Friday, June 1, 2012
Minnesota Becomes ARCA Racing Series' 26th State Saturday
ELKO NEW MARKET, Minn. -- Saturday's Akona 200 presented by Federated Car Care at Elko Speedway is not only the track's first chance to host the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards - the premier development tour in stock car racing - but also the series' first race in the state of Minnesota.
In an entire chronology of statehood, Michigan shows in the 26th position, signed as a state in 1837. In ARCA statehood, as it goes, Minnesota becomes the 26th this weekend.
The Akona 200 will begin at 8 p.m., with live streaming audio coverage and live timing and scoring available at ARCARacing.com. Two 45-minute practices are scheduled for 2 and 3:15, and Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell will follow at 5.
Each driver in the starting field will participate in an on-track autograph session open to all fans from 6:30 to 7:30, just before the green flag. All times are Central.
Elko Speedway is located at 26350 France Avenue in Elko New Market.
Dating back to ARCA's first race in Dayton, Ohio in 1953, here are the first race dates and winners in each of the 25 states in which ARCA's top division has competed:
Ohio: May 10, 1953, Dayton Speedway, Dayton (Buckie Sager)
Indiana: June 26, 1953, Kokomo Speedway, Kokomo (Jim Romine)
Pennsylvania: July 3, 1953, Butler Speedway, Butler (Iggy Katona)
Michigan: September 11, 1953, Flat Rock Speedway, Flat Rock (J.H. Petty)
Georgia: October 13, 1954, Lakewood Speedway, Atlanta (Bob Flock)
South Carolina: September 3, 1955, Lancaster Speedway, Lancaster (Iggy Katona)
New York: September 8, 1955, New York State Fairgrounds, Syracuse (Joe Sykes)
Tennessee: October 28, 1956, Broadway Speedway, Knoxville (Russ Hepler)
Illinois: August 31, 1957, DuQuoin State Fairgrounds, DuQuoin (Jerry Unser)
New Jersey: September 28, 1957, Trenton International Speedway, Trenton (Dick Linder)
Texas: March 3, 1958, Dallas Southern, Dallas (Roz Howard)
Maryland: June 15, 1958, Hagerstown Speedway, Hagerstown (Les Snow)
Wisconsin: July 13, 1958, Wisconsin State Fairgrounds, Milwaukee (Fred Lorenzen)
Nevada: November 19, 1960, Las Vegas Park, Las Vegas (Fred Lorenzen)
Kentucky: June 10, 1961, Fairgrounds Motor Speedway, Louisville (Harold Smith)
Alabama: November 15, 1961, Birmingham Speedway, Birmingham (Ernie Derr)
Virginia: April 1, 1962, Virginia International Raceway, Danville (Curtis Turner)
West Virginia: October 20, 1963, West Virginia International Speedway, Parkersburg (Jim Cushman)
Florida: February 8, 1964, Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach (Nelson Stacy)
North Carolina: October 25, 1964, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord (Curtis Turner)
Missouri: May 7, 1972, I-70 Speedway, Odessa (Leonard Blanchard)
Kansas: August 4, 1991, Heartland Park, Topeka (Ken Schrader)
Iowa: July 3, 1994, Des Moines City Streets, Des Moines (Scott Lagasse)
Nebraska: June 25, 1995, I-80 Speedway, Greenwood (Ed Dixon)
Colorado: July 12, 1998, Pikes Peak International Raceway, Colorado Springs (Tim Steele)
Minnesota: June 2, 2012, Elko Speedway, Elko New Market
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 25 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 0.4 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 for the first time. This week, the first event at Minnesota's Elko Speedway will give ARCA a race in a 26th state.
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.