General Tire is the proud Official Racing Tire and Exclusive Tire Supplier of the ARCA Menards Series, NASCAR Pinty’s Series, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, and NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series. Throughout the 2020 racing season, we’ll check in on the stock car series that feature General Tire worldwide, with race notes, previews, and driver profiles.
ARCA Menards Series Recap: Daytona
For the second time in three years, Michael Self proved victorious as the ARCA Menards Series opened its 2020 season with the Lucas Oil 200 Driven By General Tire at Daytona International Speedway. The Venturini Motorsports driver held off DGR-Crosley Racing’s Hailie Deegan, who made her Daytona debut with a strong second place finish. Self’s teammate Drew Dollar completed the top three.
The superspeedway hijinks started on the first lap when contact sent Andy Seuss sliding through the grass on the backstretch, and included a mid-race red flag for another larger incident that collected drivers like Jacob Heafner, Dominique Van Wieringen, and Natalie Decker. The front-runners were further depleted when a late-race oil leak eliminated Deegan’s teammate Tanner Gray, removing the closest other Ford from the equation in the race’s final laps.
But even with Gray to back her up, it’s hard to imagine that Deegan, or anyone else, had much in hand for Self. He led 61 of the race’s 80 laps to kick off his quest of this year’s ARCA title, after finishing a painful second last year. The season continues at Phoenix Raceway on March 6.
ARCA Menards Series East Recap: New Smyrna
Defending ARCA Menards Series East champion Sam Mayer kicked off his title defense the right way with a win in the Skip’s Western Outfitters 175 from New Smyrna Speedway on Monday night. Part of the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing that runs parallel to Daytona Speedweeks, Mayer took over the lead from polesitter Derek Griffith under caution and led 26 of the final 30 laps to win.
Despite failing to take the win, though, Griffith was the real story of the event. In his East debut, he qualified first and led 144 laps in a thoroughly dominant performance. He also managed to avoid the wrecks that impacted some of the other drivers, like Tanner Gray and Mason Diaz’s major shunt on the frontstretch.
Although Daytona drew the larger crowd, New Smyrna produced a healthy 23-car entry list that included entries from all of ARCA’s biggest teams, including Venturini Motorsports, Bill McAnally Racing, DGR-Crosley Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, Chad Bryant Racing, Rev Racing, and Hattori Racing Engineering. The schedule takes teams to Five Flags Speedway on March 14, as the event shifts from the main ARCA calendar to the East division for 2020.