Salem Speedway’s second ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards race of the 2018 season will see drivers take on 200 laps of the paved Indiana oval. The Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA Fall Classic is the third-to-last round of this year’s championship, meaning the time is now for drivers with unrealized goals to start making moves on the track and in the standings.
Seven different winners in the past seven races are a testament to just how closely matched this field is, and a number of the cars taking the green flag tonight will be bona fide contenders for victory. Here’s what we’ll be watching out for in tonight’s broadcast:
Can Zane Smith find victory lane again?
With three wins in the season’s first five races and four overall, MDM Motorsports’ Smith is actually the winningest driver on the ARCA grid right now. Surprisingly, though, it took until today’s General Tire Pole Qualifying session at Salem for him to finally start from the pole position. 1.648 seconds in April was the difference between Smith going for a sweep today and Venturini Motorsports’ Christian Eckes doing it, so we know that the #41 should have the race pace to contend for another win.
Could we see 10 different winners in 20 races this year?
With three rounds left in the 2018 championship, nine different drivers have earned a win at some point. But that list doesn’t include three of the sport’s top five in points coming in: Joe Gibbs Racing’s Riley Herbst, RFMS Racing’s Travis Braden, and MDM Motorsports’ Chase Purdy. The trio have combined for 17 top fives and 33 top 10s in 51 races, solid numbers by any stretch—essentially, two of them have been in the top 10 in every race. Any of them could become a winner in these final few events.
Whose throwback scheme are you most excited to watch?
The ARCA throwback paint schemes are right up at the same level of some of the best NASCAR throwbacks we’ve seen over the years. From the ones that are linked to past mentors (Gus Dean’s tribute to Donnie Allison’s Hawaiian Tropic ride), family links (Harrison Burton’s replica of Jeff Burton’s first super late model), or even just iconic number-sponsor combinations (Sheldon Creed running the Hardee’s colors on his #28 Toyota), old-school race fans should be all about this event.