OREGON, Wis. – Though many ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards teams saw Madison Int’l Speedway for the first time last August, ARCA’s history at the southern Wisconsin track reaches into the more distant past.
ARCA records actually stretch out to more than four decades ago at Madison International Speedway, although the series did not compete at Madison in the 1980s, 1990s, or 2000s.
ARCA first raced there in July 1970, and two-time ARCA champion Ramo Stott earned the victory. Tom Bowsher won the ARCA race at Madison the next May, and Bruce Gould is in the history books at the 1973 ARCA victor. However, nearly 40 years would elapse before the ARCA Racing Series would return to Madison in last year’s Herr’s Live Life with Flavor 200.
The ARCA Racing Series is often regarded as the most versatile tour in America with its unique combinations of superspeedways, short tracks, a road course, and even two mile-long dirt tracks which this year surround the Madison race on the schedule.
At a half-mile long, Madison is one of several short tracks on the schedule, but presents some challenges all its own.
Chad Hackenbracht, who competed at Madison last year and will return for Sunday’s race, predicts that close action will again be on tap at the track.
“It’s a real, real tight track,” he said this week. “It’s almost like two drag strips and two corners that just connect them, two hairpins. It’s really a tight and close track, and there’s definitely a lot of bumping. It’s a little tighter than your typical short track.”
Fourteen of the approximately 30 entrants for this year’s race competed in last year’s event, but even considering that, experience at Madison is hard to find.
“Not everybody’s been there, and even the ones that have have only been there once,” Hackenbracht said. “It’s still fairly new to everyone.”
The top three finishers and five of the top six from last year’s race, including race winner Alex Bowman, will compete Sunday.