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Wayne Carter Classic Continues to Build on History

July 14, 2015
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Stan Kalwasinski Photography

by Kari Shear Carlson / July 15, 2015 – When the ARCA Midwest Tour presented by Scag Power Equipment rolls into Grundy County Speedway this Friday, July 17th, it won’t just be another race. The Wayne Carter Classic carries with it a history that isn’t just remembered but continues to grow.

In 1975, Art Frigo and John McKarns started the ARTGO Series. The very first event was held at Grundy County Speedway. The race was 59 laps, in honor of Wayne Carter who brought racing to the Grundy County Fair 59 years earlier. It was the Wayne Carter Classic that kicked off the ARTGO Series and put a Midwest touring series on the map.

Wisconsin Rapids, WI native, Tom Reffner, in his 1974 American Motors Javelin, set a new track record and held off Bob Roper and Joe Shear to take the first ever ARTGO Series and Wayne Carter Classic win.

As the years went on, John McKarns took over the ARTGO series and carried on the race tradition. The race was held under the ARTGO banner from 1975 through 1997. After the inaugural 59-lap event, every race through 1994 was 100-laps. The final three ARTGO races were 200-lap events.

Just like any other event, the Wayne Carter Classic has some more memorable moments than others. In 1982, the late Jim Sauter won with a broken left axle and held off future NASCAR great, Mark Martin who finished in third. In 1987, Dick Trickle won his second Wayne Carter Classic in front of one of the largest crowds the track had ever seen. Dale Earnhardt, Sr., who finished fourth, may have been the reason for the big draw.

NASCAR greats, Rusty Wallace, Darrell Waltrip, Bobby Allison, Davey Allison, and Ron Hornaday, to name a few, all sought to add the Wayne Carter Classic to their resume’s over the years.

In the early 1990’s, younger drivers started to get into the mix, although it was the veterans who were still showing the way to victory lane. A young Matt Kenseth, now a NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion, was coming on the scene. In 1991 he finished fourth as Kevin Cywinski pulled off the win.

The late Joe Shear showed domination in the mid to late 90’s. After his victories in 1986 and 1988, Shear went on to win consecutively in 1993, ’94, and ’95, and also won the final event under the ARTGO name in 1997. Shear holds the most Wayne Carter Classic wins with six.

In 1998 and 1999, the event was held under the NASCAR Elite division with Eddie Hoffman and Steve Carlson picking up victories. The event took a hiatus until 2011 when the Midwest Tour returned. A young, Ross Kenseth won in 2011 and Eddie Hoffman picked up his second Wayne Carter Classic victory in 2012. Current Touring Stars, Jonathan Eilen and Chris Weinkauf are the most recent Midwest Tour winners.

So what’s difference between then and now? According to Tom Reffner, “The difference is in the driver.”

This Friday night gates open at 5:30pm and all of the action begins with qualifying at 6:30pm and racing to follow at 7:30pm.

The ARCA Midwest Tour will be joined by the Mid-American Stock Car Series as well as the Pure Stocks.

For complete event details, log on to arcamidwesttour.com

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.

Wayne Carter Classic – Grundy County Speedway, Morris, Illinois
compiled by Stan Kalwasinski/Chicagoland Auto Racing.com

1975

Tom Reffner ARTGO 59 Laps first ever ARTGO Racing event held/49 entries/Reffner – Fastest Qualifier (16.25 seconds – NTR)
9/7/75 59-lap feature, honoring Wayne Carter’s 59 years of racing at the Grundy County Fairgrounds
Reffner in a ’74 AMC Javelin defeated Bob Roper, Joe Shear, Tom Musgrave & Dick Trickle
Reffner passed Roper for the lead after 44 laps and took home $825 from a purse of $5855.
Wayne Carter passed away on 1/31/1980 at the age of 84.

