With a new series entitlement sponsor, two race entitlement sponsors either renewing or initiating deals, and an upward trend in television ratings, the ARCA Menards Series has started 2019 with positive momentum.
As was announced at Daytona just hours before the season took its first green flag at Daytona International Speedway, Eau Claire, Wisconsin-based home improvement retailer Menards has upped its involvement with the series, making the leap from the series’ presenting sponsor to the series’ entitlement sponsor. The day before, following qualifying, Lucas Oil announced an extension of its long-term sponsorship of the Daytona event while Procter & Gamble announced its Bounty brand will sponsor the series’ annual stop at Chicagoland Speedway.
Television ratings for the ARCA Menards Series season opener at Daytona also show an upward trend. One of eight races shown live on FS1 in 2019, the Lucas Oil 200’s viewership was up eight percent from 2018.
“To have Lucas Oil extend its support as our race entitlement sponsor at Daytona and Chicagoland Speedway confirm its ARCA event entitlement of a new Menards vendor program through Procter & Gamble’s Bounty brand is very validating,” said Ron Drager, President of ARCA. “Considering that John Menard came to Daytona to take part in the announcement elevating Menards from it’s 10-year position as series presenting entitlement to a multi-year series entitlement position, and having earned a significant increase in viewership of our Daytona event from 2019 over 2018 gives us even more momentum at the onset of the season. This is all good, positive news for the ARCA community.”
The series traditionally took a two-month hiatus after its season opener at Daytona, but that has also changed for 2019. A new event at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida has been added to the schedule to bridge that gap. It’s hoped the ARCA event at Five Flags can give the facility an early-season major event to bookend the Five Flags season combined with the annual Snowball Derby, among the biggest pavement late model races in the country, held each year in December.
“We are extremely excited about ARCA returning to the popular Five Flags Speedway,” said event co-promoter Bob Sargent, president of Track Enterprises. “We think it will be one of the most exciting races of the ARCA season, and early fan interest is also showing everyone’s feelings. We put our tickets on sale several weeks ago and are thrilled with the response. We are getting many calls each and every day.”
ARCA became a NASCAR property in 2018 and the Midwest-based sanctioning body continues to be operated and administrated from its offices just north of Toledo, Ohio in Temperance, Michigan.
The ARCA Menards Series is comprised of 20 races held at 18 tracks in 13 states. Each race is televised live, with eight races on FS1 and 12 races on MAVTV. Additionally, the series’ website, ARCARacing.com, streams live timing & scoring information throughout each on-track session throughout the year.