Toledo, Ohio (July 10,2018) – The biggest and most prestigious stock car race in the state of Minnesota is up next for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards as the series visits the Twin Cities area for the Sioux Chief PowerPEX 250 at the three-eighths mile Elko Speedway. The race will be the fifth for the ARCA Racing Series at the tight Elko bullring since 2012.
The first series race at Elko in 2012 saw Brennan Poole score the victory, Frank Kimmel scored his 78th career ARCA win at Elko in 2013, Grant Enfinger won in 2014, and Austin Theriault won in 2017.
Poole’s victory, one of six career ARCA wins, helped establish him as one of the sport’s young guns and eventually helped propel him into an opportunity in the NASCAR XFINITY Series with Chip Ganassi Racing. He has a total of 83 career NXS starts and finished a career-best sixth in the series standings in 2017. Kimmel’s 2013 win came while driving for team owner Duke Thorson, a Bemidji, Minnesota native, en route to breaking ARCA’s all-time win record along with his record-setting tenth series championship. Kimmel will return to Elko in 2018 as a crew chief for Venturini Motorsports.
Enfinger’s 2014 victory was one of six in 2014. He would finish second in the championship standings in 2014, but went on to become series champion in 2015. He currently drives for ThorSport Racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Theriault, driving for Ken Schrader Racing, picked up the win on his way to the 2017 ARCA Racing Series championship. It was one of seven wins on the season, the most of any ARCA champion since current Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Ty Dillon also won seven times in 2011.
ARCA’s visit to Elko Speedway will also offer one of the series’ regulars an unlikely chance to race at the track where his racing career began ten years ago. Joe Graf, Jr. started racing Bandoleros at Elko when he was just nine years old. Graf is a resident of Mahwah, New Jersey, and prior to joining the ARCA Racing Series earlier in the season had figured he wouldn’t have a chance to race at Elko again.
“I was a young kid running a Bandolero wide open around Elko back then,” said the driver of the Chad Bryant Racing No. 77 Big Tine Ford. “It was a lot of fun. My dad was working in the Twin Cities area back then, but we’ve been back in New Jersey and racing back where our family is from. There really wasn’t a chance we’d have ever had the opportunity to go back to Elko if not for getting a ride in the ARCA series. I was pretty excited when we got the deal put together and saw we were heading to Elko again.”
Sheldon Creed leads the series standings by 200 points over his MDM Motorsports teammate Zane Smith heading into the Sioux Chief PowerPEX 250. Both drivers have won three ARCA races so far in 2018; Creed’s wins have all come in the last five races,including last Saturday night at Iowa Speedway, while Smith’s wins all came in the first five races of the year.
The Sioux Chief PowerPEX 250 is a one-day show, with practice scheduled at 3:15 pm ET/2:15 pm local; General Tire Pole Qualifying is set for 6:45 pm ET/5:45 pm local; and the green flag will wave over the race at 10 pm ET/9 pm local. The race is scheduled to be televised live on MAVTV; ARCARacing.com will have live timing and scoring and live track updates for all on-track sessions for registered users.
FAST FACTS: Sioux Chief PowerPEX 250
- WHAT: Sioux Chief PowerPEX 250
- SANCTION: ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards
- WHERE: Elko Speedway
- TRACK LENGTH: 0.375
- RACE LENGTH: 250 laps/93.75 miles
- WHEN: 10 pm ET/9 pm CT; July 14, 2018
- BROADCAST: MAVTV, live
- 2017 WINNER: Austin Theriault, 63.311 mph
- 2017 POLE: Riley Herbst, 93.998 mph
- TRACK RECORD: Justin Haley, 94.525 mph, June 21, 2014
- The Sioux Chief PowerPEX 250 is the 13th race of 20 on the 2018 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. It is also the sixth round of the 2018 Sioux Chief Short Track Challenge, an eleven-race championship-within-a-championship that takes place on tracks less than one-mile in length throughout the season.
