It was a season of perseverance for Tommy Vigh, Jr. and 1995 ARCA Menards Series champion Andy Hillenburg’s Fast Track High Performance Racing team.
Vigh, from Otisville, New York, is a long-time veteran of the northeast DIRTCar Small Block Modified wars, with twelve career wins at a variety of bullrings throughout the region. He made the move into the ARCA Menards Series in 2018 on a limited basis, finishing among the top-15 in each of his three starts last season.
A full-season run was planned for Vigh and Fast Track Racing in 2019, and Vigh achieved a bucket-list item when he made his debut at the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway for the season opener. Unfortunately a mechanical problem brought Vigh down pit road for several laps, relegating him to 23rd at the finish.
From there, Vigh showed just how competitive he could be with a pair of solid short track performances at Five Flags Speedway and Salem Speedway, where he finished 13th and 11th respectively.
The season’s second drafting track race at Talladega Superspeedway proved to be a tough one for Vigh as he spun in the tri-oval and made hard contact with the inside wall. But as any hard racer would, Vigh strapped back in for the next series race at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville and notched a twelfth-place finish. Vigh continued to show strength when he notched his first career ARCA Menards Series top-ten finish with a ninth-place run at Toledo Speedway the next time out.
The next short track race at Madison saw Vigh nearly crack the top ten again, this time an eleventh-place finish. A spate of bad luck through the summer kept Vigh and the Fast Track team from showing their full potential, but 13th-place finish at DuQuoin and a 12th-place at Lucas Oil Raceway were high points as the season wound to a close.
Vigh’s performances put him in position to receive the 2019 Bounty Rookie of the Year Award at the ARCA Menards Series Championship Awards Banquet. As of now, Vigh would become the series’ oldest-ever rookie of the year at 54 years of age.
ARCA’s 67th season will come to a close when Christian Eckes will officially be crowned the 36th ARCA Menards Series champion on Saturday, December 14 at the Championship Banquet held at the Indiana State Convention Center, held annually in conjunction with the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show. Tickets to the black tie gala, which are also available to the general public, are on sale now.