One of the more prestigious awards in the ARCA Midwest Tour presented by SCAG Power Equipment is the Rookie of the Year program. This season could be one of the toughest battles for the title as eight highly qualified drivers have already signed up for the program.

The ARCA Midwest Tour prides itself on the list of past winners as many have gone on to a successful racing career. In fact, two former ROY winners have had at least one start in the NASCAR Xfinifty Series with Ross Kenseth and Matt Tifft. Tifft currently has a full-time ride this season with Joe Gibbs Racing. Current ACRAMT champion Ty Majeski will make his first Xfinity start later this year.

Here is a list of this year’s rookies…

Jim Sauter Jr. is the son of the late Jim Sauter and will continue a tradition of a Sauter racing in a Super Late Model series going back to the ARTGO days. Sauter has competed at many tracks in Wisconsin and helps his brother Johnny with his Super Late Model program. He showed some muscle in the ARCMT last year leading laps in the Dixieland 250 and Oktoberfest 200. He is also the 2012 track champion at Marshfield Motor Speedway in Marshfield, Wisconsin.

Chad Butz is the son of successful car owner and builder Mike Butz. Last year, he finished seventh in the Super Late Model point standing at Norway Speedway in Norway, Michigan. He started his career competing in the Wisconsin Sport Trucks at Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna, Wisconsin. Last season, he finished eighth in the ARCAMT event at Marshfield Motor Speedway.

John DeAngelis is a long-time competitor at Slinger Super Speedway where he has competed in the Super Late Model and Late Model division, along with starts in the Big 8 Series. Last season, he finished 11th in points. He has feature wins at Dells Raceway Park in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin and at Slinger Super Speedway in Slinger, Wisconsin.

Andy Jones is the son of famous former ARTGO & ASA competitor Andy Jones. He has multiple wins in the Trucks and Legend cars. He has one Truck victory and 14 Legend victories at Madison International Speedway. He has one top-ten in seven previous starts in the ARCA Midwest Tour. Jones led some laps at the ARCAMT event at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois and also won features at Grundy County Speedway in Morris, Illinois.

John Heath competed on a regular basis at Elko Speedway in Elko, Minnesota and is now ready to compete in the tough ARCA Midwest Tour. He made his ARCAMT debut in the Thunderstruck 93 at Elko last September. He is mentored by 2008 ARCAMT Rookie of the Year Nick Murgic.

Joshua James started his racing career racing in Super Cups before moving up to competing in Midwest Trucks. Last season he competed in the JEGS CRA All-Stars Tour where he finished ninth in points.

Justin Mondeik is competing in the Kulwicki Driver Development Program in 2017. He comes into this season as the reigning Rookie of the Year at State Park Speedway, Golden Sands Speedway and Marshfield Motor Speedway. He also has a Late Model track title at State Park Speedway. Last year, he competed in his first ARCAMT event at State Park Speedway where he finished eigth in the event.

Michael Ostdiek is also competing in the Kulwicki Driver Development Program this season. He has recorded victories at Elko Speedway winning features in both the Super Late Model and Big 8 Series. He won the Big 8 Series event at State Park Speedway in Wausau, Wisconsin. When he is not racing, he mentors young quarter midget racers and will soon be graduating from Iowa State University.

You can see these rookies along with the ARCAMT Touring Stars this Sunday afternoon in the 10th Annual Joe Shear Classic, the season opener for the 11th season of the ARCA Midwest Tour.

Spectator gates for the 10th Annual Joe Shear Classic at Madison International Speedway in Oregon, Wisconsin will open at 11:30am on Sunday, May 7th, racing begins at 2pm.

The afternoon will also feature a post qualifying fan autograph session in the new Turn 4 Party Pavilion.

Adult general admission tickets are $25. Whelen Heroes, Seniors and Students (ages 12-17) $22, Kids (6-11) $10 with Children (5 & under) Free. Family pricing is also available for $60 which includes up to two adults and up to four admissions for those ages 17 & under.

For additional information visit misracing.com or call 608-835-9700.

Visit midwesttour.racing for the full schedule and be sure to follow the ARCA Midwest Tour presented by SCAG Power Equipment on Facebook (/midwestour) and Twitter (@midwesttour).