NASCAR brings ARCA Series under its umbrella; long relationship to aid partnership

Ron Drager, left, and Jim France (Getty Photographs)

TALLADEGA, Ala. — NASCAR on Friday introduced it has acquired the Vehicle Racing Membership of America (ARCA) Series after a 60-plus yr relationship between the sanctioning our bodies that began with NASCAR founder Invoice France Sr. and ARCA founder John Marcum.

NASCAR vice chairman Jim France joined ARCA president Ron Drager, Marcum’s grandson, at Talladega Superspeedway on Friday to formalize the settlement. 

“Our NASCAR household has long had a particular reference to our associates at ARCA, and this can be a logical step in demonstrating our dedication to the subsequent era of racers,” France stated. 

A lot of the longer term between the 2 collection is feasible due to their prolonged and profitable previous relationship. The 2 founders raced towards each other earlier than founding their respective governing our bodies. 

“Our place within the business over all these years — sixty seven years — has been actually intertwined with NASCAR,” Drager stated. “Earlier than there was a NASCAR, earlier than there was an ARCA, there was a relationship between the Marcum and France households. 

“And over all these years and over all this time period, we at ARCA have been lucky to carve out a spot within the business and to give you the option to be a constructive a part of our sport. I feel that is actually simply coming again full circle to the place issues began out. This supplies ARCA with sustainability. 

“We’re all wanting towards the longer term and making an attempt to work out the place we’d like to be and the way greatest to stabilize and are available collectively to make the game stronger. I feel a coming-collectively is an effective approach to do it.” 

ARCA will proceed to function under its present construction by way of the 2019 season. Particulars of the 2020 season and past will probably be forthcoming, however a lot of what makes this union interesting is the distinctive market ARCA has long served and bringing that market under the NASCAR umbrella. 

Jim France, one of many essential forces behind this new alliance, has confirmed himself a grasp of motorsports mergers. He introduced collectively sportscar racing’s Grand-Am Street Racing and American Le Mans Series in 2012, making a thriving and “modernized” Worldwide Motor Sports activities Affiliation (IMSA). 

“There aren’t many industries, notably sports franchises or leagues, that help an business the best way the France household and Marcum-Drager household has. And for them to be a part of forces and are available again collectively in any case these years, I feel that is a praise to not simply their households, however an enormous message to motorsports members, whether or not a automotive proprietor, crew member or participant, or fan,” NASCAR vice chairman Mike Helton stated. “I feel it exhibits that each of these households consider in the way forward for inventory automotive racing and motorsports.”

For Drager, the longer term is about elevated alternative and the power to function the perfect of ARCA’s providing in drivers, venues and competitors. It presently has a schedule of 20 races, together with 9 occasions at NASCAR nationwide occasion venues. ARCA driver Natalie Decker, 20, made historical past in February by turning into the third lady in ARCA historical past to win a pole at Daytona Worldwide Speedway. A former “NASCAR Subsequent” driver, Michael Self, gained the race.

“The relationship is actually seven many years, and in order you wind on down the street and construct relationships over an prolonged time period, this was all the time a really pure relationship, one thing that simply ultimately made sense to formalize,” Drager stated. “There was actually no timeline on it. I feel it is simply one thing that simply very steadily and really naturally occurred.”