1976

Dave Watson ARTGO 100 Laps Watson defeats Bob Senneker and Ed Hoffman

1977

Larry Phillips ARTGO 100 Laps part of two-track ARTGO Summer Nationals

1978

Mike Miller ARTGO 100 Laps part of two-track ARTGO Summer Nationals

1979

Mike Miller ARTGO 100 Laps First of 15 Tuesday night specials/Miller wins in his Oldsmobile Cutlass/51 entries 

1980

Mark Malcuit ARTGO 100 Laps Ohio “Invader” in unpainted car wins

1981

Larry Schuler ARTGO 100 Laps Local favorite wins/Dick Trickle Burned Piston on Last Lap/Darrell Waltrip finished 7th

1982

Jim Sauter ARTGO 100 Laps Won with broken left axle, Mark Martin finished third

1983

Tom Reffner ARTGO 100 Laps Bobby Allison finished 7th

1984

Dick Trickle ARTGO 100 Laps Rusty Wallace finished 8th

1985

Butch Miller ARTGO 100 Laps 7th win in 10 starts for the year/won in V6-powered Camaro

1986

Joe Shear ARTGO 100 Laps defeats Butch Miller and Dave Watson in close finish

1987

Dick Trickle ARTGO 100 Laps Big Crowd/Dale Earnhardt Sr. finished 4th

1988

Joe Shear ARTGO 100 Laps Davey Allison was 4th

1989

Ted Musgrave ARTGO 100 Laps Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Chicago Style/Musgrave wins by five feet over Dick Trickle

1990

Steve Carlson ARTGO 100 Laps Former ARTGO rookie of the year finishes ahead of Rich Bickle and Dennis Lampman

1991

Kevin Cywinski ARTGO 100 Laps Matt Kenseth-4th, Turn-Away Crowd/Earnhardt and Martin competed in Special Match Race

1992

Steve Holzhausen ARTGO 100 Laps Holzhausen over Larry Schuler and Kevin Cywinski

1993

Joe Shear ARTGO 100 Laps came from the back of the pack after a spin on 17th lap

1994

Joe Shear ARTGO 100 Laps Sunday night after Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis

1995

Joe Shear ARTGO 200 Laps Wild Ride by Ron Hornaday

1996

Dave Weltmeyer ARTGO 200 Laps battles with Tracy Schuler for the win

1997

Joe Shear ARTGO 200 Laps Shear’s sixth Carter Classic career victory

1998

Eddie Hoffman NASCAR Elite 125 Laps

1999

Steve Carlson NASCAR Elite 150 Laps

2011

Ross Kenseth ASA Midwest Tour 125 Laps 2. Steve Carlson, 3. Eddie Hoffman, 42 pre-race entries

2012

Eddie Hoffman ASA Midwest Tour 100 Laps 2. Jonathan Eilen, 3. Erik Darnell, 18 entries  FT: Chris Wimmer 14.741 (NTR)

2013

Johathan Eilen ARCA Midwest Tr 100 Laps 2. Chris Wimmer, 3. Dan Fredrickson, 25 entries,

2014

Chris Weinkauf ARCA Midwest Tr 100 Laps 2. Ty Majeski, 3. Jonathan Eilen, 16 entries
 
Featured News

ARCA/CRA Super Series Set to Begin 19th Season with Saturday’s 7-UP 100

April 8, 2015
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Best of the ARCA/CRA Super Series will Battle the Best of the ARCA Midwest Tour for the Win

Salem, IN (April 8, 2015) – The ARCA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS is set to begin its 19th season of competition this Saturday with the points season opening 7-UP 100 at Toledo Speedway, located in Toledo, Ohio. The event will once again feature the best of the ARCA/CRA Super Series battling the best of the ARCA Midwest Tour on the fast 1/2 mile high-banked paved oval. The ARCA Royal Truck & Trailer Gold Cup Outlaw Late Models will also be a part of this year’s event with their own 100 lap feature.

To date there are 25 drivers entered for the event, including 2014 event winner Brian Campbell, 2013 and 2014 ARCA/CRA Super Series Champion Travis Braden and 2014 ARCA Midwest Tour Champion Ty Majeski. Other drivers entered from both series include Eddie Hoffman, Cody Coughlin, Rick Turner, Joey Miller, Terry Senneker Jr., Boris Jurkovic, Brandon Oakley, Paul Shafer Jr., Mike Lichtfeld, Austin Nason, Wes Griffith Jr., Ali Kern, Eddie Van Meter, Brandon Watson, Nick Gullatta, Mike Stacy and Jim Olson. Drivers who have indicated they plan on competing for the 2015 ARCA/CRA Super Series Championship include Campbell, Miller, Oakley, Shafer, Jr. and Griffith Jr.

