TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) NASCAR has acquired the ARCA series, a launching pad for drivers looking to reach stock car racing’s top level.
NASCAR vice chairman and executive vice president Jim France called the announcement Friday ”a big moment for stock car racing in America.”
Twelve of the 16 drivers in the Cup Series playoffs last year have logged starts in the Automobile Racing Club of America.
ARCA alums include Davey Allison and Kyle Petty and current drivers Kyle Busch , Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman, Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s replacement in the No. 88 Chevrolet.
ARCA will operate under its current structure through 2019, including nine events at NASCAR venues this year. Its stops include Talladega, Daytona International Speedway and Pocono.
”We’ve worked together closely for 70-plus years in one form or another,” France said. ”(ARCA President Ron Drager) and I have worked together, known each other, through basically all of our motorsports careers.
”It’s fantastic that we’re going to be working together going off into the future here. Both organizations have a great history, great championships. We share a lot of teams and drivers over the years. That will continue in a major way.”
ARCA founder John Marcum once worked as a NASCAR official and raced against that series’ founder, Bill France Sr. ARCA began racing at Daytona International Speedway in 1964.
The ARCA Series leader going into Friday’s ARCA race is Sheldon Creed.
”I think from an ARCA perspective, I liken it to we’re a small, independently owned company,” Drager said. ”Our world continues to get more and more complicated and complex.
”There are times when I feel like I’m a little rowboat out in the middle of the ocean. The ocean liners go by, and they rock the boat. A big storm comes along, and it rocks the boat. So far, we haven’t turned over. I want to be on a bigger boat.”
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