(COVINGTON, Ky.) – Officials from the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) and Menards® announced today a partnership which will position the Eau Claire, Wisc.-based home improvement retail chain as the official presenting sponsor of the ARCA Racing Series for the 2011 season. The announcement and official logo unveiling helped to highlight the annual Championship Awards Banquet press conference at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center.
The 2011 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season will open Saturday, February 12 at Daytona International Speedway, and will feature 19 races, many of which are in the direct footprint of the Menards retail area. Menards features over 250 stores in a total of 12 states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. In all, states featuring Menards stores will host 13 of the series’ 19 races in 2011.
“Menards is involved in racing because we are race fans,” said Jim Johnson, merchant coach for Menards. “We want to be in the racing community, and we think that the race fan is our customer.”
Also appearing at the Championship Awards Banquet press conference were representatives of the two major vendor partners in Menards’ relationship with ARCA, Ansell Protective Products and Messina Wildlife Management. Corey Haugen, the national accounts manager for the Red Bank, N.J.-headquartered Ansell, and James Messina, vice president of the Washington, N.J.-based Messina, both spoke to offer their support for Menards and the overall series partnership.
Menards, the Official Home Improvement Store of ARCA, enters its first season as the lone presenting sponsor, but is experienced as a key partner after serving as a presenting sponsor of the series in 2010 with outgoing RE/MAX International, which also served for nine years (2001-09) as a title sponsor.
“ARCA and Menards have established a very solid understanding of the opportunities and responsibilities on each side of this agreement after one full year of a presenting series sponsorship,” said Mark Gundrum, vice president of marketing and communications for ARCA. “We feel that the proven results of the successful Menards vendor program open the door for substantial growth of this partnership in the future.”
The major connection between ARCA and Menards stretches back to 2009, the company’s first year as a significant series partner. Menards acts as the title sponsor of the series’ pole award, the Menards Pole Award presented by Ansell.
Menards is also visible on track in the ARCA Racing Series. With Ansell, Menards is a co-primary sponsor of the No. 44 Kimmel Racing Ford and nine-time ARCA Racing Series champion Frank Kimmel.
Menards home improvement stores are well-known throughout the Midwest for a complete selection of high-quality, name-brand merchandise, tools for any job, and state-of-the-art in-store computers to help guests design their special projects. Menards carries the materials and tools for all home improvement projects from just needing a light bulb or can of paint to building a deck or new home.
Most Menards stores also carry name-brand appliances, pet products, lawn and garden supplies, and even a line of convenience groceries as a one-stop shopping experience. With home improvement at the forefront of today’s do-it-yourself market, Menardsprovides a valuable resource for the entire community. Menards creates employment opportunities and economic growth while fulfilling the various home improvement needs of local homeowners, tenants, and business owners.
The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards has crowned an ARCA national champion each year since its inaugural season in 1953, and has toured over 200 race tracks in 28 states since its inception. The series tests the abilities of drivers and race teams over the most diverse schedule of stock car racing events in the world, annually visiting tracks ranging from 0.4 mile to 2.66 miles in length, on both paved and dirt surfaces, as well as a left- and right-turn road course.
Founded by John Marcum in 1953 in Toledo, Ohio, the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is recognized among the leading sanctioning bodies in the country. Closing in on completing its sixth decade after hundreds of thousands of miles of racing, ARCA administers over 100 race events each season in two professional touring series and local weekly events.