The ARCA/CRA Super Series has a very talented group of Senneker Performance Rookie of the Year Candidates entered including Grant Quinlan, Hunter Baize, Jordan Pruitt, Tom Woodin, and Matt Hall. These five drivers begin their quest for the 2015 Senneker Performance Rookie of the Year award on Saturday, several of these talented drivers could also battle for the Season Points Championship.

Things will begin at Toledo Speedway with an Open Practice on Friday, April 10th. Pits will open at 11am with hauler parking. Tech will open at 1pm. Open Practice will go from 3 to 7pm. At 7:30pm there will be a dinner at the Toledo Speedway Bar/Grille, anyone who purchased a pit pass for Friday’s practice will receive a complimentary dinner.

Pit Gates open on Saturday, April 11th at 8am, ARCA/CRA Super Series practice will go from 10 to 11am. ARCA Gold Cup Outlaw Late Model practice will go from 11am until 12 noon. Qualifying will begin at 1pm, for both groups. There will be an on track Autograph Session with all the drivers following qualifying. The race program is set to begin at 3pm with the 7-UP 100 for the ARCA/CRA Super Series as the first feature, the ARCA Gold Cup Outlaw Late Model 100 lap feature will follow.

Additional event information can be found at www.toledospeedway.com. Additional information on the ARCA/CRA Super Series can be found at www.cra-racing.com. You can also follow CRA on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/ChampionRacingAssociation as well as Twitter at www.twitter.com/CRAracing.

51 TV will have a live pay-per-view broadcast of the 7-UP Twin 100′s Presented by Royal Truck & Trailer featuring the ARCA/CRA Super Series and ARCA Midwest Tour in a 100-lap battle and the 100-lap main event for the ARCA Royal Truck & Trailer Gold Cup Outlaw Late Models. Go to www.speed51.com to order the live pay-per-view broadcast.

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.

Drivers Featured News

Sterling Marlin Looking to Rekindle Glory at ARCA Fest

May 20, 2014
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Bruce Nuttleman / Speed51.com Photo

Two-Time Daytona 500 Winner Hopes to Enjoy Historic Milwaukee Mile Once Again

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 – At the age of 56 Sterling Marlin still has some unfinished business in racing. The two-time Daytona 500 winner has filed an entry for the ARCA Fest JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour event at The Milwaukee Mile on June 8th. Marlin was a frequent visitor to Milwaukee years ago in his NASCAR days and now he’s looking for a win next month.

“I always enjoyed Milwaukee,” said Marlin. “The fans, the night life and all the history around that track. I am looking forward to going up there and being a part of it.”

Marlin will bring his NASCAR success and championships on the short track level to Milwaukee and will be a formidable threat to win the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour event on June 8.

“Moving ARCA Fest to a weekend left us with some challenges when it came to inviting special guests from NASCAR,” said ARCA Fest event organizer Steve Einhaus. “Sterling has been doing some racing and he seemed like such a perfect fit for our event. He’s got a great personality and he cares a whole lot about short track racing and the fans in general. We are honored that he decided to race with us and I’m sure he will be a pick to win the JEGS All Star 100.”

Marlin won a total of 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in his career at venues like Darlington, Charlotte, Talladega and Michigan. While his NASCAR success came mostly on speedways, his racing roots are on the short tracks. He is a three-time track champion at the legendary Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Tennessee and still, even years after leaving the NASCAR scene, Marlin can usually be found at a short track with his Late Model on any given weekend.

“The car we plan on taking is a Lefthander chassis and it’s been good to us this year,” said Marlin. “It’s won us three or four races at Nashville so hopefully we can tweak it just right for Milwaukee.”

Marlin made one start at the Milwaukee Mile in the series now known as the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 1994. He broke a clutch after just 41 of the 250 laps, finishing 39th.

Now in the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour 100, Marlin looks to settle some unfinished business in Milwaukee.

“It’s flat, that’s for sure,” said Marlin of the Milwaukee Mile. “It seems like you are out of the gas forever when you coast through the corners. It’s good that they are still racing there. It was not but three or four years ago and the place was dead. It’s the oldest race track in the country and Nashville is the second oldest, so I like running the old tracks.”

