MOBILE, ALA. - The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards will return to Mobile International Speedway - a Rick Crawford Performance Track - for the second consecutive season in 2013. Mobile's Cale Gale provided a storybook ending to the inaugural Mobile ARCA 200 this March, winning in front of nearly 10,000 hometown fans.
"Winning the first ARCA race at Mobile was a dream come true," said Gale. "Rheem gave me a great opportunity and all the pieces of the puzzle fell in place for us to take home the biggest win of my career."
The Mobile ARCA 200 will provide 200 laps of hard-nosed racing on the half-mile, high-banked paved oval on Saturday, March 9, 2013. The ARCA Racing Series has raced at over 200 different tracks since its inception in 1953, but the 2013 race will be only its second appearance at Mobile International Speedway.
"Mobile will be the first short track on the schedule following the season opener at Daytona in February," said ARCA president and CEO Ron Drager. "The ARCA Racing Series drivers always put on a good show on the short tracks and Mobile's inaugural race is one of the highlights of our 2012 season. Not only did our competitors like the track but our teams also fell in love with the region and the great hospitality offered by the folks in Mobile."
From the short tracks like Mobile to dirt tracks, and from road courses to speedways, the ARCA Racing Series has proven itself to be the most comprehensive driving series in the world. With a diverse schedule and competitive fields, ARCA has produced an impressive list of alumni, including Alabama Gang members Red Farmer, Davey, Donnie, and Bobby Allison, and current racing stars Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer, David Ragan, Kasey Kahne, Mark Martin, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, and Danica Patrick, among many others.
Not only does ARCA have a rich history, but today's drivers are carving out their own places in the ARCA record books. Current stars include nine-time ARCA champion Frank Kimmel, current championship points leader Chris Buescher, and Mobile's Grant Enfinger, who is always competitive.
"Last year the Mobile Convention & Visitors Bureau, Mobile Sports Authority, and our elected officials had the foresight to take the ARCA Mobile 200 from dream to reality," said Rick Crawford, manager and promoter at Mobile International Speedway. "Our inaugural race was a big hit with fans and teams traveling thousands of miles to see Mobile's Cale Gale take home the trophy. We had a great show in our first effort and we're looking forward to bigger and better in 2013."
Opened in 1964, Mobile International Speedway is Alabama's fastest half-mile and is currently host to the Sunoco Gulf Coast Championship Series and Miller Lite Super Late Model Series, along with a regular schedule of Saturday night racing. Lee and Ida Fields purchased the Speedway in 1972 and for almost 40 years the duo produced "The Fastest Fun Around." In 2011, the speedway embarked on a new era of track management when Mobile native, multi-time track champion, and all-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts leader Rick Crawford returned to Mobile to become the manager and promoter.
Mobile International Speedway is part of a long tradition of Alabama tracks on which ARCA drivers and teams have competed. ARCA Racing Series history in Alabama reaches back to 1961 when, on November 5, Ernie Derr won a 250-lap race at Birmingham. ARCA race events at the Fairgrounds in Montgomery in 1962 and at Huntsville Speedway in 1963 and 1965, followed by a long tenure at Talladega Superspeedway (1969-present), have kept ARCA's presence in Alabama alive over the decades.
First, though, the championship battle in ARCA's 60th Anniversary Season must reach its conclusion. The ARCA Racing Series will travel to the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers Fall Classic presented by Federated Car Care at Indiana's Salem Speedway this Saturday, September 15.
Practice for the year's second race at Salem will take place over two sessions, from 12:30-1:15 p.m. and 1:45-2:30 p.m. Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell is scheduled for 4 p.m., and a driver autograph session will be open to all fans from 4:45-5:15 p.m. The 200-lap, 111-mile race will start at 7:15 p.m.
ARCARacing.com will feature live timing and scoring coverage throughout the day, and ARCA Racing Network hosts Charlie Krall and Tim Clagg will deliver a live audio call for the race on the site.
2012 is the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards' 60th Anniversary Season, featuring 20 races at 18 tracks. The complete 2012 event schedule is available at ARCARacing.com.
The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards has crowned an ARCA national champion each year since its inaugural season in 1953, and has toured over 200 race tracks in 26 states since its inception. The series has tested the abilities of drivers and race teams over the most diverse schedule of stock car racing events in the world, visiting tracks ranging from 0.375 mile to 2.66 miles in length, on both paved and dirt surfaces as well as a left- and right-turn road course in its most recent season. This year, the series visited Alabama's Mobile International Speedway and Minnesota's Elko Speedway for the first time.
Founded by John and Mildred Marcum in 1953 in Toledo, Ohio, the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is recognized among the leading sanctioning bodies in the country. Closing in on completing its sixth decade after hundreds of thousands of miles of racing, ARCA administers over 100 race events each season in three professional touring series and local weekly events.