He doesn’t actually clinch it until he rolls off pit road today, but Sheldon Creed is your 2018 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards champion. The MDM Motorsports driver beat some of stock car racing’s top young talents in the 20-race season with three wins and top-10 finishes in all but two races, and will clinch the championship with his 250-point bonus for entering all five races in the fourth quarter of the season.
There may not be a title to race for tonight at Kansas Speedway, but there’s still plenty on the line for the series’ best drivers on the 1.5-mile oval. Here’s what we’ll be watching out for tonight:
Could we see a winless full-timer score a victory to end the season on a high note?
When there’s only one race left in any championship, there’s no reason to hold anything back. Three of the top five drivers in ARCA points—Riley Herbst, Chase Purdy, and Travis Braden—all enter Kansas with a goose egg in the win column. So does Natalie Decker, the lone full-time driver at Venturini Motorsports and the polesitter for the 2018 season opener at Daytona. That said, Creed certainly won’t lay up on them, and neither will other winners like Zane Smith and Michael Self.
Which talented part-timer will post the best finish at Kansas?
Self, who won at both Daytona and on a similar course layout at Chicagoland Speedway this year, returns to Venturini Motorsports tonight for his 10th and final start of the season. Harrison Burton makes his ninth start of the year in a fourth MDM Motorsports car, where he’ll look to take his second win of the year after triumphing in Pocono. And don’t sleep on Todd Gilliland, who has top-10s in each of his three ARCA starts this year, including a best finish of third at Chicagoland.
What’s next for Sheldon Creed?
An off-road prodigy before switching to racing on pavement, Creed’s ARCA title will be his first in stock cars. The former Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series Pro Lite champion and two-time Stadium Super Trucks champion has made a handful of starts in NASCAR as both a road course ringer and dirt track driver at Eldora, and will finish the 2018 season in an extra Camping World Truck Series ride for GMS Racing. If he moves up in 2019, both GMS and MDM have Truck teams—who will he race with?