As the sport of stock car racing has evolved, it has become a young person’s game. Most first-year drivers are often so young that they don’t even have a driver’s license to go up to the corner store, but they’ve been racing quarter midgets and/or go-karts since they were in grade school, so making the move to a full-sized stock car isn’t always a big leap.
But the ARCA Menards Series, as it has since 1953, has been a landing place not only for young up-and-coming drivers, but professional drivers who would like to make ARCA their “home”, and, a place where those who have built a successful career in business can come and live their dreams to race cars.
That’s exactly what Rockford, Michigan’s Scott Melton did in 2019. After dipping his toes in the water in a couple of appearances in 2018, Melton teamed with Kimmel Racing for ten starts in 2019 on many of the sport’s biggest showcase venues.
After a tough start to the season, a 32nd-place finish at Daytona due to brake failure, Melton had a steady and consistent remainder of the year.
Melton stayed out of trouble and came home 18th at Talladega, a notoriously difficult task even for the most seasoned of drivers. From there he finished 14th at Charlotte and 13th at Pocono, improving each and every time he took to the track.
The break-thru happened at Melton’s home race at Michigan International Speedway, where he scored his first-ever top-ten finish when he crossed the stripe in ninth. Impressively, he backed it up the next time he took to the track with a tenth-place finish at Chicagoland.
A trio of short track events were up next, and Melton stayed consistent. He finished in the top 15 in each of the three races at Iowa, Salem, and Lucas Oil Raceway, with a best finish of 12th at the Kimmel’s home track, Salem.
In ten starts, Melton completed 1,072 of a possible 1,168 laps and earned two top-ten finishes on his way to fifteenth in the final ARCA Menards Series championship standings.
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.