchester in the 1960s with his victory there in 1964. Raceevents in the 1970s were won by Ralph Latham (1972) and Bobby Watson (1972). Two-time series championMarvin Smith won back-to-back races at Winchester in 1982 and 1983. Series champion Tracy Leslie endedthe decaded with a win in 1988, the same year he won the title. The 1990s saw more winners: Bob Keselowski(1990), Tim Steele (1993, 1995, 1997), Gary Bradberry (1994), Bob Strait (1998), and Leslie again in1999. Kimmel, in addition to his win at Winchester in 1996, earned four more wins in the 2000s, includingthree consecutive. Steele won his fourth at Winchester in 2001. Billy Leslie joined his father as a Winchesterwinner, triumphing in 2007. Dakoda Armstrong became the first winner in the newest decade with his victory
Saturday, June 23
Practice: 12:05-12:50 p.m. and from 2:05-2:50 p.m.
Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell: 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, June 24
Herr’s Chase the Taste 200 at 2:00 p.m.
(All Times Eastern)