TOLEDO, Ohio – On the heels of back-to-back short tracks events at the Fairgrounds in Nashville and the high-banks of Salem Speedway, the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards will head for the high-banks of Talladega Superspeedway for the General Tire 200 on May 5.
The 200-mile race at Talladega is just five days following the 200-lap race at Salem. Factoring in the travel in between, you might think the logistics could get challenging. But if you get way out in front of it, it’s not so bad.
“It’s actually pretty simple,” said Venturini Motorsports Team Manager Billy Venturini. “They’re two totally different race cars. We won’t use our superspeedway stuff anywhere else and the Talladega cars will be ready two weeks before. For us, it’s just a matter of going home after Salem, unloading and reloading.”
Outside of going between the short track composite cars for Salem and the legacy steel-bodied cars for Talladega, the only other things that will change aren’t actually things, but the people who will be driving the cars. After Venturini drivers Zane Smith, Christian Eckes and Raphael Lessard climb out at Salem, Tom Hessert, Noah Gragson and Spencer Davis will be climbing in for Talladega.
It’s even simpler for Daytona winners Ken Schrader Racing.
“We won Daytona and came out clean, so no issues there,” said Ken Schrader Racing Crew Chief Donnie Richeson. “The engine’s going in the Talladega car today. All we need to do after Salem is go home, unload, reload and go onto Talladega. The only other thing we need to do for Talladega is drop an engine in the back-up car and we’ll be ready.”
Richeson says the team will be racing with two drivers at Salem – Austin Theriault and Tony Mrakovich – but more than likely with only Theriault at Talladega, which simplifies the process even more.
The General Tire 200 at Talladega will be the 55th ARCA race at Talladega since the inaugural event in 1969. Former ARCA winners at Talladega include Ramo Stott, Mark Martin, Davey Allison, Red Farmer, Grant Adcox, Mike Wallace, Frank Kimmel, Justin Allgaier, Ty Dillon and defending winner Gus Dean.