Salem Oval Next For ARCA’s Best

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Multiple ARCA teams are preparing to test or have already tested at Salem Speedway in advance of the ARCA event there later this month. (ARCA Photo)
Multiple ARCA teams are preparing to test or have already tested at Salem Speedway in advance of the ARCA event there later this month. (ARCA Photo)
Multiple ARCA teams are preparing to test or have already tested at Salem Speedway in advance of the ARCA event there later this month. (ARCA Photo)

TOLEDO, Ohio – For the 99th time, the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards will invade Salem Speedway later this month.

The Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 is set to come to life Saturday and Sunday, April 23-24 at the historic, high-banked southern Indiana short-track.

But first, several ARCA teams are headed to Salem yet this week to test in preparation for one of ARCA’s most exciting and anticipated race events of the season.

Newcomer Tyler McQuarrie, a multi-time Formula DRIFT champion, will be testing with Lira Motorsports Wednesday.

“It’s an honor being able to work with Lira Motorsports,” McQuarrie said. “I’m excited to see how this test goes and the opportunities that could become available in the future. We were really fast during the test at Motor Mile (Speedway), so I’m excited to see how this test will go for us.”

McQuarrie, from Walnut Creek, Calif., has two stock car starts to his credit, earning one top-five and one top-10 finish in the NASCAR AutoZone Southwest Series back in 2003 and 2004.

Stadium Super Trucks champion Sheldon Creed will also be testing for Lira. Creed finished sixth in his ARCA Racing Series debut at Nashville Saturday. Like most heading to Salem for the first time, he’s curious about the place.

“My thoughts heading into the Salem test are curious to see what the track is all about,” Creed said. “I’ve only been told about the track but never seen it so I’m excited to see it in person.”

Creed will be running the rest of the 2016 schedule for Lira Motorsports with Safecraft Safety Equipment on board his No. 38 Ford Fusion.

On the heels of Lira Motorsports, Cunningham Motorsports will be coming to town Thursday or Friday, testing SCOTT Rookie contender Chase Briscoe. Briscoe, from nearby Mitchell, Indiana, is sure to be a crowd favorite. The open-wheel sprint car ace doesn’t have a lot of pavement experience, yet finds himself second in ARCA championship driver standings after two events – Daytona and Nashville.

Current ARCA Racing Series championship point leader John Wes Townley is penciled in for Friday. Townley, coming off a fourth-place finish at Nashville, opened the season with his second victory at Daytona. Townley drives for his father Tony Townley’s Athenian Motorsports Chevrolet team.

Louisville, Kentucky’s Bo LeMastus is scheduled to test on Monday in his own Crosley Brands Toyota. LeMastus is off to a great start in 2016 with two top-10 finishes in the first two races at Daytona and Nashville. LeMastus, currently third in series points behind Townley and Briscoe, finished ninth at Salem last September.

Venturini Motorsports, with drivers Tom Hessert, Dalton Sargeant and Christopher Bell, have already tested at Salem.