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THIRTY ONE WINS, SIX CHAMPIONSHIPS, ONE WINNER; MAJESKI VS ZEHR SATURDAY NIGHT AT MARSHFIELD

August 8, 2016
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by Eric Huenefeld / A staple of ARTGO Challenge Series events in the 1980’s, the popular $1,000 Match Races have returned with the ARCA Midwest Tour in 2016, adding an extra thrill to select events on this season’s ten-race schedule, including this Saturday’s return to Marshfield Motor Speedway.

The latest installment of the Match Races have featured two-time and reigning ARCA Midwest Tour Champion Ty Majeski taking on the toughest racers at their own hometracks.

At Rockford Speedway in June, Majeski lost a thrilling three-round sprint to 2015 National Short Track Champion ‘Driver X’ Jon Reynolds Jr. Then, in July at Grundy County Speedway, Majeski swept three-time Wayne Carter Classic Champion ‘Fast Eddie’ Hoffman in straight sets.

Ever since then, Majeski has kept on winning. Coming into this Saturday night’s Mid Summer Showdown at Marshfield (WI) Motor Speedway, the Seymour Wisconsin native has pocketed seventeen feature wins in 2016, including four of six races along the ARCA Midwest Tour, seven feature triumphs at LaCrosse (WI) Fairgrounds Speedway and recorded the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing championship during Speedweeks in February at New Smyrna (FL) Speedway.

But in the latest installment of the $1,000 Match Race, Majeski is set to square off with a driver who has had en equally sensational 2016; Port Orange Florida’s Dalton Zehr.

Zehr, a two-time TUNDRA Series champion, has visited the winner’s circle twelve times in 2016, including last Saturday night’s Yellow River Racing Series main event at Marshfield. Zehr also claimed the 2016 Super Late Model championship at Golden Sands Speedway and earned a sixth place finish in last Tuesday night’s Dixieland 250 at Wisconsin International Raceway, where he had taken home the trophy during Fox River Racing Club action days earlier.

Both the 21 year old Majeski and the 25 year old Zehr have squared off before in big races across the state of Wisconsin and will bring their championship pedigrees to central Wisconsin this Saturday night not only to compete in the best two-out-of-three Match Race, but to also try and outlast some of the best Super Late Model racers in America in the 100 lap Mid Summer Showdown.

Action will include the ARCA Midwest Tour presented by SCAG Power Equipment, Mid-American Stock Car Series and X-treme 4’s. Spectator gates open at 5pm, qualifying is set for 6pm and will be followed by a fan autograph session before racing begins at 7:30pm. Adult general admission tickets are $18, students ages 9-14 are $12 with ages 8 and under admitted free.

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. 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 Speedway.

Drivers News

Wisconsin Teen Racer Derek Kraus named to Ganassi Gen G class of 2016

July 19, 2016
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(July 19, 2016) Stratford, Wisconsin — For more than 25 years, Chip Ganassi and his Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) have identified and developed some of the best young racing talent from all around the world. Late last year, in pursuit a formal method of both identifying and assisting North America’s top up and coming race car drivers, Ganassi and CGRT announced the creation of the Generation Ganassi (Gen G) program.

Last week, the program announced its lineup of seven drivers, chosen from a field of over 100 applicants spanning a wide array of racing series and divisions, including karting, sprint cars, modified, midgets and late models. Fifteen-year-old Derek Kraus, from Stratford, Wisconsin, is honored to be one of those drivers.

“I was speechless when I found out I was named to the Gen G class of 2016,” Derek stated. “It is such an honor to know the Ganassi team took the time to look through all the applicants and choose me as one of the drivers in the first full year of the program. To be affiliated with a team the caliber of Chip Ganassi Racing is very exciting!”

Derek’s racing career began at the age of seven in go-karts. He has since competed in Bandoleros, pro trucks and super late models. He made headlines late last year as the youngest driver in the Snowball Derby, after making the field for the marquee 300-lap super late model race on his qualifying time. Among his other recent career highlights are winning the 2015 Midwest Truck Series Championship as well as the 2015 Rookie of the Year in the American Ethanol SuperTruck Series. He has also earned a pair of super late model race wins, at Marshfield Motor Speedway (2015) and State Park Speedway (2016), and was the 2015 Rookie of the Year at State Park Speedway in his late model.

