Wednesday, September 21, 2011ARCA Racing Series to Debut at
Mobile International Speedway in 2012
(MOBILE, Ala.) - The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards will make its inaugural appearance at Mobile International Speedway in 2012, officials from ARCA and the track announced today.
The ARCA Mobile 200 will see the national championship stock car tour contest a 200-lap race on the half-mile, semi-banked paved oval on Saturday, March 10. Since the series' inception in 1953, the series has raced at over 200 different tracks but this will be the first at Mobile International Speedway.
"The 2012 season is ARCA's 60th, and Mobile will be the first short track on the schedule following the season opener at Daytona in February," said ARCA president Ron Drager. "ARCA Racing Series short track racing has proven to be highly competitive and entertaining regardless of the venue, and we look forward to bringing our superspeedway-style full-size stock car racing with live pit stops to Mobile in a long distance event."
Although the event marks ARCA's first appearance at Mobile, 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, at Huntsville Speedway in 1963 and 1965, and a long tenure at Talladega Superspeedway (1969-present) have kept ARCA's presence in Alabama alive over the decades.
"Having the ARCA Racing Series come to Mobile International Speedway is a real honor for me and our track," said Rick Crawford, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series veteran and the speedway's manager and promoter. "In the Truck Series we spent many weekends around the country sharing track facilities with the ARCA Racing Series and these guys put on a heck of a show. I can't wait to see them on my home track. The effort to bring the ARCA Racing Series to Mobile is a team effort, and wouldn't be possible without the Mobile Convention and Visitors Bureau, Mobile Sports Authority, and our elected officials."
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 Late Model Series, along with a regular schedule of Saturday night racing. Lee and Ida Fields purchased the track in 1972 and for almost 40 years the duo produced "The Fastest Fun Around." In 2011, the track 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 track's manager and promoter.
Mobile International Speedway has a long history with numerous racing legends, having attracted Alabama Gang racers Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison, and Red Farmer. Notably, Farmer won his 500th feature race at the track. More recently, ARCA Racing Series and NASCAR contenders like Grant Enfinger and Cale Gale have cut their teeth on the half-mile oval in various forms of racing.
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 28 states since its inception. The series tests the abilities of drivers and race teams over the most diverse schedule of stock car racing events in the world, annually visiting tracks ranging from 0.4 mile to 2.66 miles in length, on both paved and dirt surfaces as well as a left- and right-turn road course.
Founded by John 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 two professional touring series and local weekly events.