A year after announcing their intended acquisition of the series, NASCAR and ARCA are placing their 2020 plans in motion. On Wednesday, the two announced a four-championship format: the ARCA Menards Series, the ARCA Menards Series East and West, and the new ARCA Racing Series Showdown.
“We cannot be more excited about 2020,” NASCAR Touring Series managing director Brandon Thompson stated in a release. “Both NASCAR and ARCA have worked extremely hard over the last year to provide a rules package and schedule that will serve as the foundation for the preeminent series for racing at this level. It was important for us to move the series forward while creating an environment inclusive for both the current long-term owners and drivers in the series as well as aspiring competitors.”
The ARCA Menards Series is the current premier championship of the Automobile Racing Club of America. Held since 1953, the series will retain the name under the new agreement with NASCAR. Michael Self currently leads the championship.
The East and West Series are currently known as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West, both longtime regional feeder series for NASCAR. The two series have undergone various name changes during their history, with the East being created as the Busch North Series and the West as the Pacific Coast Late Model Series and Winston West. Sam Mayer and Derek Kraus lead the 2019 East and West standings, respectively.
The newly-created ARCA Racing Series Showdown is a ten-race series part of the Menards Series schedule, with drivers from all three series coming together in combination events. While the Menards Series schedule traditionally begins at Daytona International Speedway in early February, the inaugural Showdown will kick off at ISM Raceway on 6 March. Other Showdown races will be held at Salem Speedway, Lucas Oil Raceway, Elko Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Iowa Speedway, World Wide Technology Raceway, and Memphis Motorsports Park.
“What first started as a friendship between Bill France Sr. and John Marcum nearly 70 years ago took a momentous step forward today,” ARCA President Ron Drager said. “The amount of history and tradition these series are bringing together to form four elite championships for drivers is an amazing testament to the strength of this sport.”