The ARCA Menards Series heads to Toledo, Ohio for round six of the 2019 season. The second straight short track race of the season will feature the continued points battle between Travis Braden, Michael Self, and the few others still eligible. Sunday’s race will be the 46th race at Toledo Speedway with the odds of a brand new Toledo winner likely as there have been six different winners in the last six races and Zane Smith will not defend his win from 2018.
Toyota has won four of the last five races at Toledo and so far this season. The manufacturer has won every race this season with the last coming at Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville. Christian Eckes picked up his first win of 2019 and was able to begin digging out of the hole created by missing Salem and crashing out at Talladega. Eckes picked up Venturini Motorsports fourth victory of 2019 while Self, his teammate, crashed early. The crash ultimately gave the points lead back to Braden.
Chandler Smith, who looked strong at Nashville, will be back in the No. 20 this weekend and will look to earn his first victory of 2019. Smith isn’t the only strong driver to return this weekend in Toledo, Carson Hocevar and Ty Gibbs also return with momentum on their side. Can either of those drivers end Venturini Motorsports hot streak on Sunday?
If Hailie Deegan has anything to say about it, Venturini’s hot streak will not end on Sunday. Deegan will make her ARCA Menards Series debut behind the No. 55 for Venturini. She already has one win this season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West at Las Vegas and will look to become another rookie to visit victory lane in her debut.
Another K&N Series standout will make his return to the series on Sunday. GMS Racing’s Sam Mayer is coming off his first career K&N Pro Series East victory at Bristol last month. The last time Mayer was on track in ARCA, he finished second to Self in the rain-shortened race at Salem last month.
Tanner Gray is also coming off of his first career K&N Pro Series East victory at South Boston two weeks ago. The driver for DGR-Crosley makes his return to ARCA this weekend also after making two starts early in the season. He finished 12th in Pensacola and earned his first and only top-10 finish in the rain-shortened race at Salem finishing 7th.
Alex Clubb makes his return to the ARCA Menards Series for the second time this season. In eight starts, Clubb has a best finish of 15th last season in Springfield. Sunday, he’ll make his first start at the Toledo Speedway. Clubb is the final driver who was not on the entry list for Nashville to be entered this weekend.
The No. 11 car for Andy Hillenburg is currently listed as to be announced. Mike Basham raced the car at Nashville but moves over to the Kimmel No. 69 this weekend. D.L. Wilson competed in the No. 11 at Talladega, Morgen Baird at Salem, Matt Dooley at Pensacola, and Canadian Jason White piloted the car at Daytona.
Sunday’s Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200 at Toledo Speedway kicks off at 2 p.m. and can be seen live on MAVTV.
About the author
His favorite tracks on the circuit include Barber Motorsports Park, Iowa Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville, and Bristol Motor Speedway.
During the season, Christian also spends time as a photographer with multiple other outlets shooting Monster Energy AMA Supercross, Minor League & Major League Baseball, and NCAA Football.
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