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Ricky Baker Welcomes ARCA Midwest Tour Competition to His Home Track

July 12, 2015
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Wayne Carter Classic 100 this Friday Night at Grundy County Speedway

by Kari Shear-Carlson / July 13, 2015 – The ARCA Midwest Tour presented by Scag Power Equipment returns to Grundy County Speedway this Friday night, July 17th for the Wayne Carter Classic 100, where ARCA Midwest Touring Star Ricky Baker got his start, claims as his home track, and continues to find success. With one ARCA Midwest Tour win under his belt at Illiana Motor Speedway this year, Baker is ready to get to victory lane again.

Last Friday night during a weekly event at Grundy County Speedway, Baker set fast time and finished third behind Eddie Hoffman and Brett Sontag, two other local heroes who have entered Friday nights’ event. When young drivers like Baker compete against such strong competition on a regular basis, it relieves a little bit of the intimidation when it comes to a series like the ARCA Midwest Tour.

“Even on a regular night you have drivers like Hoffman, Sontag, and (Larry) Schuler. Those guys have raced all over the country and are the ones to beat. So our regular Friday nights can have just as much competition as a touring series coming in,” said Baker.

In fact, local driver Eddie Hoffman joins current Touring Stars Jonathan Eilen and Chris Weinkauf on the winner’s list.

It doesn’t mean that Baker, who is racing the full ARCA Midwest Tour circuit in 2015, doesn’t expect the competition level to rise when the Tour rolls into the track on Friday night.

“Ty (Majeski) ran really good there and Jonathan Eilen always runs good there. They are all smart guys, so I don’t think you can really say if anyone has an advantage. It’s all up in the air,” added Baker.

Typically when a driver is racing at his or her home track, confidence based on experience plays a big roll. Simply having more laps is sometimes the key to having an advantage over other drivers. But according to Baker, he’d have a lot more confidence if he felt he was running better at Grundy on a regular basis.

“We’ve been struggling a little bit and trying new stuff. We’re not convinced it’s working so we’ll go back to old notes and go back to where it was. I think if we can get the car dialed in, we’ll have a good chance at the win. But it’s a dice roll, you never know what’s going to happen.”

Just like a driver has his or her own unique driving style, each track seems to have its own personality. Grundy has been known to be one of the tougher tracks on the Midwest Tour circuit. It seems that a team is either on or off. While Baker doesn’t really see Grundy as unique in its own way, he provides some insight on how to overcome some of the challenges.

“I just look at all tracks like you have to get the cars right for each one. I really don’t know why people struggle. It’s a little rough, and it is one groove. You have to get the car to work on the outside. And if you try to pass, you’re probably going to have to move them,” admitted Baker.

Adding the ARCA Midwest Touring Stars and Cars to the already stout field of drivers at Grundy County Speedway this Friday night is sure to make for some of the most exciting racing in the Chicagoland area. 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.

Drivers News Touring Stars

Confidence May Be the Key for John DeAngelis, Jr at Dells Raceway Park

June 5, 2015
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ARCA Midwest Tour Returns to Action on Saturday, June 13th

by Kari Shear-Carlson
June 5, 2015 – When the ARCA Midwest Tour presented by Scag Power Equipment returns to competition on Saturday, June 13th for the Bill Meiller Memorial 101 presented by Assembly Products and Wounded Warriors in Action at Dells Raceway Park, several drivers will be returning having taken advantage of the brief break in the Tour schedule by racing at their local home tracks.

One of those drivers may be walking just a little bit taller and maybe even with a little bit brighter smile, and rightfully so. ARCA Midwest Touring Star, John DeAngelis, Jr recently acquired his first ever super late model victories, yes plural, winning features at his home track of Slinger Super Speedway. Nothing builds more confidence in a driver than a victory…or two.

“Honestly the first win really boosted my confidence. Getting the second win just boosted it that much more. To get a win at Slinger is not an easy thing to do, going up against the veterans of the track like the Lowell Bennett, Conrad Morgan, the Pruntys, Steve Apel, etc. They’ve all won a lot of races there and to be able to get two wins in three weeks is just awesome,” said DeAngelis.

When it comes to the competition in the ARCA Midwest Tour, DeAngelis admits that it might be a little bit more of a challenge, and that has a lot to do with the experience of the drivers he races against.

“The ARCA Midwest Tour has a lot of tough competition. I would have to say it’s a little different and more of a challenge because 90% of the Tour guys have raced at all these tracks before, where I haven’t. I grew up racing at Slinger so it’s more of a given if I win at Slinger. But it is only my second year in super late models. So eventually I feel the Tour will get easier,” he said.

When it comes to Dells Raceway Park, DeAngelis isn’t necessarily a rookie. In fact, out of all of the races on the ARCAMT circuit, DeAngelis has the most experience at DRP and has found his fair share of success.

“The Dells is a track I’ve had success at and yet haven’t had success at. I used to race limited late models every week. Although we never got any feature wins there, we had a lot of fast times. We always seemed to finish second every time after setting fast time.”

