During preseason testing for the ARCA Menards Series at Daytona International Speedway at Daytona Beach, Fla., on Friday Jan. 10, 2020.
The ARCA Menards Series will begin their 68th season of racing at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday. (Kate Gardiner/ARCA Racing)

PIT BOX: Daytona Kicks Off 68th Season of ARCA Racing

As the second week of February rolls around, all eyes in the motorsports world turn to “The World Center of Racing.”

The ARCA Menards Series will begin their 68th season of racing at Daytona International Speedway for the 36th consecutive year, marking yet another milestone in one of the most historical racing series worldwide.

A healthy mix of seasoned veterans and primed rookies make up the 34-car field that’ll take the green on the high banks this weekend to kick off the new decade of ARCA Menards Series racing.

LUCAS OIL 200 AT DAYTONA

WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

Michael Self’s 2020 season may as well be a revenge tour, as the championship runner-up in 2019 is looking to do one spot better in the 20-race slate this go around (and repeat his 2018 triumph at Daytona). Coming off a year with 14 top five finishes and four wins may be tough to top, but Self, paired with crew chief Kevin Reed, may be the man for the job.

DownloadHe’ll do so with Venturini Motorsports, alongside teammates Drew Dollar and Ryan Repko, who’ll be making their third career series starts.

DGR-Crosley may have the most eyes on them this year, with Hailie Deegan competing for Bounty Rookie of the Year honors after switching from Toyota to Ford in the offseason. Her teammate, Tanner Gray, an ARCA East winner in 2019, will be racing with Deegan in preparation for his Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series event later in the week.

Veteran Thomas “Moose” Praytor has logged over 1,000 laps and 2,700 miles — more than any active driver in the last decade — and he’s back for yet another go round. As is Brad Smith, who will return for his remarkable 27th season of competition and is approaching his 350th start. He’s tied with Sean Corr for the most prior starts (10) at the 2.5-mile venue.

Bret Holmes, who finished third in the championship standings in 2019 and revealed he will run 14 races in a part-time schedule this year, will be donning some new colors but in a familiar vehicle. The Munford, Alabama native, is coming off eight top five and 18 top 10 finishes in 2019 and will have Shane Huffman returning atop the pit box to help his efforts.

David Gravel, a 51-time World of Outlaws winner, will be making first asphalt start for GMS Racing. He’ll have veteran crew chief Jeff Stankiewicz helping guide him through the transition.

RACING-REFERENCE: Previous ARCA Menards Series Races at Daytona | ARCA Menards Series Drivers’ career stats at Daytona

RACE FACTS

RACE LUCAS OIL 200 Driven By General Tire
PLACE Daytona International Speedway
DATE Saturday, February 8, 2020
TIME 4:30 p.m. EDT
TELEVISION FOX Sports 1 (live), 4:30 p.m. EDT
TRACK LAYOUT 2.5-mile paved tri-oval
2019 WINNER Harrison Burton
2019 POLE Christian Eckes
EVENT SCHEDULE FRIDAY: Garage opens: 8 a.m. EDT; Practice: 1:30-2:30 p.m.; Final practice: 3-4 p.m.

SATURDAY: Garage opens: 7:30 a.m.; General Tire Pole Qualifying: 12:30.; Driver introductions: 4:20 p.m.; Lucas Oil 200: 4:30 p.m. (approx)

TWITTER @DISUpdates, @ARCA_Racing, @NASCARRoots
HASHTAG #LucasOil200

RACE CENTER | ENTRY LIST

CREW CHIEF HANDOUT: The starting field for the Lucas Oil 200 is limited to 34 starters, including provisional positions. The first 31 drivers will secure starting positions based on qualifying for the Lucas Oil 200. The remaining three spots will be awarded through the provisional process. All participants must hold a valid 2020 license in ARCA. Up to 6 additional provisional starting postions may be added for a maximum starting field of 40.

Three provisional positions will be reserved for car owners based on 2019 ARCA Menards Series final point standings, plus three for a Golden A eligible team which competed in 100% of the series races in 2019. One additional provisional for past champion as per Rulebook or if no eligible past champion, a Golden A eligible team which competed in 100% of the Series races in 2019.

QUALIFYING: In timed sessions by group. No adjustments or repairs may be made on car after taking the green flag at Start/Finish line. All cars must make a qualifying attempt, and all drivers must practice before they can qualify.

The Lucas Oil 200 will be 80 laps (200 miles).

The maximum tire allotment available for this event is as follows: Four (4) tires for qualifying and an additional eight (8) tires to be utilized during the race for a total of twelve (12) tires.

A team representative must designate qualifying and race tires to NASCAR Officials at the designated time. Teams will be allowed to bring one (1) set of tires from home to register for practice session(s). Tires must be proper code and registered with NASCAR Officials prior to the beginning of the practice sessions.

MEDIA CENTER:

ARCA: Bret Holmes Racing Announces 2020 Plans | Opportunity Knocks For Parker Retzaff | Praytor(s) Ready For Daytona | Natalie Decker teams with Ken Schrader for Lucas Oil 200 at Daytona | ARCA Menards Series Aligns Championship Point Structure for 2020