This weekend’s NASCAR races at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course feature several drivers who got their first taste of stock car racing on a road course in the ARCA Menards Series.
In 2013, when the ARCA Menards Series visited the four-mile Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, the 160-mile event was dominated by development drivers, including Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott, Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney and Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon.
Elliott led the first lap before Dillon took control in the middle stages of the race. When Elliott and Dillon got together on the final lap, it opened the door for Roush Fenway Racing’s Chris Buescher, at the time driving for the Roulo Bros. Racing team, to score the 10th and final ARCA Menards Series win of his career.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) February 17, 2021
The ARCA Menards Series returned to Road America in 2017, this time for a 100-mile sprint race. The first of two last-lap incidents saw Austin Cindric and Cole Custer make contact in Turn 1, opening the door for Dalton Sargeant to take the lead. Sargeant got some help from Austin Theriault into Turn 5, sending the former spinning and the latter to Victory Lane.
Riley Herbst, who now drives for Stewart-Haas Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, finished second. Custer dropped to 11th, Cindric was 12th, and current Cup Series team owner Matt Tifft finished 15th.
Cindric, the defending Xfinity Series champion, has won four series races on road courses. Buescher, the 2015 Xfinity Series champion, earned his first series win at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, in 2014.
Last August, the ARCA Menards Series made its first appearance on the road course at Daytona, with noted road course racer and series championship contender Michael Self out-dueling Ty Gibbs for the win. The two traded the lead four times, with Self taking the spot for good with six laps remaining.
— Joe Gibbs Racing (@JoeGibbsRacing) February 18, 2021
Gibbs is scheduled make his second stock car appearance on the Daytona road course as he makes his Xfinity Series debut Saturday.
Hailie Deegan, last year’s sixth-place finisher in the ARCA Menards Series race at Daytona, will make her third career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series appearance. Deegan also made two starts at Sonoma Raceway in what’s now the ARCA Menards Series West.
Chandler Smith, who finished ninth in last summer’s Daytona ARCA race, will also be in the field driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Derek Kraus, a former ARCA Menards Series West champion, is entered. So is two-time defending ARCA Menards Series East champion and defending Sioux Chief Showdown champion Sam Mayer.
— Sam Mayer 💪 (@sam_mayer_) February 18, 2021
Sheldon Creed, the defending Camping World Truck Series champion and the 2018 ARCA Menards Series champion, won the last time the Trucks competed on the Daytona road course. He’ll look to make it two in a row.
The ARCA Menards Series returns to road course racing on Friday, June 4, at Mid-Ohio. It will be the first time the series has raced at Mid-Ohio since Jack Bowsher won in 1965.
The tripleheader weekend at Daytona starts with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series BrakeBest Brake Pads 159 at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday, followed by the Super Start Batteries 188 for the NASCAR Xfinity Series on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET, both live on FS1. Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 for the NASCAR Cup Series will be televised live starting at 3 p.m. ET on FOX.
All three races will also broadcast nationwide on affiliates of the MRN Radio network and on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio channel 90.