The biggest and most prestigious stock car race in the state of Minnesota is up next for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards as the series visits the Twin Cities area for the Sioux Chief PowerPEX 250 at the three-eighths mile Elko Speedway. The race will be the fifth for the ARCA Racing Series at the tight Elko bullring since 2012.
The first series race at Elko in 2012 saw Brennan Poole score the victory, Frank Kimmel scored his 78th career ARCA win at Elko in 2013, Grant Enfinger won in 2014, and Austin Theriault won in 2017.
Poole's victory, one of six career ARCA wins, helped establish him as one of the sport's young guns and eventually helped propel him into an opportunity in the NASCAR XFINITY Series with Chip Ganassi Racing. He has a total of 83 career NXS starts and finished a career-best sixth in the series standings in 2017. Kimmel's 2013 win came while driving for team owner Duke Thorson, a Bemidji, Minnesota native, en route to breaking ARCA's all-time win record along with his record-setting tenth series championship. Kimmel will return to Elko in 2018 as a crew chief for Venturini Motorsports.
Enfinger's 2014 victory was one of six in 2014. He would finish second in the championship standings in 2014, but went on to become series champion in 2015. He currently drives for ThorSport Racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Theriault, driving for Ken Schrader Racing, picked up the win on his way to the 2017 ARCA Racing Series championship. It was one of seven wins on the season, the most of any ARCA champion since current Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Ty Dillon also won seven times in 2011.
ARCA's visit to Elko Speedway will also offer one of the series' regulars an unlikely chance to race at the track where his racing career began ten years ago. Joe Graf, Jr. started racing Bandoleros at Elko when he was just nine years old. Graf is a resident of Mahwah, New Jersey, and prior to joining the ARCA Racing Series earlier in the season had figured he wouldn't have a chance to race at Elko again.
“I was a young kid running a Bandolero wide open around Elko back then,” said the driver of the Chad Bryant Racing No. 77 Big Tine Ford. “It was a lot of fun. My dad was working in the Twin Cities area back then, but we've been back in New Jersey and racing back where our family is from. There really wasn't a chance we'd have ever had the opportunity to go back to Elko if not for getting a ride in the ARCA series. I was pretty excited when we got the deal put together and saw we were heading to Elko again.”
Sheldon Creed leads the series standings by 200 points over his MDM Motorsports teammate Zane Smith heading into the Sioux Chief PowerPEX 250. Both drivers have won three ARCA races so far in 2018; Creed's wins have all come in the last five races,including last Saturday night at Iowa Speedway, while Smith's wins all came in the first five races of the year.
The Sioux Chief PowerPEX 250 is a one-day show, with practice scheduled at 3:15 pm ET/2:15 pm local; General Tire Pole Qualifying is set for 6:45 pm ET/5:45 pm local; and the green flag will wave over the race at 10 pm ET/9 pm local. The race is scheduled to be televised live on MAVTV; ARCARacing.com will have live timing and scoring and live track updates for all on-track sessions for registered users.