A look back at milestones this week in ARCA Racing history:
May 17, 1954 – Fonty Flock, one of three brothers known for their exploits on the southern-based NASCAR tour, scores his first MARC (now ARCA) victory at Ft. Wayne Speedway. The race was a 200-lapper around the very tough 5/8-mile banked track that hosted a total of 13 races from 1954 through 1967. Brother Bob would also score a pair of MARC wins later in the season at Lakewood Speedway near Atlanta.
May 17, 1964 – Darel Dieringer drove Bill Stroppe’s Mercury to victory in the Cotati Challenge at the 1.9-mile Cotati Raceway road course, the eighth race of the 29-race Pacific Coast Late Model Division (now ARCA Menards Series West) tour. Dieringer had scored the first of his seven career NASCAR Cup Series wins the previous year. He defeated Bill Amick and eventual series champion Ron Hornaday to score his only Pacific Coast Late Model win.
May 15, 1971 – Keokuk, Iowa ace Ramo Stott raced his 1971 Plymouth to the victory over Andy Hampton, Tom Bowsher, Iggy Katona and Harold Fair in a 200-lap clash on the highbanks of the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. Stott and Hampton were the only drivers to complete the full distance, with third-place Bowsher three laps back. Stott, the defending series champion, would go on to his second straight series title.
May 16, 1981 – ARCA co-founder and president John Marcum died of a heart attack the night before the series race at Dayton Speedway. The Dayton track was the site of the first series race back in 1953 and it would hold its final ARCA-sanctioned event the next day, won by Larry Moyer. Veteran ARCA official Bob Loga assumed the leadership role and with the help of NASCAR’s France family, ARCA would grow from eight races in 1981 to 20 races in 1983.
May 15, 1988 – Pete Silva outdueled Stub Fadden to win the Busch North 150 at the tight quarter-mile Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, New Hampshire. Future NASCAR Busch Series – now XFINITY Series – champion Chuck Bown finished third in front of Kelly Moore and Joey Kourafas. Silva started second and led the final 137 laps to score the first of his two career NASCAR Busch North Series – now ARCA Menards Series East – victories.
May 15 & 16, 1993 – Dyer, Indiana’s Dave Weltmeyer swept a weekend double-header in the Roulo Bros. Racing Chevrolet. On Saturday night, Weltmeyer beat rookie Jeremy Mayfield by 11.5 seconds on the tricky, nearly-circular Kil-Kare Speedway in Xenia, Ohio. Former series champions Bob Keselowski and Bob Brevak followed, with rookie Tim Steele rounding out the top five. On Sunday afternoon, Weltmeyer completed the weekend sweep at the third-mile Columbus Motor Speedway, this time with Steele in tow just two seconds back at the flag. Defending series champion Bobby Bowsher, from nearby Springfield, Ohio, was third, with Rick Sheppard and Mayfield rounding out the top five.
May 12, 2001 – Defending series champion Brendan Gaughan scored his second straight West victory in Food 4 Less 250 at Irwindale Speedway. Driving for Bill McAnally Racing, Gaughan edged Mark Reed in overtime to score his fourth career series win. Sean Woodside, Kevin Richards, and Bill Sedgwick rounded out the top five.
May 17, 2014 – Ben Rhodes defeated a stacked field of East and West challengers to win the Casey’s General Stores 150 at Iowa Speedway. Nick Drake, Scott Heckert, Jay Beasley, and Brandon Jones rounded out the top five. It was Rhodes’ second win of the season and first in a run of four straight East wins en route to the 2014 championship.