When the checkered flag waved recently at the legendary Winchester Speedway, it was the tenth time it had done so during the 2016 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season and it officially marked the halfway point of the 20-race schedule. The first half of the season showcased a variety of different tracks and has been filled with many firsts. To kick things off in February at Daytona, General Tire hit the track with the series for the first time as the new “Official Tire of ARCA.”
After an extended break through March, the series visited Music City and the Fairgrounds Speedway in early April. Rookie, Chase Briscoe earned his career first ARCA pole award while Josh Williams, who runs “the little team that will” won his first ARCA race driving the Musselman’s #6. That same weekend, the American Sports Network made their debut with the series and covered their first race which was broadcast a few weeks later on the new network. At Salem, Christopher Bell made his ARCA debut driving the Venturini #55. Bell battled his way thru the race and earned his first ARCA victory, making it two first-time winners in a row. From there, the series visited the infamous Talladega Superspeedway where Gus Dean won his first ever ARCA victory by just a couple feet after an expected wild finish. In the fan area, General Tire debuted their new display and welcomed several drivers throughout the weekend for autograph sessions and a chance for the fans to learn more about the tire brand.
Myatt Snyder climbed behind the wheel of The Original Louisiana Hot Sauce #22 at Toledo Speedway and was able to pull off an impressive win in his very first attempt. The American Sports Network aired that race as their very first live ARCA broadcast.
As the series moved on to New Jersey for the only road course race of the season, ARCA rookie, Chase Briscoe competed in his very first road course event finishing an impressive fourth.The composite bodies also had a first this year. The bodies, which debuted on short tracks in 2015, competed on their first superspeedway at Pocono with great results as defending 2015 ARCA champ, Grant Ensfinger won in his first start of 2016.
Over to Michigan, where Brandon Jones was picked to drive for new team, Ranier Racing with MDM. As the checkers fell, Brandon gave the new team their first ARCA win. Madison was the scene for this season’s first and only repeat winner to date when Josh Williams out ran the field to record the second win of his career. The 102-year old Winchester Speedway offered a lot of on track action and yet another first for the season. Chase Briscoe, who has had a very impressive season to date, pulled into victory lane for the first ARCA win of his very limited pavement racing career.
If the first ten events are any indication to what the remainder of the season will offer, then the ARCA Racing Series will provide a lot to talk about come mid-October when the season finale takes place in Kansas…stay tuned, there could be many more “firsts” to come.