Let’s Make a Deal; Entries Already In for 50th Annual Daytona Race; Tidbits From the Early Days

[media-credit name=”ARCARacing.com” align=”alignright” width=”345″]arca_daytona50[/media-credit](TOLEDO, Ohio – December 21, 2012) – So who wants to put their name in the record books as the winner of the 50th annual Daytona ARCA 200? Apparently, lots of people do. Just a week after the annual three-day ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards open test from Daytona Int’l Speedway, series officials have assembled the first look at the official entry list.

Already ARCA’s biggest prize, this year’s Daytona event will carry even more meaning as the 50th anniversary race for the ARCA Racing Series at Daytona.

ARCA’s history at Daytona reaches back to 1964 when Bill France, Sr. invited John Marcum’s Midwest Association for Race Cars (MARC) to race on the 2.5-mile superspeedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. The event would mark the very first superspeedway race for the expanding Midwestern-based tour.

France also made a suggestion to Marcum regarding his MARC tour now that the “World Center of Racing” would be on the schedule. It was France’s opinion that Marcum should consider changing the name from MARC to something that would reflect a series more national scope. Together, they came up with, ‘Automobile Racing Club of America’ (ARCA), and the rest is history.

Daytona, as history would show, would pave the way for many more superspeedway events, including one at Charlotte Motor Speedway (Curtis Turner/winner) that served as the season finale for the ’64 season.

Nelson Stacy won the inaugural Daytona ARCA race, which debuted as a 250-miler. However, Stacy was not officially the first ARCA winner at Daytona. That distinction would go to Earl Balmer, who won a 50-mile qualifying race the day before the big show.

There were actually two 50-mile qualifying races that led to the ultimate 250-mile big prize event, won by Balmer and Jack Bowsher. Much like NASCAR utilizes the 125-mile qualifiers to help determine the starting grid for the Daytona 500, ARCA, back then, staged twin qualifers to set the starting line-up.

So, technically, Balmer won the first ARCA race at Daytona on February 7, 1964, and Bowsher won the second 50-mile qualifier that immediately followed. However, it would be Stacy who would etch his name in the record books as winner of the inaugural ‘Daytona ARCA 250′ on February 8.

ARCA’s qualifying races were reduced to just 25-mile sprints in 1965, and remained that way through the 1967 season. In 1968, France and Marcum decided to eliminate the qualifying races altogether, and as a result, increased the race distance to 300 miles. The race distance remained at 300 miles up until 1974, when it was reduced to 200 miles, which it’s been ever since.

While Bowsher would eventually go on to win the ‘big race’ at Daytona, Balmer, Neil Castles (1967), Les Snow (1967) and Jack Lawrence (1966) could still rightfully call themselves Daytona winners as victors of ARCA’s qualifying races in the early days. And that’s still worth bragging about.


Entry List

  2013 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards Event #1  
  Daytona Int’l Speedway, Daytona Beach Florida, 2-16-13  
  Official Entry List, Lucas Oil 200 presented by MAVTV American Real
As of 12-21-12, 8:04 AM ET
2 Thomas Praytor/Mobile AL ARCA Mobile 200 Ford Wayne Hixson
3 Drew Charlson/New Bremen OH Charlson Racing Chevrolet Wayne Hixson
5 Bobby Gerhart/Lebanon PA Lucas Oil Chevrolet Bill Gerhart
6 Julian Jousse/St. Tropez France Eddie Sharp Racing Chevrolet Jessica Sharp
7 Brent Cross/Cortland NY Cross Racing Chevrolet Bill Gerhart
13 George Cushman/Waterville NY Cushman Truck Repair Dodge David Cushman
15 TBA Venturini Motorsports Toyota Bill Venturini
16 Ricky Ehrgott/New York NY Coulter Motorsports Chevrolet Joe Coulter
17 TBA Roulo Brothers Racing Ford Russ Roulo
19 Donnie Neuenberger/Edgewater MD Eagle Convenience Stores Chevrolet Donnie Neuenberger
22 Tom Hessert/Cherry Hill NJ Cunningham Motorsports Dodge Kerry Scherer
23 Spencer Gallagher/Las Vegas NV Allegiant Air Chevrolet Maury Gallagher
25 Justin Boston/Baltimore MD Venturini Motorsports Toyota Cathy Venturini
30 Terry Jones/Amherstburg Ontario Jones Group Ltd Dodge Terry Jones
32 Mason Mingus/Brentwood TN 811 Call Before You Dig Toyota Kevin Cywinski
38 Andrew Gresel/Hepworth ON Sauble Falls Tent & Trailer Park & Camping Ford Wes Gonder
40 Galen Hassler/Columbia MO Carter 2 Motorsports Dodge Roger Carter
42 Bo Lemastus/Louisville KY Crosley Radio Dodge Bo Lemastus
54 Matt Kurzejewski/Mansfield PA Costy’s Used Truck Parts & Auto Parts Dodge Dan Kurzejewski
55 TBA Venturini Motorsports Toyota Billy Venturini
58 Chad Hackenbracht/New Philadelphia OH Tastee Apple Chevrolet Greg Hackenbracht
69 Steve Kemp/Justin TX Kimmel Racing Ford Bill Kimmel
75 TBA Bob Schacht Motorsports Chevrolet Bob Schacht
77 Michel Disdier/Nice France auto-us.com Dodge Briggs Cunningham
88 Buster Graham/Lafayette LA Don Mashburn Inc Ford Howard Bixman
92 Brennan Newberry/Kernersville NC Newberry Racing Chevrolet Bob Newberry
94 Milka Duno/Caracas Venezuela Dave Leiner Racing Toyota Darrell Basham
97 Roger Carter/Sunfield MI Carter 2 Motorsports Dodge Dana Carter
99 TBA Roulo Brothers Racing Ford Gary Roulo
08 Clay Campbell/Martinsville VA Spraker Racing Ford Jeff Spraker
09 TBA BCR Ford Howard Bixman

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com


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