The seemingly long off season for Stock Car racing is almost over. The season actually begins with the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards opening at Daytona International Speedway. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with open with their exhibition race The Clash at Daytona several hours later. But in some ways NASCAR Cup racing begins with ARCA racing.
In years past many future Monster Energy NASCAR Cup stars got their start in the ARCA Racing Series. Ryan Newman won this race in 2001, Kyle Busch in 2004 and James Buescher in 2009 but many others got important experience by racing this race and in this series.
In 2014, Cup driver Chase Elliott started fifth and finished ninth in this race. Daniel Suarez was also in this race started third and finished fifth. Suarez was also in the race in 2015 starting sixth and finishing second.
Last year we had some future NASCAR stars in this race; NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers Cole Custer (10th) and William Byron (2nd), also NASCAR Camping World Truck driver Chase Briscoe (4th). Camping World Truck driver Grant Enfinger won this race in 2014 and 2015.
This year we have Xfinity Driver Matt Tifft in this race. 20 year old Tifft was a NASCAR Next driver in 2016. 17 year old Riley Herbst driving full time in the ARCA series for Joe Gibbs Racing will also be a rising star to watch.
John Wes Townley won this race last year and retired from all racing at the end of the season.
As always though these big money NASCAR teams will have to contend with the ARCA regulars like eight time winner of this race Bobby Gerhart in his legendary No. 5 Lucas Oil Machine.
If you cannot get to Daytona International Speedway for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards; Lucas Oil Complete Engine Treatment 200 Driven by General Tire it will be shown on Fox Sports 1 on February 18th at 4 PM ET.
Feature Photo Credit ARCA Racing
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