This year, Derek’s racing schedule includes the full ARCA Midwest Tour schedule, the full schedule of super late model races at State Park Speedway, and a select schedule of additional events. Derek will end the year with two of the most prestigious late model events in the country, the Governor’s Cup at New Smyrna Speedway in November and the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in December.

The Gen G program was designed to help guide young drivers through the turbulent waters of auto racing. According to CGRT, the ‘Gen G’ title refers to the young race car driver that aspires to take racing from simply a passion to a profession. This definition aligns well with Derek’s plans for the future.

“My goal is to compete and win in the top levels of NASCAR competition,” Derek commented. “Being a part of the Gen G program gives me a big boost in reaching that goal. I’m looking forward to working with CGRT, developing new marketing partners, and strengthening my relationships with my current marketing partners as I advance in my career.”

Derek’s current marketing partners include Seubert Calf Ranches Inc., B & K Trucking, AllStar Performance, Champion, Davel’s One Stop, Stratford Sign Company, Kuyoth Body & Custom, R & J Auto Repair, Frog Racing, Fanetti Inc. and Schlewitz Enterpises. He relies on Performance Marketing Group for marketing, career path management and public relations support.

“Being a part of the Gen G class of 2016 is the latest of several great opportunities that have come about for me since teaming up with Performance Marketing Group,” Derek says. “I am really excited for what the future holds!”

To find out more about Derek, visit his website at www.DerekKrausRacing.com. You can also keep up with him on Facebook at /DerekKrausRacing, Instagram at @derekkraus9, and on Twitter at @Derek9kraus.

Drivers News

Derek Kraus looks forward to the challenge of Gateway Motorsports Park

June 22, 2016
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Tom Loos Photography

by Richard Slifkin / Fresh off a win last Thursday night at State Park Speedway, Derek Kraus is set to climb behind the wheel of his ARCA Midwest Tour No. 9 Ford this weekend at Gateway Motorsports Park. The ARCA Midwest Tour, which last raced on June 11th, is part of a full weekend of racing at the Madison, Illinois 1.25 mile track, as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the USAC Silver Crown Series are also on the schedule.

The Illinois Lottery presents the Gateway 50 marks the return of Super Late Model racing to Gateway Motorsports Park for the first time since 2003. This will be the largest track both the Series, and Rookie of the Year contender Kraus, have ever raced on.

“I just won at one of the shortest tracks I race on, and now I’m going to one of the biggest tracks I have ever competed on!” Derek commented. “I can’t wait for the new experience, learning how the car feels in the air with the higher speeds. I’m just really looking forward to the experience.”

Last week in the Ropa’s Pizza Flip Merwin Memorial at State Park Speedway, Derek took the lead with 20 laps to go, then held on to capture the checkered flag for his second career Super Late Model win, and first Super Late Model win at State Park Speedway.

Derek, who at just 14-years-old is one of the youngest drivers competing on the ARCA Midwest Tour schedule, has been racing since he was seven years old. A native of Stratford, WI, Derek enters this weekend’s event ranked 5th in the ARCA Midwest Tour driver point standings through the first three races of the year. He has earned a pair of top ten finishes, with a best finish of 5th in the Cabin Fever 100 on May 14th.

Drivers will have a 45-minute practice session beginning at 1:00pm CST on Saturday, followed by qualifying at 2:15pm CST. The green flag for the 40-lap race is scheduled for 6:00pm CST.

To find out more about Derek, visit his website at www.DerekKrausRacing.com. You can also keep up with him on Facebook at /DerekKrausRacing, Instagram at @derekkraus9, and on Twitter at @Derek9kraus.

Drivers News Touring Stars

Birthday girl Natalie Decker looks forward to first visit to Gateway Motorsports Park on June 25

June 10, 2016
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Will compete in the ARCA Midwest Tour race prior to NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Drivin’ For Linemen 200 Brought To You By Altec

Natalie Decker will celebrate her 19th birthday on June 25 at Gateway Motorsports Park. Although no particular site on the property has been selected, odds are she wouldn’t mind cutting her birthday cake and making a wish in Domino’s Victory Lane behind pit road.

Decker competes in the ARCA Midwest Tour and will drive in her first race at GMP in the Illinois Lottery Presents ARCA Midwest 50. Although she is a newcomer to GMP’s challenging asphalt oval, Decker is not intimidated by its unique characteristics.

