ARCA RE/MAX Series headed to New Jersey Motorsports Park
Long recognized as the most versatile touring sanction in motorsports, the ARCA RE/MAX Series has left very little doubt for 2008.
Among the standard combination of superspeedways, short tracks and dirt tracks, the series, headed toward its 56th consecutive season, is going road course racing with an event at the brand new 2.3-mile New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) road course in Millville, New Jersey on September 28th, 2008. Grand-Am will be racing there in 2008 as well.
Aerial view of track under construction
"We started this project (NJMP) in 1992 with the dream of bringing world class racing to New Jersey," said NJMP Founder Green Flag Committee Don Fauerbach (lower right), who fielded a two-car ARCA RE/MAX Series team in 2000 with drivers' Mark Gibson and Joe Cooksey. "It's so gratifying to see it finally come to fruition. The paving is going down November 19th.
"I've been a proud member of the ARCA family for years and I can't tell you how thrilling this will be to welcome the ARCA family back to my hometown of Millville. I've been on cloud nine ever since we sealed the deal."
The course features 14 challenging turns and a half-mile straightway surrounded by 40 acres of full service paddock space. Amenities on this circuit will include concession buildings, event garages, 20 VIP Suites, banquet rooms, a covered false grid and a three story timing tower with media center and VIP facilities.
"The ARCA RE/MAX Series has long been recognized for the diversity in the types of venues on the schedule," said ARCA President Ron Drager. "Returning a road course to the '08 lineup, in the form of New Jersey Motorsports Park, truly rounds out the full range of venues to include paved short tracks, superspeedways, concrete surface intermediate tracks and the mile dirt state fairgrounds ovals."
The event at New Jersey Motorsports Park http://www.njmotorsportspark.com/ marks the 10th time the ARCA RE/MAX Series has raced on a road course since debuting on the now defunct Meadowdale Raceway road course in 1958.
Fred Lorenzen, in a Ford, won the inaugural 220-mile road course event at Meadowdale on October 19th, 1958.
Two more events at Meadowdale would follow on August 14th, 1960 when Nelson Stacy, from the pole, steered his way into victory lane in the 250-mile race; and then again on July 19th, 1964 when Elmer Musgrave, in a Mercury, drove to victory lane in the 250-mile race.
The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course showed up on the schedule in 1965 with three-time series champion Jack Bowsher driving to victory lane in the 250-mile race on July 25th.
It would not be until May 18th, 1986 before another road course event made its way onto the schedule at the now defunct St. Louis Int'l Raceway in Madison, Illinois. Bob Schacht won the 200-lap race over Bob Keselowski and Bob Brevak. Interestingly, there were 13 lead changes among four drivers to include Schacht and former champions' Bill Venturini, Lee Raymond and Keselowski.
Two events were staged at the Heartland Park road course in Topeka, Kansas in the early 90s where Ken Schrader, from the pole, won the Wendy's Big Classic 100 lap race on August 5th, 1991. Five-time Daytona winner Bobby Gerhart finished 4th with Frank Kimmel, making his road course debut, finishing seventh. Dale Earnhardt, Sr, making a rare ARCA appearance, finished 30th after an accident on lap 14 eliminated him from contention.
The other race at Heartland Park happened on August 2nd, 1991 when Darrell Waltrip won the 121-lap race.
The Des Moines Grand Prix was the next road course event on the schedule on July 3rd, 1994. Scott Lagasse, Sr held off Kimmel and Jimmy Spencer to win the 75-lap race through the downtown streets of Des Moines. Former NFL head coach Jerry Glanville finished ninth. Michael Waltrip is shown as the 14th place finisher.
The last time the ARCA RE/MAX Series appeared on a road course was at Watkins Glen Int'l on July 7th, 2001. John Finger won the thrilling race over Blaise Alexander, Kimmel, Robert Burroughs and Art Cross, completing the top-five.
For more, visit http://www.njmotorsportspark.com/.