For the past five years, Amherstburg’s Terry Jones has been patiently passing over the border into the United States to race with the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA). But with the inaugural Cayuga ARCA RE/MAX 250 coming to Cayuga Motor Speedway, the tables have turned now, and it’s about time, says the Windsor-area driver.
“I don’t know why it’s taken so long,” said Jones regarding the ARCA RE/MAX Series returning to Canada. “The Nationwide Series has been racing in Mexico and Canada for a pretty long time. The Canadian border isn’t an issue, so it’s about time that ARCA has come our way.”
Jones, in his own No. 30 Jones Group Racing Dodge, has filed an entry for the Sunday June 29 event, the first ARCA RE/MAX Series race in Canada since 1992.
“We’re excited to be racing in Canada,” added Jones, whose career-best finish was sixth at Winchester Speedway last year. “I’m sure we’ll have a lot of support from family and friends, so it would be huge for me to go there and do well. More than that, we want to win the race. We’ve got a new short-track car for Cayuga; we’re gunna test there next week.”
Jones has never raced at Cayuga.
“We went and checked out the track last week – saw a late model race over there. They really pack ’em in over there. I’m sure the Canadian fans will be very receptive to the ARCA RE/MAX Series racing at Cayuga. I really think it’ll be as big as the Nationwide Series coming to the area.
“The Canadian fans are very knowledgeable when it comes to stock car racing; and they’re very aware of ARCA. I’ve had a lot of people call me and tell me they’d rather watch an ARCA race over NASCAR. But they stop me all the time and tell me how much they enjoy the diversity in this series (ARCA) and all the action. If there’s one thing I always hear, it’s that an ARCA race is never boring. I think the fans, from both countries, are in for a real treat at Cayuga.”
The ARCA RE/MAX Series, in its 56th consecutive season, is renowned for its diversity regularly competing on a wide variety of tracks from short-tracks, on both dirt and pavement to superspeedways such as Daytona, Talladega, Michigan, and Pocono, to name a few. To add to the diversity element, the ARCA RE/MAX Series has added a road course event at New Jersey Motorsports Park later this year.
Jones, with 28 career series starts since 2003, all in his own equipment, is planning on running the entire schedule in 2008, mixing in 18-year-old rookie Jesse Smith as one of the drivers of his Jones Group Racing Dodge entries.
“Jesse’s running all the speedways, and I’m filling in on all the short-tracks. I think people can see that we’ve really stepped up our program this year. We bought several cars from Evernham Motorsports. We’ve always had a very solid short-track program, but our speedway program has lacked some. That’s no longer the case’ and I think people can see that.”
Smith, in Jones’s Dodge, finished an impressive third at Kansas Speedway and fifth at Iowa Speedway.
In addition to the ARCA RE/MAX Series racing at Cayuga, the ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series will join the racing card for an ARCA double-header weekend kicking off with the ARCA Lincoln Welders 50 Saturday afternoon (June 28).
Jones is one of two Canadian drivers currently entered at Cayuga – the other being Surrey British Columbia’s Ryan Fischer, entered in a No. 25 Venturini Motorsports Chevrolet.
Other expected entries for the Cayuga ARCA RE/MAX 250 include Roush Fenway Racing development driver and current point leader Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Formula 1 veteran Scott Speed in the Red Bull Toyota, nine-time ARCA RE/MAX Series champion Frank Kimmel, three-time series winner Justin Allgaier, Matt Carter and Jersey’s Tom Hessert III.
After eight events this season, Stenhouse is the only repeat winner. Other victors include Michael Annett at Daytona Int’l Speedway, Allgaier at Salem Speedway, Matt Hawkins at Iowa Speedway, Speed at Kansas Speedway, Joey Logano at Rockingham Speedway, Stenhouse, Jr. at Kentucky Speedway and Pocono Raceway, and Carter at Toledo Speedway.
The race will mark the eighth appearance of the ARCA RE/MAX Series in Canada since 1967. The ARCA RE/MAX Series first traveled into Canada in July 1967 to Capital City Speedway in Ottawa, where Bill Clemens earned the victory in the 100-lap main event.
After a 20-year hiatus, the series returned to Canada on May 22, 1987 at Delaware Speedway (near London) where Bill Venturini won the 125-lap race. The next five ARCA RE/MAX Series appearances in Canada were all at Delaware where winners included Tracy Leslie (1988), Bob Keselowski (1989, ’91, ’92) and Bob Strait (1990).
The ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series is building its own presence in Canada having already competed at Delaware on three occasions and at Sauble Speedway twice. Truck series winners in Canada include Brett Rowe (Deleware, 2005), Paul Hahn (Delaware, 2006 and Sauble, 2006 and 2007) and Nick Gullatta (Delaware, 2007).
Cayuga Motor Speedway, just over a half-mile in length, is wide with relatively flat and sweeping corners, ideal for close, competitive short-track racing – the kind that puts much of the outcome back into the driver’s hands. Set on nearly 300 acres, Cayuga offers fans a full range of amenities including 1,500 campsites, refreshment and souvenir booths and free supervised parking. There is also a covered pavilion, which often serves as a gathering spot to enjoy all the festivities.
Practice for the ARCA RE/MAX Series is scheduled for June 28 from 12:30-2:00 p.m. followed by SIM Factory Pole Qualifying at 3:30. The ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series race follows ARCA RE/MAX Series qualifying Saturday afternoon. The Cayuga ARCA RE/MAX 250 is set for 1:30 p.m., June 29.
For ticket and general information, visit http://www.cayugamotorspeedway.com.