DeAngelis has always enjoyed racing at Dells Raceway Park and having three years of limited late model experience as well as a partial season of four-cylinder racing at the venue, it may be one of easier tracks for the Touring Star when it comes to racing against the Stars and Cars of the ARCAMT.

“I feel like the Dells will be an easier track for me since I’ve raced there a lot before. Granted the competition is really strong, I feel like I don’t face a lot of challenges. I’m sure there will be a lot of cars but I feel pretty confident,” admitted DeAngelis.

With his experience at the track and his new found confidence, John DeAngelis, Jr is ready to return to ARCA Midwest Tour competition on June 13th, but he admits that sometimes the hardest obstacle to overcome is himself.

“A win at this track in the Midwest Tour event would be huge. We had an awesome car for the Ice Breaker 100 before we got fenced on lap 8. We are taking a different car but we have tested before. I feel like we are going to have a really good car if the driver cooperates. I’m one to be really hard on myself if something doesn’t go right, so a win here would boost my confidence a lot more. I think it would be a big relief since we always seemed to finish second in the limited late model features.”

Chances are, a victory in the ARCA Midwest Tour isn’t too far off for John DeAngelis, Jr, and June 13th at Dells Raceway Park just might be the night.

Practice will begin at 1:30pm with qualifying at 5pm and racing at 7pm. Tickets are available online today at shtrk.us/arcamtix

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.

Drivers News Touring Stars

Majeski Shoots for Two in a Row in the Calypso Chicagoland Showdown

May 19, 2015
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ARCA Midwest Tour and ARCA/CRA Super Series Face-Off on Monday, May 25th at Illiana Motor Speedway

by Kari Shear-Carlson
May 19, 2015 – When the ARCA Midwest Tour presented by Scag Power Equipment heads to Illiana Motor Speedway this Monday, May 25th for the Calypso Chicagoland Showdown, Ty Majeski will be setting his sights on making it two in a row. With $5000 and a Tommy Gun Trophy on the line, Majeski will no doubt be gunning for a victory.

But for this hot-shoe and current ARCAMT point leader, it will not only be back-to-back wins in 2015, but back-to-back wins at Illiana Motor Speedway.

Last Saturday night, Ty Majeski captured possibly one of his most fought for victories in his ARCA Midwest Tour career. He isn’t known for a laid-back style of racing. He is aggressive and intense, but just as much as he is patient and respectful.

Last year’s win at Illiana was more than just a win for the young driver. It was his first ever ARCA Midwest Tour victory, and at a track he had never seen before that weekend.

“It was a really, really big win. I didn’t expect to go down there and have that kind of success. I’m really looking forward to going back. It’s a really cool race track, flat with a little bit of character coming out of four. It’s right up my wheel house,” Majeski said.

Majeski not only had to beat the usual Midwest Tour suspects like, Jonathan Eilen, Chris Weinkauf, James Swan and the rest of the stars, but he was also up against the drivers in the ARCA/CRA Super Series, which made it even that much more special. This Monday will be no different.

“I know it’s a Tour race, but it’s kind of their (CRA) house. Some of those guys run there weekly and when you have to race against guys like Eddie Hoffman and Brian Campbell…they’re tough to beat. They will definitely be our biggest competitors,” he added.

Last year’s win didn’t necessarily come easy, however. When the team rolled in on Sunday for an open practice day, they had ignition problems from the get-go and never made it out on the track. So they weren’t quite sure what they were going to encounter on Monday.

“We were struggling a bit in practice on Monday. I think we qualified like 10th. We took a decent swing at it for the heat race and hit it right on the spot,” said Majeski.

Come Monday, Majeski hopes that they will roll off the trailer and once again be spot on. He will be heading into the event with the momentum that he needs to hopefully once again be in victory lane, taking home $5k and the Tommy Gun Trophy.

Racing will begin at 2:30pm this Monday, May 25th at Illiana Motor Speedway. 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.

Drivers News Touring Stars

Johnson, Weinkauf, Swan, DeAngelis Join the ARCA Midwest Tour in Star Fashion

March 31, 2015
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Photos © Doug Hornickel / www.FastLapPhoto.com

ARCA Midwest Tour 2015 Class of Touring Stars Continues…

by Kari Shear-Carlson
Mar 31, 2015 -Casey Johnson joined the ARCA Midwest Tour presented by Scag Power Equipment in 2014 for a handful of races, but will return this year as a Touring Star. Johnson got his start at Jefferson Speedway and accumulated two late model track championships. He moved into the Big 8 series and earned championship titles in 2013 and 2014. Additionally in 2013, Johnson won the Triple Crown Championship at Madison International Speedway, his first season in a super late model.

Chris-Weinkauf

Chris Weinkauf of Merrill, WI will return as a Touring Star in the 2015 season. Weinkauf has long been Mr. Consistency in the ARCA Midwest Tour. He’s a top qualifier and always runs strong. In 2014 Weinkauf picked up his first, and an emotional, ARCAMT victory at Grundy County Speedway. Weinkauf isn’t only successful in the ARCA Midwest Tour. He was the 2010 State Park Speedway Champion and the winner of the Dick Trickle 99 in 2009. Weinkauf hopes to continue his consistency in 2015 and make a run for the championship.

