IRVINGTON, Ala. – On the heels of a superspeedway tradition at Daytona Int’l Speedway February, the ARCA Racing Series is switching gears in time for a short track classic at Mobile Int’l Speedway this Saturday.
“Mobile will be the first short track on the schedule following the season opener at Daytona in February,” said ARCA President Ron Drager. “The ARCA Racing Series drivers always put on a good show on the short tracks and Mobile’s inaugural race is one of the highlights of our 2012 season. Not only did our competitors like the track but our teams also fell in love with the region and the great hospitality offered by the folks in Mobile.”
Mobile’s Cale Gale provided a story book ending to the inaugural ARCA Mobile 200, winning in front of the hometown fans in 2012.
“Winning the first ARCA race at Mobile was a dream come true,” said Gale. “Rheem gave me a great opportunity and all the pieces of the puzzle fell in place for us to take home one of the biggest wins of my career.”
Although the event at Mobile is only in its second season, ARCA Racing Series history in Alabama reaches back to 1961 when, on Nov. 5, Ernie Derr won a 250-lap race at Birmingham. ARCA race events at the Fairgrounds in Montgomery in 1962, at Huntsville Speedway in 1963 and 1965, and a long tenure at Talladega Superspeedway (1969-present) have kept ARCA’s presence in Alabama alive over the decades.
To help kick things off for this year’s event, the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park will welcome aboard ARCA fans, drivers, and teams on Thursday, just days before the ARCA Mobile 200.
The ARCA haulers will cast off from the Battleship in a hauler parade to Mobile Int’l Speedway to prepare for Friday’s on-track activity. The hauler parade will mark the beginning of the Causeway Seafood Jubilee as ARCA fans, teams, and drivers will enjoy the great seafood offered by restaurants on the Causeway.
For the late night crowd, the Home Mortgage of America Green Flag Party will be wide open from 8 p.m. until closing at Grand Central on Dauphin Street downtown, Mobile’s place to party.
Practice and Menards Pole Award Qualifying presented by Ansell takes place Friday, with two practice sessions from 2:30-3:15 p.m. and from 4:15-5 p.m. Qualifying follows at 7 p.m. The second annual ARCA Mobile 200 gets the green flag at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon.