by Kari Shear-Carlson / April 23, 2016 – The ARCA Midwest Tour presented by Scag Power Equipment is gearing up for the start of the 2016 season. Four more Touring Stars are ready to get back on track.
The 2014 and 2015 ARCA Midwest Tour Champion and 2014 Rookie of the Year, Ty Majeski returns to the ARCA Midwest Tour in 2016 as a Touring Star. The young driver from Seymour, WI has quickly built a resume’ that has grabbed the attention of NASCAR driver’s such as Dale Earnhardt Jr, who noted Majeski as “the real deal” in a tweet. After capturing his second consecutive championship in the Tour in 2015, Majeski also went on to win the Governor’s Cup as well as three of six races, including the final 100 lap event during the famed Speedweeks in New Smyrna, FL. Additionaly, Ty added the Rattler 250 to his growing list of victories. Ty returns to the ARCA Midwest Tour with his sights set on yet another championship in 2016.
Natalie Decker started racing 4-cylinder modified stock cars when she was 12 years old. She moved into super stocks in 2011 and won the class championship at Marshfield Motor Speedway in 2012. Decker earned the Rookie of the Year honors in the Midwest Tour Truck series in 2013. Natalie had a break out year in 2014, winning seven limited late model and two super late model features. In 2015, Decker became a part of the Rev Racing team and was named to the NASCAR Driver for Diversity program. Most recently she had the opportunity to race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series along side her cousins, Paige and Claire Decker. While she did not make the race, Natalie appreciated the opportunity and looks forward to more to come. She will be returning once again as a Touring Star in 2016.
Between 1999-2003, Nick Panitzke won six go kart championships in Alexandria, MN. After proving his success in go karts, Panitzke continued his success in a Thunder car winning the Fall Nationals at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway in 2004. In 2006, Nick made the move to late models and won the I-94 Governor’s Cup in 2008. From 2009-2012, Panitzke was a Midwest Touring Star, his best season coming in 2011. He had fast time and finished third at Raceway Park and at the infamous Rockford Speedway. In 2013, Panitzke made a splash in the TUNDRA series, finishing no worse than seventh in any event, earning three fast times, winning at Jefferson, and wrapping up the series championship. Nick is looking forward to returning to the ARCA Midwest Tour as a Touring Star once again in 2016.
In 2013, Paul Shafer, Jr earned the title of Illiana Motor Speedway track champion. His success followed him into 2014 when he won the first race of the season at Illiana against some heavy competition, including names like Eddie Hoffman and Jeff Cannon. Success kept coming for the young driver with a second place finished in the 2014 CRA Fall Brawl at Lucas Oil Raceway. He was also the runner up for the 2014 ARCA/CRA Super Series Rookie of the Year and finished an impressive fourth in the final point standings. Shafer Jr had his fair share of success in 2015. He finished second in the MIS Triple Crown series and finished an impressive third in the Dixieland 250 at Wisconsin International Raceway. Paul Shafer Jr is ready to add to his success with the Midwest Tour as a Touring Star in 2016.
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.