James-Swan

The 2013 ARCA Midwest Tour Rookie of the Year, James Swan, also returns as a Touring Star in 2015. Swan is one of those drivers who has risen to the top in every division he’s ever raced in. In addition to his ROY honors, he also picked up the prestigious Larry Detjens Sportsmanship Award in 2013. In 2012 he was the Midwest Truck Tour Champion after already being crowned a 5 time time Mid-American Stock Car Series Champion, 4 time Slinger Super Speedway Midwest Sportsman Champion, and the 2009 Big-8 Rookie of the Year. Swan admittedly had a rough year in 2014, but he will be ready to hit the pavement full-force in 2015.

John-DeAngelis

John DeAngelis comes into the 2015 season as a first time Touring Star, but he is no rookie when it comes to success. In 2014, the 21 year-old was the Slinger Super Late Model Rookie of the Year and captured a feature win at Madison International Speedway. He was the 2013 Big 8 Sportsman of the Year and in 2011 he was the Slinger Nationals Limited Late Model Champion. DeAngelis might be a rookie when it comes to being a Touring Star, but there is no doubt he will be one to watch throughout the season.

The Touring Star Program for the ARCA Midwest Tour presented by Scag Power Equipment has been in place since the inception of the series. The program includes the top drivers competing in the ARCA Midwest Tour and some of the best drivers in the country. Past champions, consistent challengers, and up and coming drivers looking to break into the next stage of their racing career, will all be competing against one another for a $30,000 point fund. With the level of competition in this year’s class of Touring Stars, there is no doubt 2015 will be one of the best seasons yet.

Stay tuned as the introduction to the rest of the 2015 Class of ARCA Midwest Touring Stars continues…

Don’t forget to make your plans for the Joe Shear Classic at Madison International Speedway coming up on May 3rd.

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 Speedways.

Drivers News Touring Stars

The ARCA Midwest Tour Presents the First Four Drivers In the 2015 Class of Touring Stars

March 27, 2015
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All Photos Courtesy of Doug Hornickel / www.FastLapPhoto.com

by Kari Shear-Carlson / Mar 27, 2015 – The Touring Star Program for the ARCA Midwest Tour presented by Scag Power Equipment has been in place since the inception of the series. The program includes the top drivers competing in the ARCA Midwest Tour and some of the best drivers in the country. Past champions, consistent challengers, and up and coming drivers looking to break into the next stage of their racing career, will all be competing against one another for a $30,000 point fund. With the level of competition in this year’s class of Touring Stars, there is no doubt 2015 will be one of the best seasons yet.

The 2014 ARCA Midwest Tour Champion and Rookie of the Year, Ty Majeski will make his return to the ARCAMT as a Touring Star trying to capture his second consecutive championship in the series. Majeski’s racing did not take a hiatus once he was crowned the 2014 Champion. During what many consider the “off season,” Majeski and his team did a little racing in the South. Rattling against 42 of the nation’s top short track drivers, Ty came home with a sixth place finish in the Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway. The team also found success in the World Series of Speed in New Smyrna, FL, where he captured one win and led the the point standings for two nights. Unfortunately a mechanical failure forced their campaign to end one night short.

Cardell-Potter

Cardell Potter will also return as a 2015 Touring Star. Potter had an incredible “off season” as well, capturing some of the most prestigious snowmobile victories in the Midwest. He was crowned the 2015 Eagle River World Champion, which in the snowmobile world, doesn’t get any better. Cardell continues to prove that he and his team know what it takes to win and looks forward to putting that effort back on the asphalt in 2015.

Austin-Nason

Roscoe, IL native, Austin Nason, will be joining the list of Touring Stars for the first time in 2015. The 19 year old already has an impressive resume’ showing his competitiveness in every division he has competed in. He had great success in The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Sportsman and Late Model Divisions from 2010-2012, moving into and having success in the Big 8 Series in 2013. Last season Austin finished his year with four wins between his Super Late Model and Big 8 Series starts. So far in 2015 Nason has competed in the World Series of Speed in New Smyrna, FL. Between three Super Late and four Pro Late Model starts, the team secured five top fives and one win.

Nick-Barstad

Nick Barstad will again be returning to ARCA Midwest Tour competition in 2015. Barstad started racing Super Late Models in 2011 having much success in the NASCAR Whelen All-American series at Raceway Park and Elko Speedway in MN. Barstad came up through the ranks starting his career in Quarter Midgets and Karts, and moved into the Mid American Sportsman Division in 2008. In 2013, Nick competed on the ARCA Midwest Tour circuit claiming two top fives and three top ten finishes. Last season he accumulated another top five along with three top ten finishes. Barstad was also awarded a Pathfinder Chassis for his Rookie of the Year efforts in 2014 and is ready to put it to the track.

Stay tuned as the introduction of the rest of the 2015 Class of ARCA Midwest Touring Stars continues…

Don’t forget to make your plans for the Joe Shear Classic at Madison International Speedway coming up on May 3rd.

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 Speedways.