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by Kari Shear-Carlson / April 22, 2016 – The ARCA Midwest Tour presented by Scag Power Equipment is gearing up for the start of the 2016 season and the Touring Stars are ready to get back on track. Here’s a sneak peak at the next four…

In 2007 Jonathan Eilen became the first ever Midwest Tour event winner. He took home the victory at his home track of Elko Speedway. Along with becoming the first winner in the history of the series, he was crowned the 2007 Rookie of the Year. In 2010 Eilen hit the turn two wall at Hawkeye Downs Speedway and suffered a broken back, sidelining him for the remainder of the season. Jonathan and his team returned in 2011 and had a rebuilding season. In 2012 Eilen returned with a vengeance and became the 2012 ARCA Midwest Tour Champion. The past few seasons have been full of ups and downs for Jonathan and his team, but they are ready to hit the track to fight for another championship in 2016.

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In 2015 Ricky Baker joined the ARCA Midwest Tour for the first time as a Touring Star. Baker impressed in his first year with the Tour, claiming a victory at Illiana Motor Speedway in the Calypso Chicagoland Showdown. The Plainfield, IL native put on the most miles of any driver in the series to make each and every event throughout 2015. Baker challenged Austin Nason until the final event in the fight for the Rookie of the Year honors, but fell short finishing just behind Nason in the point standings. The two-time Grundy County Speedway champion returns as a Touring Star for the 2016 season.

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In 2011 Jason Weinkauf found victory lane for the first time in the Midwest Tour in front of his hometown crowd at Marshfield Motor Speedway. That same year, he was the Yellow River Racing Series Champion with seven straight fast times for seven straight regular nights of racing and finished second in those point standings. He returns to the ARCA Midwest Tour as a Touring Star and will be looking to add more victories to his resume’.

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Matt Kocourek’s career started out a little different then most asphalt racers. Kocourek started racing motocross bikes before moving into jet skis. He then came back ashore and joined the short track racing world. In the late 1990’s, Kocourek raced a Legends car and in 2000 he bought a used late model. He was the 2002 Lake Geneva Raceway Champion and won the Fall Classic in 2005. Kocourek has since been competing in the ARCA Midwest Tour and other events throughout the Midwest. As a 2016 Touring Star, Matt will be racing for success.

The Touring Star Program for the ARCA Midwest Tour presented by Scag Power Equipment has been in place since the inception of the series. Top drivers including past champions, consistent challengers, and up and coming drivers all look to the ARCA Midwest Tour to prove they are the best in the country. All of the drivers will be competing against one another for a $30,000 point fund. The level of drivers in this year’s Touring Star line-up is sure to make for an exciting season.

The ARCA Midwest Tour is set to kick off the 2016 season at Madison International Speedway on Sunday afternoon May 1 with the Joe Shear Classic presented by SCAG Power Equipment. The 100 lap event will include all the ‘Stars and Cars’ including defending race winner Johnny Sauter and two-time defending Tour Champion Ty Majeski amongst the early entries. For additional information please visit www.arcamidwesttour.com.

Be sure to follow the ARCA Midwest Tour on Facebook (/midwesttour) and Twitter (@midwesttour).

To learn more about the ARCA Midwest Tour, log on to arcamidwesttour.com. 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.