In a move that has widespread industry implications, NASCAR announced on Friday morning at Talladega Superspeedway that it has acquired the ARCA Racing Series effective immediately.
With that said, ARCA will continue operating independently until after the 2019 season, at which point NASCAR plans to better align its interests beyond just the three national tours — currently known as Monster Energy Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Trucks.
In addition to the national series, ARCA also owns Toledo Speedway (Ohio) and Flat Rock Speedway (Mich.) and also sanctions two Super Late Model tours based out of Indiana (CRA) and Wisconsin (Midwest Tour), respectively.
This agreement does nothing to immediately impact either of those businesses. Midwest Tour owner Gregg McKarns provided Short Track Scene the following statement:
“This doesn’t change anything for the Midwest Tour for the next couple years at least. The McKarns family owns the Midwest Tour so anything that would progress further in that regard would be our decision and frankly unlikely. Happy for ARCA, they’ve been and will continue to be a great partner.”
For NASCAR, the next 15 months will be important in determining what the sanctioning body plans to do with ARCA.
“This is one of the most exciting announcements we’ve had in our lifetime,” said NASCAR’s Jim France. “The ARCA organization has been closely associated with the France family before there was a NASCAR and before there was an ARCA.
“It’s a big moment for stock car racing in America.”
ARCA features a mostly short-track schedule, complete with two dirt tracks, while also racing in tandem with the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Its engine package is nearly identical to the Truck Series, while its body rules are completely identical to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series.
ARCA was founded in 1953 as MARC, the Midwest Association for Race Cars, a northern counterpart to NASCAR. It was founded by John Marcum, a friend of Bill France, who was eventually persuaded by NASCAR to change its name to the more national sounding Automobile Racing Club of America.
“We are proud of the history and tradition of the ARCA Racing Series and the relationship we’ve built over six decades with NASCAR,” said ARCA president Ron Drager, Marcum’s grandson. “We look forward to the opportunity to be more fully integrated with NASCAR and help shape the future of our sport.”
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