The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards returns to action for the second-to-last round of its 2018 season tonight, as Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis plays host to the Shore Lunch 200. The 13th ARCA event at the historic multi-purpose race facility, the Brownsburg, Indiana-based track will host many of the top young drivers in the sport in the Saturday event. Here’s a quick look at some of the key information and biggest storylines coming into the event:
Wait, wasn’t this race scheduled for a month ago?
Yes, the original date for the Shore Lunch 200 was September 7. However, due to rains that hit the Indianapolis area heavily for the better part of a week, not a single lap was turned, forcing the postponement of the event for a month.
What’s significant about this event?
ARCA has many championship-within-a-championship programs, and this weekend’s race wraps up one of its largest, the 2018 Sioux Chief Short Track Challenge. The 11-race series features tracks under a mile long, and allows drivers to count their 10 best race finishes, without awarding bonus points for qualifying or lap leaders.
MDM Motorsports’ trio of Sheldon Creed, Chase Purdy, and Zane Smith are the only three drivers mathematically eligible to win this title. Creed leads Purdy by 50 points and Smith by 115.
What does the overall championship battle look like?
Not too much different from the above—the gaps are just much, much wider. It’s Creed in the lead over Smith by a whopping 405 points. Creed’s 14 top-five finishes and 16 top 10s have helped him build the advantage despite Smith leading in victories, 4-3. Riley Herbst, Purdy, and Travis Braden complete the top five.
Who else is on the entry list?
Besides the names already mentioned, this weekend’s driver rotation at Venturini Motorsports includes Christian Eckes, Chandler Smith, and Michael Self in its three rotating seats alongside Natalie Decker. Harrison Burton and Sam Mayer pull double duty for MDM after running the K&N Pro Series East at Dover, and part-timers Thad Moffitt, Darrell Basham, and the legendary Bobby Gerhart will also compete. And Tom Hessert partners with Joe Graf Jr. in a second Chad Bryant Racing car; Chase Briscoe was originally scheduled to drive, but is busy with the NASCAR Xfinity Series this weekend.
Am I able to watch the event live?
Yes, the race is streaming for free on ARCARacing.com today. The race stream kicks off at 7PM ET. If you’re interested in following along with practice and General Tire Pole Qualifying, you can hear live audio from those sessions at 2PM ET and 4:15PM ET, respectively.