ARCA championship battle comes home to Salem



Salem Speedway will play a pivotal role in deciding the 2019 ARCA Series national champion. In other words, it’s nearly crunch-time on the storied High-Banks as the ARCA Fall Classic will take center stage under the lights Saturday — the 106th appearance of the ARCA Series at Salem since 1955.

With just three races remaining — Salem, Lucas Oil Raceway and Kansas Speedway — Venturini Motorsports is locked in a tight championship points battle among themselves. What looked like a runaway season for leader Michael Self early on, has turned into a late-season scare for the Salt Lake City, Utah veteran. Middletown, N.Y.’s Christian Eckes, on the heels of his win at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds mile-dirt last time out, has closed to within 70 points of Self. In fact, Eckes has finished no worse than second in his last four races, which includes a win at Pocono Raceway.

“We’re doing everything we can,” Eckes said. “[Crew Chief Kevin Reed] and the entire crew are working really hard to close the gap over the last three. It’s a little bit of a tough year. We missed some opportunities we had to win early on, but we’re right on track. Even the way we’ve turned it around, it’s tough. Self typically runs the top-three every week; it’s hard to make up points. That said, our strategy is set. We need to win the next three. I feel like we can do it.”

Eckes won the ARCA race at Salem in the spring of 2018.

ARCA Fall Classic at Salem the Official Throwback Weekend of ARCA

The ARCA Fall Classic is also the “Official Throwback Race of ARCA.”

The track has played host to 105 previous ARCA Series races, and Saturday’s 106th renewal not only brings fans the opportunity to see a great short track battle but some beautiful throwback schemes on several of the top contending cars. And, series officials have decided to honor the best appearing throwback with a trophy honoring the first ARCA winner at the track. As has been customary, the fans will vote on their favorite throwback scheme in pre-race activities and the winning team will receive the Jack Harrison Trophy.

Harrison is an 11-time ARCA Series winner, winning the inaugural ARCA race at Salem in October of 1955. Harrison won three times overall on Salem’s high-banks, including the 11th and final win of his career on August 26, 1956.

Area racing legend and ARCA Series veteran, Darrell Basham, has been named Grand Marshal of the event.

The Lucas Oil Great American Stocks will join the ARCA cars for the ARCA Fall Classic for a high-banked double-header. Third-generation Salem racer Will Kimmel currently leads the Great American Stock points headed into Saturday’s championship race.

Spectator gates for the ARCA Fall Classic open Saturday, Sept. 14 at 11:30 a.m. Great American Stock practice is at noon followed by ARCA practice at 1. Qualifying for both divisions begins at 3. The start of the 50 Great American Stock feature is scheduled for 5 with ARCA pre-race ceremonies and driver introductions following. The 200-lap ARCA Fall Classic gets the green at 7:15.

Tickets, both reserved and general admission, are now selling for the Fall Classic 200 and can be purchased online at or by calling 812-883-6504 or 1-888-246-7223 during regular business hours.

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