INDIANAPOLIS -- (Dec. 3, 2017) -- More than 300 people are finalizing their plans to gather next Saturday night, Dec. 9 at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis for the 65th annual ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards national championship awards banquet.
ARCA veteran driver Ed Pompa and his wife Nancy have been regular banquet goers for years.
"It's our chance to get out, get dressed up and go have some fun," said Pompa from his Ballston Spa, N.Y. home. "We enjoy it. It's nice to see everybody all cleaned up for once. We fly out Friday morning and leave Sunday. It's a fast weekend, but it's a really nice time. We usually meet up with Rick and Judy Clifton, Dick Doheny and have a good time. We'll have a full table."
It's also an opportunity for Pompa to do a little business during the day at the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) convention and trade show.
"We come for both. I hit the show, and my wife hits the mall. I like to wander around on the show floor and see what's out there."
The Indiana Convention Center, all decked out for the holidays, is convenient because it's connected to just about everything one needs for the weekend -- the PRI convention and trade show, the Circle Centre Mall, food options galore, the banquet ballroom, the Westin Hotel, the Marriott and more.
The banquet festivities get underway Saturday afternoon with a hosted reception from 4 to 5:15 p.m., sponsored by K&K Insurance and Sunoco. The banquet doors swing open at 5:15. The show starts promptly at 5:30 and honors the 2017 ARCA Racing Series champions as well as other top series drivers and special award winners. Attendees will also enjoy a very nice sit-down dinner to be served at their tables.
Once the banquet is over, all attention turns toward the 2018 racing season and the Daytona season opener in February, preceded by the annual Daytona open test in mid-January. Pompa is still undecided as to what next year's racing season will look like.
"It's always my plan to race. Worst case scenario would be two Poconos and the fall Salem race…I always hope to do more. I just found out my oldest son is getting married that Saturday of the second Pocono race so we'll see. We always want to run Daytona. I'm getting all my thank-you notices out for all the companies that support the Double H Ranch…working on that today."
All sponsor donations on Pompa's Fast Track Racing-prepared cars go directly to the Double H Ranch, which support children with life-threatening illnesses.
In the meantime, Pompa is also already getting the family business, Pompa Brothers, Inc., ready for next year.
"Work is still pretty busy, weather cooperating. We just shut our blacktop plants down..doing the upgrades for winter. We have our quarry crushing plant, so there's maintenance on that too…upgrades and get everything ready for next year."