- At just 0.375 miles, Elko Speedway is the shortest track the ARCA Racing Series visits throughout 2018. The longest is Talladega Superspeedway at 2.66 miles. At 250 laps, it’s the most laps the series races in a single event throughout the season, but at 93.75 miles it’s the shortest race of the year.
- The Sioux Chief PowerPEX 250 marks the only time the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards will visit Minnesota in 2018; it joins Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Wisconsin as states that play host to series events throughout the season. Illinois hosts four events, Indiana three, Pennsylvania and Michigan have two, and every other state the series visits has one.
- Sheldon Creed, driver of the No. 28 United Rentals Toyota, has won three of the last five ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards events. He scored his first career ARCA win at Michigan in June, followed it up with a win at Gateway to close the month of June, and won at Iowa last Saturday night. He leads the championship standings by 200 points over Zane Smith. Creed has 3160 points, Smith has 2960, Riley Herbst is third at 2710, Chase Purdy is fourth with 2670 and Travis Braden rounds out the top five at 2615.
- Zane Smith, driver of the No. 41 LaPaz Margarita Mix Toyota, leads the Sioux Chief Short Track Challenge standings heading to Elko. He has 1120 points and leads by 75 over his MDM Motorsports teammate Chase Purdy with 1045. Chandler Smith, who won at Madison, sits third with 1025, Creed is tied for third also at 1025, and Bret Holmes rounds out the top five with 935.
- Chandler Smith, driver of the No. 20 Smith General Contracting Toyota, leads the General Tire Pole Award standings with four. He is joined by Sheldon Creed, who earned the General Tire Pole Award at Iowa, as the only drivers to earn more than one pole award so far in 2018. Creed has won the last three consecutive General Tire Pole Awards. Natalie Decker, Todd Gilliland, Noah Gragson, Brandon Jones and Michael Self have earned single pole awards so far this season.
- Willie Mullins, driver of the No. 3 CW Metals/Bugsy’s Auto Ford, will be making his second series start of 2018 at Elko. His only other ARCA start of the season came in the opener at Daytona where he finished a career-best second. Mullins has partnered with Hixson Motorsports for this race, but is driving a car he owns and maintains. He has also entered a second car for Robert Bruce. Mullins is a trash truck mechanic by trade from Fredricksburg, Virginia; he finished 14th at Elko in 2017.
- Mullins and Bruce will be on hand at CW Metals in nearby Monticello, Minnesota on Friday. They will have one of their racecars on display, and fans can win a chance to be an honorary pit crew member or free tickets to the Sioux Chief PowerPEX 250.
- There have been four winners in the four previous ARCA Racing Series events at Elko: Brennan Poole in 2012, Frank Kimmel in 2013, Grant Enfinger in 2014, and Austin Theriault in 2017. The race at Elko marks the fifth consecutive ARCA event in which there have been no repeat winners.
- There have been four General Tire Pole Award winners in the four previous ARCA races at Elko: Alex Bowman in 2012, Ken Schrader in 2013, Justin Haley in 2014, and Riley Herbst in 2017.
- The deepest a winner has come on the starting grid to win an ARCA event at Elko is sixth (Frank Kimmel, 2013).
- Grant Enfinger led 211 laps en route to the win at Elko in 2014, the most of any Elko ARCA winner. Enfinger’s 211 laps led is also the record for most laps led at Elko Speedway for the ARCA Racing Series. Riley Herbst is the leading active driver on the laps led scoreboard with 130 laps led, while Christian Eckes has paced the field for 91 laps.
- Austin Theriault led just 4 laps en route to victory in 2017, the fewest laps led by any winner of an ARCA Racing Series event at Elko Speedway. Theriault and Christian Eckes exchanged the lead three times in the final five laps; Theriault led the final two.
- There were a record eight cautions for 77 laps in the 2017 event at Elko Speedway; there were also eight cautions in 2013.
- There were a record 11 lead changes in the 2017 race at Elko.