[media-credit name=”ARCARacing.com” align=”alignright” width=”345″][/media-credit](TOLEDO, Ohio – December 18, 2012) – To see Daytona from the sidelines is one thing. To see it from the driver’s chair is quite another, and one thing the 2012 ARCA Touring Series champions will never forget.
“The Road to Daytona”, an ARCA initiative that offers champions from the ARCA CRA Super Series, the ARCA Midwest Tour, and the ARCA Allegiant Air Gold Cup Series the chance to test during ARCA’s open test at Daytona Int’l Speedway was an overwhelming success this past weekend.
And it was helped made possible by ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards champion Andy Hillenburg, whose Fast Track High Performance Driving School provided the cars while Roush Yates provided the engines.
“All I can say is wow,” said ARCA CRA Super Series champ Johnny VanDoorn.
“I don’t think anyone can explain the rush until you feel it yourself. I’m just grateful for all that has transpired this weekend and I really have a great appreciation for what ARCA is trying to do to build short track racing for these two
tours and the drivers within them. I’m honored to be a part of all of this and this pretty much tops off my Christmas.”
Jonathan Eilen, the 2012 ARCA Midwest Series champion, had a similar reaction.
“From the minute we drove through the tunnel I thought, how can this be happening?” Look at this place, I mean, how many people actually get to experience this opportunity in their racing career, Eilen said.
“All the years that our family has been coming down here and now it’s reality. The experience of this whole thing is amazing and I never envisioned being able to go this fast; it’s a new step in my career.”
Andy Hillenburg, a two-time ARCA Daytona winner and the 1995 Series champion, spearheaded the Road to Daytona experience for each ARCA touring series champion. His Fast Track High Performance Driving School, ARCA’s Official Driving School, provided the cars and support for the test.
“This new relationship with ARCA and the Midwest tour is going to be special,” added Eilen. “I can’t thank all of the parties involved enough for what they have done in such little time. I can’t wait to see all of the good things about to come in the future, this will give us something to talk about during the off season.”
Roush Yates, in full support of ARCA’s Road to Daytona, supplied the ARCA spec restrictor plate engine lease for the weekend.
“We commend ARCA for taking the initiative to develop their upcoming drivers,” said Doug Yates, CEO of Roush Yates. “Roush Yates is proud to power these standout racers as they compete to run on ARCA’s most prominent track.”
ARCA Allegiant Air Gold Cup Series champion Dakota Carlson opened up the three-day test among the three drivers on Friday, opening day.
“It was a little hairy at first, but after the first run it was awesome,” Carlson said.
“I have a whole new respect for how busy those guys are in the car to run in the draft. We had a great family vacation and it’s been a great experience. Andy (Hillenburg) was awesome to work with. Makes me want to win the ARCA Allegiant Air Gold Cup Late Model Series championship again in 2013 so I can come back.”