NASCAR and ARCA operated on a handshake deal for 67 years
To date, NASCAR and ARCA have essentially operated in a close partnership. Until this week, nothing was signed. But, they’ve been operating on a handshake deal since the 1940’s.
Now, they have joined forces. NASCAR has purchased ARCA. Through 2019, the tour will continue with little change. For 2020 and beyond, there will likely be some changes made. However, those changes are still under discussion.
“The Marcum and France family pre-date’s NASCAR, pre-date’s ARCA. In professional motorsports I don’t know that there’s any longer tenure,” ARCA’s Ron Drager stated.
“For us to have had a working relationship that wasn’t a legal document. But, was a handshake, for 67 years. I think it speaks volumes about NASCAR and their integrity.”
“We’ve been blessed to carve our little spot in the sport. We’re looking forward to it strengthening our series and giving us a way forward.”
NASCAR has several divisions that closely line with ARCA. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West divisions don’t run exactly the same car. But, they’re close.
Going forward, the ARCA headquarters is expected to remain in Michigan. The series also owns two race tracks in the area. As Ron said, “I can’t pick them up and move them.”
“Ron is going to continue to direct ARCA and operate it as a freestanding organization, so to speak. It will continue with its history and its championships. We’ll be working together to develop the next steps. Ron is going to be helping direct that with our NASCAR leadership team,” Jim France said.
“I think you will see a big boost in a lot of areas, things that NASCAR has been working on, some of our grassroots programs. Ron’s efforts in that area will be a significant boost to our stockcar series, both of them, in this country. It’s a real value I believe for our fans in both series and throughout our country.”
“One quick thing here. I don’t know how many of you were fortunate enough to know John Marcum during his lifetime, but I would say he’s probably the man that taught Humpy Wheeler how to promote races. He was really a promoter’s promoter. I still have some silver dollars he gave us when he came to Daytona every year. To have what he started and built joined with what we’re doing is a big moment.”
“Ron, as I said, he doesn’t get a lot of credit for things, I don’t think, but he’s been a leader in bringing some cost savings into motorsports. I believe you can talk to most of the ARCA team owners in paddock that will tell you the same thing, so… It’s an important step in our future going forward.”
“Ron and ARCA have been at the forefront of trying to bring some efficiencies and cost savings to stock car teams in America. NASCAR’s got a similar effort going. ”
“Ron has been a leader in that. It really allows both companies to go forward, working together to try to improve the economics for our teams and out series.”
2020 and beyond
“2020 and beyond is still a work in progress. Those are conversations we’re certainly gonna have,” Ron Drager explains.
“From an ARCA perspective, we’re a small independently owned company. Our world continues to get more and more complicated and complex.”
“There are times where I feel like I’m on a little row boat out in the middle of the ocean. The ocean liner will go by and rock the boat.”
“Then, a big storm comes along and it rocks the boat. So far, we hadn’t turned over.”
“I wanna be on a bigger boat.”
“Salem Speedway in Indiana, Toledo Speedway in Ohio and the DuQuoin and Springfield mile dirts are a part of ARCA’s history and tradition.”
“Our intention is not to leave that. Our intention is to hold onto that and grab it.”
“We have a great deal of respect for what goes on in the K&N East and West. There are quality drivers and race teams. And our race cars are pretty closely aligned right now. We certainly see a way forward to work together.”
“Let’s coordinate our efforts. Instead of everybody just sorta off doing what they do on their own. Let’s bring this together. That we feel like, could make it stronger.”
Related: NASCAR acquires ARCA