General Tire is the proud Official Racing Tire and Exclusive Tire Supplier of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, NASCAR Pinty’s Series, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, and NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series, as well as the longtime supplier of tires for the ARCA Menards Series. Throughout the 2019 racing season, we’ll check in on the stock car series that feature General Tire worldwide, with race notes, previews, and driver profiles:
It was an up and down weekend for Venturini Motorsports, if not the ARCA Menards Series in general, as the series returned to Salem Speedway for the 105th time in its history on Sunday. Outside polesitter Christian Eckes was removed from his car after falling ill on Saturday night, forcing Harrison Burton to substitute for the 200-lap race. But teammate Michael Self took his second straight win after grabbing the lead at lap 27 and holding onto the point through rain, which came just after the event reached the halfway point and deemed it an official race.
Across the Atlantic Ocean, the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series kicked off its 2019 season at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo with a doubleheader. Spanish driver Ander Vilariño swept the weekend for his 21st and 22nd career Elite 1 victories, giving the internationally renowned Racing Engineering squad a perfect weekend in its first NASCAR exploits. Giorgio Maggi and Nicholas Risitano swept the Elite 2 wins. Other familiar names competing in the event included Jacques Villeneuve, Bobby Labonte, and Myatt Snider.
Easter weekend means a reprieve for most racing series across the globe. Two weekends from now, the ARCA Menards Series will be the first to get back on track with the General Tire 200 at Talladega Superspeedway. Zane Smith won last year’s event, while the late Grant Adcox had the most all-time ARCA wins at Talladega with five.
The following weekend will be even more significant, as the ARCA Menards Series, NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, and NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series will all be in action across North America. KNPSE will run twin 100-lap races at South Boston Speedway, while ARCA will head to Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, and Super Ovalo Chiapas’ .75-mile D-shaped oval will host Mexico’s top drivers.
Driver Profile: Ander Vilariño
He may not be a kid like some of the other drivers we’ve been featuring, but three-time NASCAR Whelen Euro Series champion Ander Vilariño boasts a strong racing heritage, too. He’s the son of Andreas Vilariño, who won four consecutive FIA European Hill Climb titles from 1989 to 1992. Like his father, Ander has run a diverse group of vehicles in his career so far, ranging from formula open-wheel cars to sports cars and even hill climbs.
Between 2012 and 2015, Vilariño won 20 of the 46 races staged by NASCAR’s premier European series, including six in a row to start 2013, on the way to three championships. He left TFT Racing after the 2015 season and stepped away from stock cars for three years before returning to dominate the season opener at Circuit Ricardo Tormo with his new team, Racing Engineering. The Spanish racing team can count Sebastian Vettel and Alexander Rossi among the world-class drivers it has employed over the years.