Dale Shearer has added his name to the full-time driver lineup for the 2023 ARCA Menards Series East season, he confirmed to Frontstretch.
The Alhambra, Ill. native will pilot his No. 98 Toyota for his self-owned team Shearer Speed. It’ll be Shearer’s first attempt at running full time in an ARCA series.
“That’s the goal,” he said. “Plan on being down at Pensacola on the 25th [March 25].”
Shearer has 34 career starts in the ARCA Menards Series but zero starts in the East. He last competed in the 2019 event at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.
Shearer owns two racecars, both Toyotas. He has a short track car which he’ll drive in the East series. He also has a superspeedway racecar which he’ll drive in the ARCA Menards Series at Talladega Superspeedway on Apr. 22.
Jimmy Edlin will serve as his crew chief. Edlin made two ARCA starts himself in 2002.
As far as sponsorship, Shearer has a few small sponsors, but he’s a self-funded owner/driver.
“It’s all out of my own pocket. I’m not rich but I’m not poor and this is what I do. I don’t drink, smoke or play golf; I don’t have 500 hobbies. This is all I do is go racing.”
Shearer isn’t aiming for victories; rather, his goal is to run decently.
“It’s the pressure to get everything done. I do all the day in, day out work on the racecars myself. My goal at Pensacola honestly is to get the car through tech, qualify it, start the show and run as good as I can for as many laps as I can just to get going with it again.
“I’m not going to run the car to death. If the car’s not right, I’m not going to keep running it because this thing has got to go to Dover [Motor Speedway]. There’s no sense in running so slow that you’re getting lapped every five laps. To me, it’s about building respect with other drivers.”
His crew will be comprised of some people from his hometown and others who will help out along the way.
“At Pensacola, my brother lives down there so he’s going to be my spotter. And he has a couple of friends who are going to come over and help crew. That’s just how it works for me.”
The 63-year-old decided to participate in the East due to his equipment. He has two Ford legacy engines and an Ilmor engine.
“To me, I can use my engines best so they’ll live better on the short tracks where I’ll run decently. You get on the big tracks and the Ilmor cars will pull away from those of us with Legacy engines. So that’s my rationale.”
Shearer isn’t as concerned about running for points as he knows he isn’t destined to win the championship. Instead, he wants to make all the East races and be as competitive as possible, adding, “If I get all eight races in and run decent, I’ll be a happy camper.”
Of the eight tracks on the schedule, Shearer is excited to compete in the East season finale at Bristol Motor Speedway.
“I cannot wait to go to Bristol,” he continued. “That is the one I want to go run at more than any other. The beauty of it is it’s the season finale and I should have everything sorted out on this car and I should be able to really run well there.”
About the author
Mark Kristl joined Frontstretch at the beginning of the 2019 NASCAR season. He is the site's ARCA Menards Series editor. Kristl is also an Eagle Scout and a proud University of Dayton alum.
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