By Don Radebaugh, ARCA Racing Series
The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards is headed west to Kansas Speedway to wrap up the tour’s 65th consecutive season of competition and crown a new national champion. The Kansas 150 gets the green flag Friday night, October 20.
The Kansas 150 also serves as the show-opener for big triple-header weekend of racing to include the NASCAR Xfinity Series Kansas Lottery 300 Saturday and the Monster Energy Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 Sunday.
The Kansas 150 marks the 17th consecutive ARCA race at Kansas since the series debuted on the 1.5-mile superspeedway in 2001 – Jason Jarrett the inaugural winner. Other ARCA winners at Kansas include Frank Kimmel, Shelby Howard, Ryan Hemphill, Chad Blount, Scott Lagasse, Jr., Scott Speed, Parker Kligerman, Ty Dillon, Alex Bowman, Spencer Gallagher, Mason Mitchell and Chase Briscoe.
Fort Kent, Maine's Austin Theriault (Ken Schrader Racing), on the strength of seven wins this year, has a commanding lead in the national championship driver standings headed into the season finale over Cunningham Motorsports' Dalton Sargeant. In fact, if Theriault "enters and competes" at Kansas he will indeed clinch the national championship. Sargeant's Cunningham teammate Shane Lee, also entering Kansas, is currently third in championship points. Roush Fenway Racing development driver Ty Majeski is also expected to enter at Kansas in a third Cunningham Ford.
In addition to Theriault, Sargeant, Lee and Majeski, Eagle River, Wis.'s Natalie Decker is expected to enter in a Venturini Motorsports Toyota with sponsorship from N29 Capital Partners. Decker finished a career-best 7th in her road course debut at Road America. Her superspeedway best is 10th at Pocono. Expect two more entries from the Venturini stable with drivers Spencer Davis and newcomer Cole Rouse.
Bluffton, S.C.'s Gus Dean (Win-Tron Racing) and Las Vegas, Nev.'s Riley Herbst (Joe Gibbs Racing) are battling it out for the fourth spot in national championship standings. Dean leads Herbst by 70 points headed to Kansas. The race for SCOTT Rookie of the Year honors is even closer. Dean currently leads the SCOTT Rookie race by only two points over Herbst. It'll all come down to Kansas.
MDM Motorsports, winners of four ARCA races in 2017 with four different drivers, is expected to enter three cars with Huntington Beach, Calif.'s Zane Smith, Alpine, Calif.'s Sheldon Creed and Salt Lake City, Utah's Michael Self. Smith, in just two starts with MDM (Salem and Kentucky) finished second in both races. Creed, the General Tire pole winner at Kentucky, finished third at Kentucky, right behind Smith after leading 68 laps. Self finished third at Kansas last year.
Other teams expected to compete at Kansas include Mason Mitchell Motorsports, Bret Holmes Racing, Kimmel Racing, RFMS Racing, Team Crosley, Chad Finley Racing, Max Force Racing, Hylton Motorsports, Darrell Basham Racing, Hixson Motorsports, Peterson Motorsports and more.
Practice for the Kansas 150 is from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Oct. 20, followed by General Tire Pole Qualifying at 2:30 p.m. The 17th Kansas ARCA 150 is scheduled to get the green flag at 7:47, with live coverage on FS2. ARCAracing.com will also feature Live Timing and Scoring and Live Chat of all on-track activities.