It has been several weeks since it was announced NASCAR has purchased the ARCA Racing Series, with the full transition to take place following the 2019 season.
Although not much has been written in the national motorsports media pertaining to what the implications of the NASCAR purchase means, it has to be concerning to Midwest fans.
Of all the national stock car touring series, which includes three in NASCAR, the ARCA schedule is the most diverse with races on superspeedways, short tracks, dirt and a road course.
The speculation is NASCAR will eliminate the K&N East and West series and expect ARCA to fill the gap.
Or will ARCA become a Midwest edition of the K&N Series?
Either way, it’s not good news.
All this comes at a time when there are consistent rumors NASCAR is for sale. That could really shake up the future of stock-car racing in the U.S.
Several years ago, NASCAR bought the ARTGO Series that raced predominately in Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota. Within years, the series was closed down.
Is this what could happen to ARCA? Certainly is a possibility.
Aside from some field fillers, ARCA has produced pretty good racing over the years as young talent looks to move up the ranks of racing.
In many ways, the ARCA competition is comparable to the step-child of NASCAR racing — the Camping World Truck Series.
These two series produce better racing then either the Xfinity or Monster Energy Cup Series on a regular basis.
ARCA in recent years conducted four events in Indiana, two at Salem Speedway and one each at Lucas Oil Raceway and Winchester Speedway.
Winchester fell off the schedule this year, and it’s hard to believe Salem will keep two dates after 2019.
The Lucas Oil Raceway event will probably continue as part of the Brickyard 400 weekend. I certainly hope it isn’t moved to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which as everyone knows ruined an excellent Xfinity Series race on the LOR oval.
Years ago when the Robbins family sold the American Speed Association, the new owner made the mistake of trying to run more 1.5-mile ovals and got away from the short tracks that made the series one of the best in the nation.
That effort led to bankruptcy, and 13 years later there has been nothing close to comparing to the competitiveness of ASA on the short tracks.
If NASCAR truly wants to keep ARCA as a viable racing series, it can’t book them into NASCAR-owned tracks as a support race for the Xfinity Series but has to keep the short-track racing roots.
Locally, what does the ARCA sale to NASCAR mean for the Indiana-based Champion Racing Association? That current alliance agreement ends in 2019.
Aside from some behind-the-scenes advantages for CRA, the ARCA alliance hasn’t produced additional sponsorship money for race teams or tracks.
Currently CRA sanctions super late model, crate late model, sportsman late model and street stock divisions.
Will all four continue past 2019?
At this point, nobody knows for sure.
Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 640-4863.