For over 100 years General Tire has been an innovation leader, introducing new styles and technology to adapt to changing needs and protect what we love with top quality products designed for every condition. Founded on September 29, 1915 by William F. O’Neil (“W.O.”) and his partner Winfred E. Fouse, two young businessmen from Akron, Ohio, General Tire entered the tire business when more than 300 companies were making tires. But the pair knew that if they built a quality product, the sales would come.
O’Neil made the decision to bypass the original equipment (OE) market and focus on a premium replacement tire. The duo focused on pneumatic truck tires, and their engineering team revolutionized the tire manufacturing industry when they invented the low-pressure General Balloon Jumbo’s, the first of several new innovative ideas.
As the years progressed so did technology. Today, General Tire continues the tradition of offering a complete line of quality, ultra-high performance passenger, light truck, off-road, and commercial tires, true to the values that O’Neil and Fouse had over 100 years ago.
So it would make sense that General Tire would choose partner with entities founded on similar principles. A perfect example is the company’s involvement with the Automobile Racing Club of America.
While the racecars might look somewhat similar, ARCA is its own entity completely separate from the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR). Since 1953, the ARCA Racing Series has competed on over 200 racetracks in 26 states, ranging from short tracks to road courses, superspeedways and even dirt tracks. Founded by John and Mildred Marcum, the ARCA Racing Series sees both veteran and developmental drivers compete in 20 races stretched from February to October.
John raced in the Midwest and on the beach at Daytona, Florida in the 1940s, where he and Mildred would meet NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. and his wife Anne. John became one of the original NASCAR officials in the early days of the sport. But John had his eye on something bigger, and with France's blessing, took the idea of sanctioned stock car racing and headed north.
In 1953, the Marcums founded a pair of motorsports companies in their home of Toledo, Ohio, one of which was a sanctioning body founded to organize and administrate stock car races and licensing and insuring competitors, which would go on to become the ARCA Racing Series.
The other, Marcum Promotions, formed to operate the grandstand side of the racing business, advertising and promoting events, renting and leasing tracks for races, selling tickets and concession goods, arranging for sponsorships and managing tracks. While both Marcums were principals in each corporation, John specialized in racing-related matters while Mildred oversaw financial and administrative activities, a tandem effort which would exist until John’s death in 1981.
The Marcums were invited by the France family to participate in Daytona’s Speedweeks in February 1964 at the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway. The rest, as they say is history.
The relationship between the sanctioning bodies continues today. ARCA events are frequently support races to NASCAR Cup Series races. Many of the NASCAR teams use ARCA’s cost-contained series initiatives for participants as a driver development platform where younger drivers get their first opportunity to compete on larger racetracks. Many teams and driers alike have competed in and advanced through the ARCA series on the way to successful NASCAR careers.
Much the same way General Tire did, ARCA knew if they planned a quality racing series, the potential for growth and long-term success would be there.
After a lengthy break since the season-opening event at Daytona, the ARCA Racing Series heads to Fairgrounds Speedway located at the Nashville Fairgrounds near Nashville, Tennessee for the second race of the 2018 season. The race will be televised live on MAVTV Saturday, April 7 at 9 p.m. ET.