“We are going to give it our best shot,” said Marlin. “Flat tracks can be a bit challenging on knowing when to get back in the gas. We are in the same boat as everyone else.”

Fans can meet Sterling Marlin and the drivers of every racing division competing during ARCA Fest weekend on Bud Pole Night, Friday June 6th, at the Bud Pavilion on the track property. Bud Pole Night is a mandatory event for all the racers, so fans will have the chance to interact with their favorites. The event starts at 7pm and will be highlighted by one of Milwaukee’s top bands, the Cheap Shots.

ARCA Fest gets underway with a practice day on Friday, June 6th from 10am CT to 6pm CT. Action continues on Saturday, June 7th with practice and feature action with the Mid-American Stock Cars, Midwest Trucks, Vintage Stock Cars and Monster Trucks Summer Nationals. Sunday, June 8th will have the JEGS Series drivers go for 100 laps before the third annual ARCA Midwest Tour Swiss Colony Howie Lettow Memorial 150 presented by RaceTeamGear.com

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. For questions call the ARCA Midwest Tour office at (262) 729-4111 or Tim Olson at (612) 327-5831 or Steve Einhaus (630) 212-6022 at or e-mail Tim Olson at tim@arcamidwesttour.comor Steve Einhaus at steve@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.

Featured News

ARCA Midwest Tour Season Registration is Officially Open

February 6, 2014
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Click here for auto fill registration

2014 Touring Stars to be Announced March 10th

The highly anticipated 2014 racing season for the ARCA Midwest Tour is right around the corner and open registration for all Super Late Model competitors has begun. All Drivers, Owners, and Crew Members that have intentions to purchase a formal license with the ARCA Midwest Tour can click on the link above to submit their application. Drivers and Owners are required to hold an ARCAMT License, while crew members are encouraged to obtain a license. Temporary one day licenses will be available at each event for anyone visiting the series on a part-time or one-event basis.

All registration protocols will remain the same with the exception of combined Owner/Drivers. In the past, drivers that were also the owner of the team were not required to purchase an owner’s license. In the new system, combined Owner/Drivers must purchase a combination license that is discounted for their participation.

Drivers and Owners must be fully registered in the ARCA Midwest Tour in order to receive point fund and contingency awards along with discounted entry fees and event pit passes. ARCA License holders (once approved) are able to use their license in the ARCA CRA Super Series or ARCA Midwest Tour. ARCA members may also use their license to purchase member pit passes at any ARCA Racing Series event.

All registrants that are interested in holding an ARCA license must input their information on the form, print, sign, and mail to the ARCA Racing Series offices at the address listed on the top of the form. Licenses will be processed and mailed directly to each registrant. Owners planning to earn points in more then one division (ie CRA) must hold a formal license in both divisions.

The ARCA Midwest Tour offers an extensive amount of driver bonuses for official ARCA members. Members will be eligible for the Touring Star bonus program, event contingency awards, and over $85,000 in cash and special prizes at the Championship Banquet. ARCA members also receive the $485,000 excess medical insurance policy available to them at all sanctioned events.

The ARCAMT will have an open registration for vacant Touring Star positions. Interested drivers can send a brief resume to the series office via email at steve@arcamidwesttour.com prior to a March 1st deadline. Vacant Touring Star positions will be filled based on driver resumes and a selection process including current Touring Stars and series owners Steve Einhaus and Tim Olson.

The official 2014 ARCA Midwest Tour schedule was announced at the 2013 Performance Racing Industry show. An aggressive schedule with 12 events at 12 different race tracks will make for one of the most diverse schedules in series history. Two of the biggest events of the season will once again feature double-headers between ARCA CRA and the ARCA Midwest Tour as the nation’s top drivers come together at Toledo Speedway and Illiana Motor Speedway for the Border Wars events. The series crown jewel at the Milwaukee Mile recently announced a move to the weekend of June 6-8th along with the addition of the CRA Jegs All-Stars Tour. All roads will lead to LaCrosse Fair Grounds Speedway as the historic Oktoberfest weekend will crown a 2014 series champion.

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. For questions call the ARCA Midwest Tour office at (262) 729-4111 or Tim Olson at (612) 327-5831 or Steve Einhaus (630) 212-6022 at or e-mail Tim Olson at tim@arcamidwesttour.comor Steve Einhaus at steve@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.

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