Talladega returns in 2015...53rd appearance in May

Talladega returns in 2015...53rd appearance in May

(TOLEDO, Ohio – November 21, 2014) – Talladega Superspeedway is known for its high speeds and tight racing. In early May, Tom Hessert squeezed his way into victory lane in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards race by leading the final three laps and getting pushed to the front by teammate Austin Wayne Self.

Hessert will have a chance to defend his Talladega win on May 1, 2015, when the ARCA Racing Series returns to Talladega Superspeedway.  The traditional spring race will be the 53rd ARCA race at the 2.66-mile track since 1969.

"Talladega is such an awesome place,” Hessert said. “The racing is second to none for the drivers, teams and fans.  It always comes down to the wire and provides a ton of excitement. Being able to win there last May was incredible, as I feel like we have had some great shots there in the past, but weren’t able to seal the deal. It's very special to be a winner at a well-recognized speedway like Talladega and I'm very proud of that." 

In addition to Hessert’s electrifying 0.140-second win, 2014 also marked the introduction of a new qualifying procedure for ARCA at Talladega. Teams qualified together. Instead of one car going against the clock, the cars were placed into groups based on their speeds from the practice session. The fastest laps during qualifying, which showcased drafting, determined each car's numerical starting position in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 200. Grant Enfinger, in a Ford Fusion, won the Menards Pole Award in 2014, his only pole of the season.

ARCA has a long history at Talladega. Drivers like Ramo Stott, Mark Martin, Davey Allison, Red Farmer, Grant Adcox, Tracy Leslie, Charlie Glotzbach, Tim Steele, Mike Wallace, Bobby Gerhart, Paul Menard, Justin Allgaier, Dakoda Armstrong, Ty Dillon and Brandon McReynolds have all visited victory lane.

The only repeat winner since the 1990s is Frank Kimmel, who won in 2006 and 2013, both championship years for Kimmel. In fact, winning at Talladega helped the championship cause for several others drivers as well, including Stott in 1970, Steele in 1993, 1996 and 1997, Allgaier in 2008, Justin Lofton in 2009 and Dillon in 2011.

“ARCA has been a staple of Talladega Superspeedway since the track’s beginning in 1969,” said Talladega Chairman Grant Lynch. “Over the years, our ARCA races have been some of the most competitive in not only the ARCA Series, but in all of motorsports. The series has an array of young, talented up-and-coming drivers as well as seasoned veterans who know how to win. We can’t wait to have the traditional May ARCA event back again in 2015.”

The Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is among the leading auto racing sanctioning bodies in the country. Founded in 1953 by John and Mildred Marcum, the organization administers more than 100 events each year in multiple racing series, including the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, the ARCA/CRA Super Series, the ARCA Truck Series and the ARCA Midwest Tour, plus weekly racing at Toledo and Flat Rock Speedways.

The 63rd ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season is now taking shape as several race dates have been announced, including the season opener at Daytona International Speedway February 14 and the closing race October 16 at Kansas Speedway. More race dates will be announced in the coming days.

The complete 2015 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule is slated for release Wednesday, November 26.

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