“Our team is super excited to race at Gateway! This will be our biggest track we have ever raced on,” Decker said. “Gateway’s track is a favorite of many who race there due to its unique shape and different degrees of banking in each corner.

“It will be very important for me to give Tom Ress, my crew chief, detailed feedback on the handling of the car during test laps so we can get it dialed in right away,” Decker said. “Then I can really focus on mastering the track with some good test sessions. Turns 1 and 2 have similarities to New Hampshire while turns 3 and 4 mimic Phoenix. The egg-shaped oval is very much like Darlington. I am really looking forward to racing on the same day as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. If the opportunity arises I will look to some of the Truck drivers for advice on driving the track.

“It’s my birthday on the day of the race at Gateway so my birthday wish is to be the first female to win in the ARCA Midwest Tour,” Decker said.

When not competing in the ARCA Midwest Tour, Decker races at short tracks around her hometown of Eagle River, Wisconsin, in the Super Late Model class. She’s won twice this year at her home track (State Park Speedway in Wausau, Wisconsin) and Marshfield (Wisconsin) Motor Speedway.

Her racing career began in karts at age nine. At age 12 she graduated to Mod 4. Through the years she moved up the ladder faster than her parents could keep up with her.

“Each year Natalie’s driving improved so fast and she would be running at the front of her class, before the season ended I would be searching for a car for the next level,” said Natalie’s father, Chuck Decker.

Following successful seasons in Super Stocks, Limited Late Models and Midwest Truck Tour competition, Decker graduated to Super Late Models. She participated in Rev Racing’s NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine in 2013 and 2014.

She was selected by NASCAR to join their Drive for Diversity program in 2015 and battled weekly with the best short track racers in the country at the rugged Hickory Motor Speedway just north of Charlotte, North Carolina. She also raced from Wisconsin to Florida in her family-owned Super Late Model that year and scored four wins.

And here’s an interesting fact: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Danica Patrick’s middle name is Sue, in honor of Sue Decker (Natalie’s mother). Sue is responsible for arranging a blind date for Danica’s parents, the former Beverly Flaten and T.J. Patrick — and the rest, as they say, is history.

To follow Natalie on social media: @Natalieracing on Twitter or www.nataliedeckerracing.com.

NASCAR DRIVIN’ FOR LINEMEN 200 BROUGHT TO YOU BY ALTEC SCHEDULE

Friday, June 24

5-6 p.m. — NASCAR garages open to the public.

6-10 p.m. — Party at the ‘Plex at the Gateway Kartplex (kart racing, music, entertainment). NASCAR drivers have been invited to participate.

Saturday, June 25

8 a.m. — Spectator gates open.

8:30-9:25 a.m. — First NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice.

9:30-10:20 a.m. — First USAC practice.

10:30-11:55 a.m. — Final NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice.

12:30 p.m. — USAC qualifying.

1 p.m. — ARCA Midwest Tour practice.

1:45-2:30 p.m. — NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver autograph session (infield area).

2:15 p.m. — ARCA Midwest Tour qualifying.

3 p.m. — USAC driver introductions.

3:30 p.m. — Vatterott College Silver Crown Showdown (USAC Silver Crown Series, 60 laps, 75 miles).

4:45 p.m. — NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Drivin’ For Linemen 200 qualifying (multi-vehicle, three rounds).

6 p.m. — Illinois Lottery Presents ARCA Midwest 50 (40 laps, 50 miles, timed event).

7 p.m. — NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Drivin’ For Linemen 200 Brought To You By Altec driver introductions.

7:30 p.m. — NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Drivin’ For Linemen 200 Brought To You By Altec (160 laps, 200 miles).

Schedule is subject to change.

The vision for the new Gateway Motorsports Park is to create a racing lifestyle that attracts enthusiasts, professionals, amateurs and car lovers by harnessing the energy and passion of the thousands of racing fans in the heart of the Midwest.

Located just five minutes from downtown St. Louis and covering nearly 200 acres, Gateway Motorsports Park is the largest outdoor entertainment facility in the region, encompassing a ¼-mile NHRA-sanctioned drag strip, 1.25-mile superspeedway, 1.6- mile road course, a state-of-the-art Karting facility and a new 14-acre, multi-purpose dirt off-road venue.