NOTEBOOK: Watkins Glen hosting 27th road race in the history of ARCA Menards Series – ARCA –

Road racing doesn’t have a particularly extensive history in the ARCA Menards Series, but it does date back more than 60 years.
Friday’s General Tire Delivers 100 at Watkins Glen International (6 p.m. ET on FS1) will be just the 27th road course event in the history of the ARCA Menards Series. It’ll be the third time the ARCA Menards Series has raced at Watkins Glen, with the series having first visited the venue in 2001.
While ARCA hosted its first event in 1953 at Ohio’s Dayton Speedway, it wasn’t until Oct. 19, 1958 that ARCA made its first visit to a road course at Meadowdale International Raceway in Carpentersville, Illinois. Fred Lorenzen emerged as the winner that day for one of his 11 victories earned in ARCA competition.
Meadowdale would host two more ARCA events in the following years, with Nelson Stacy and Elmer Musgrave claiming victories in those events.
Virginia International Raceway, located in Alton, Virginia, hosted one ARCA Menards Series race in 1962. That event belonged to 17-time NASCAR Cup Series race winner Curtis Turner. It was one of four ARCA races he won during his career.
ARCA at Watkins Glen: Entry list | Complete event schedule
The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course hosted its inaugural ARCA Menards Series race during the 1965 season, an event won by Jack Bowsher. Mid-Ohio would not return to the ARCA schedule again until 2021, when Ty Gibbs visited Victory Lane. Taylor Gray won the most recent ARCA event at Mid-Ohio held earlier this year.
Following the event at Mid-Ohio in 1965, ARCA didn’t compete at a road course again until the 1986 season when the tour made its only visit to St. Louis International Raceway. Bob Schacht earned one of his 17 ARCA Menards Series wins in that race. The track was later demolished to make way for World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois.
Heartland Park Topeka in Topeka, Kansas, played host to a pair of ARCA events in 1991 and ’92. Those events were won by a pair NASCAR stars, with Ken Schrader winning the 1991 race and Darrell Waltrip scoring his first of two ARCA victories in 1992.
One of the more unique events in ARCA history took place in 1994, with the ARCA Menards Series competing in its only street course event on the streets of Des Moines, Iowa. Scott Lagasse took home the checkered flag, which proved to be the only win of his ARCA career.
ARCA wouldn’t return to road course action again until 2001, when the series made its debut at Watkins Glen International. John Finger triumphed in a chaotic finish to earn his lone ARCA Menards Series victory in his only series start. Watkins Glen would welcome ARCA back in 2021, with Corey Heim putting Venturini Motorsports in Victory Lane.
New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, New Jersey, welcomed the ARCA Menards Series for the first time in 2008 and would go on to host nine events for the series through the 2016 season. Canadian Andrew Ranger made the most of New Jersey’s addition to the ARCA schedule, winning four-straight races at the track from 2011 to ’14.
Additional ARCA events at New Jersey Motorsports Park were won by Justin Allgaier, Patrick Long, Parker Kligerman, Casey Roderick and Kyle Weatherman.
Palm Beach International Raceway, located in Jupiter, Florida, hosted its lone ARCA Menards Series race in 2010. The event, a rain soaked affair, was won by Justin Marks, who would go on to become co-owner of the Trackhouse Racing NASCAR Cup Series team.
One of the most scenic road courses in the United States, Road America, has hosted ARCA twice. The first race was held in 2013 and was won by 2012 series champion Chris Buescher. The series returned again in 2017, with Austin Theriault capturing the checkered flag.
Last but certainly not least, the Daytona International Speedway Road Course welcomed the ARCA Menards Series for the first and thus far only time in 2020. Michael Self, driving for Venturini Motorsports, collected one of his two victories that season.
Austin Wayne Self has a busy weekend planned at Watkins Glen International.
First, on Friday the driver from Austin, Texas, will make his return to the ARCA Menards Series to compete in the General Tire Delivers 100.
It’ll be the second-straight season Self has raced with ARCA at Watkins Glen and will mark the 51st start of his ARCA Menards Series career. Much like he did last year, Self will be piloting the No. 32 owned by Kevin Cywinski.
Self made his ARCA debut during the 2013 season, competing in a handful of events for Cunningham Motorsports. He contested the full ARCA schedule the next two seasons, earning his only ARCA Menards Series victory so far during the 2015 season at Winchester Speedway while driving for Mason Mitchell Motorsports.
He’s dabbled in ARCA since the 2015 season, running a handful of events here and there as his schedule has allowed.
Once Self has wrapped up his duties in the ARCA garage on Friday at Watkins Glen, he’ll shift gears and turn his attention to making his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut. Self is entered in a second car fielded by Jordan Anderson Racing for Saturday’s race, an event he’ll be required to qualify for on time.
Self has become a mainstay in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, where he’s raced since 2016. While he’s never won a race, he does have a runner-up finish at Daytona International Speedway in Truck Series competition.
Watkins Glen International could be the ideal place for Connor Mosack to earn his first ARCA Menards Series victory.
Mosack, who is also competing in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race for Sam Hunt Racing, has enjoyed success previously at Watkins Glen. In 2021, Mosack earned his first Trans Am Series TA2 division victory at the track.
The young driver from Charlotte, North Carolina, has gained much of his racing experience at road courses in the Trans Am Series and has shown speed in ARCA competition when turning left and right already this year.
Earlier this year, Mosack led nine laps and finished second during a rain soaked ARCA Menards Series West event at Portland International Raceway. Friday’s race at Watkins Glen will be his first road course event with the ARCA Menards Series.
Mosack has made six ARCA Menards Series starts this year driving for Bret Holmes Racing and hasn’t finished worse 10th.
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