After Elko thriller, ARCA short track warriors prepping for Madison; Montgomery Ward 200 under the lights June 23

MADISON, Wis. (June 6, 2017) — If you like what you saw at Elko Speedway, then you should be front and center at Madison Int’l Speedway for the Montgomery Ward 200 Friday night June 23, under the lights.

ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards race fans are still talking about the short track thriller at Elko, one that saw a four-way battle for the lead over the final six laps, a photo finish and a multi-car pile-up under the checkered flag. If you haven’t seen it yet, CLICK HERE for video of the incredible closing laps at Elko.

The same short-track warriors that went at it at Elko will soon be on their way to Madison for ARCA’s 9th trip to the renowned Wisconsin short-track.

Daytona and Elko winner Austin Theriault (Fort Kent, Maine), who drives for Ken Schrader Racing, is the current points leader. Like the rest, Theriault has two superspeedway adventures coming next at Pocono and Michigan to deal with before he gets to Madison.

Cunningham Motorsports teammates Dalton Sargeant (Boca Raton, Fla.) and Shane Lee (Newton, N.C.) are both very much in the championship mix, riding second and third in championship standings respectively. You’ll see them both at Madison. Sargeant won at the Salem Speedway short-track earlier this season while Lee, who opened the season with a career-best third at Daytona, is still in search of his first victory. Both drive Big Tine sponsored Fords.

Expect three entries from Venturini Motorsports with Snowball Derby winner Christian Eckes (Middletown, N.Y.) in the No. 15 Toyota and Zane Smith (Huntington Beach, Calif.) in the No. 55 Toyota. Eckes missed the win at Elko by two feet while Smith was involved in the multi-car wreck at the start-finish line. Open-wheel standout Tanner Thorson (Minden, Nev.) is also planning to make his ARCA return, driving Venturini’s flagship 25 car at Madison. Thorson finished 12th for Venturini at Springfield in 2016.

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Riley Herbst (Las Vega, Nev.) is entered in the No. 18 Toyota. The 18-year-old rookie is coming off his career-best finish of third at Elko after earning his career-first General Tire pole award.

Mason Mitchell Motorsports, the 2014 ARCA national championship team, is also expected to enter its 78 car…driver TBA on that one.

Other entries for Madison will include Bluffton, S.C.’s Gus Dean for Win-Tron Racing and Munford, Ala.’s Bret Holmes for Bret Holmes Racing. Holmes and Dean finished fourth and fifth respectively at Elko.

Galesburg, Ill.’s AJ Fike, Mobile, Ala.’s Thomas Praytor, Shelby Township, Mich.’s Brad Smith, Piedmont, Okla.’s Eric Caudell and Columbus, Mich.’s Con Nicolopoulos are also entered.

“Save Big Money” on discounted tickets at Menards for Madison
Discounted tickets for the Friday, June 23 Montgomery Ward 200 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards event at Madison Int’l Speedway are still available at 27 Menards stores across southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

The offer for discounted tickets will remain in place up through June 22. Tickets purchased at participating Menards stores are available for just $15, which is $10 off the raceday gate price of $25. Kids 6 – 11 are just $10 at the track gate. Kids 5 and under are free. For a complete listing of participating Menards stores selling discounted tickets, CLICK HERE.

ARCA’s 9th trip to Madison Int’l Speedway
The ARCA Racing Series stretches out over five decades at Madison Int’l Speedway, having first raced there in July of 1970 – two-time ARCA champion Ramo Stott won the inaugural race. Tom Bowsher won the ARCA race at Madison in May of 1971, and Bruce Gould is in the history books as the 1973 ARCA winner. However, nearly 40 years would go by before the ARCA Racing Series would return to Madison in 2011.

Modern-day ARCA winners at Madison make ARCA/NASCAR champs
More recent ARCA winners at Madison include Josh Williams (2016), Justin Boston (2014), Kyle Benjamin (2013), Chris Buescher (2012) and Alex Bowman (2011). Buescher, the 2012 ARCA Racing Series national champion, earned the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship in 2015. Buescher is now a full-time driver in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Bowman also went on to compete in the Xfinity and Cup Series.

From Daytona to the dirt
The ARCA Racing Series, in its 65th season of competition, is often regarded as the most versatile tour in America with its unique combinations of superspeedways, short tracks, road courses and even a couple of mile dirt tracks upcoming on the schedule in Illinois. The ARCA tour opens each season at Daytona Int’l Speedway in February and concludes at Kansas Speedway in October.

Weekend schedule/On-track autograph session/Media coverage
Practice for the ARCA Racing Series at Madison is Friday, June 23 from 1:30 – 3 p.m., with General Tire Pole Qualifying following at 5. An on-track autograph session goes from 6:30 – 7:30, followed by pre-race ceremonies and driver introductions. The 200-lap Montgomery Ward 200 at Madison begins at 8 p.m. Friday night. The race airs live on MAVTV. There will also be live timing and scoring and live chat at ARCAracing.com. All times are local, Central.