How Far They’ve Come: From ARCA Menards Series to Championship 4; Lots of current NASCAR drivers payed their dues with the former middle America sanction that NASCAR bought two years ago


The ARCA Menards Series has evolved and developed into the preeminent driver development series in stock car racing. The bridge between local and regional racing and the professional leagues of stock car series nationally, the ARCA Menards Series platform has seen dozens of drivers participate as they made their way up the ladder.

Of the 99 drivers that participated in the season openers at Daytona for the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series, and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, 86 of them had experience in the ARCA Menards Series, ARCA Menards Series East, and/or ARCA Menards Series West. Thirty-seven of them have accumulated 132 total ARCA Menards Series wins and six championships, twenty-nine of them accumulated 93 total East wins and six championships, and twelve of them accumulated a total of 51 West victories and four championships.

All twelve drivers competing for national series titles at Phoenix have ARCA experience, and ten of them have wins within the ARCA Menards Series platform.

Chase Elliott made 12 ARCA Menards Series starts over three seasons, with one win (Pocono, 2013), six top-five, and eleven top-ten finishes. He also scored wins in what is now known as the ARCA Menards Series East (Iowa, 2012) and ARCA Menards Series West (Sonoma, 2016).

Brad Keselowski made three ARCA Menards Series starts, two in 2004 and one in 2006 for three different owners. Keselowski didn’t fare well in any of the three starts, with a best finish of 17th at Michigan in his final appearance. Keselowski is the son of 1989 ARCA Menards Series champion Bob Keselowski and won ARCA-sanctioned super late model races at Toledo Speedway before moving up the ranks to NASCAR Gander Truck Series competition.

Joey Logano has four career ARCA Menards Series starts to his credit, and he’s won half of them (Rockingham, 2008, Pocono, 2009). His worst ARCA finish? Second, twice, at Talladega in 2008 and Daytona in 2009.

Denny Hamlin made two ARCA Menards Series appearances, one in 2004 at Talladega and the other at Nashville in 2005. He finished third in his debut at Talladega.

Chase Briscoe is the 2006 ARCA Menards Series champion. He won six times on his way to the championship, at Winchester, Iowa, Lucas Oil, Pocono, Chicagoland, and Kansas. He finished in the top five 14 times and had 18 top-10 finishes in 20 starts that season.

Austin Cindric has eight ARCA Menards Series starts, with one win (Kentucky, 2017). He has led laps in seven of his eight career starts. He also has two career wins in two ARCA Menards Series East starts, on the road courses at Virginia International and Watkins Glen.

Justin Haley began racing full-bodied stock cars in the Late Model Sportsman division at ARCA-sanctioned Toledo Speedway in 2013. He earned the first of seven top-five ARCA Menards Series finishes at the age of 15 in 2014. He has three series wins, at Springfield, Talladega, and Pocono. He is also the 2016 ARCA Menards Series East champion with two wins and 14 top-10 finishes in 14 starts.

Justin Allgaier is the 2008 ARCA Menards Series champion, taking the series title with an impressive three-race win streak to close the season. He has eight total series wins in 86 starts.

Grant Enfinger is the 2015 ARCA Menards Series champion. In 2014 and 2015, he opened the season with three consecutive wins. Enfinger has 16 total series wins in 95 appearances.

Sheldon Creed is the 2018 ARCA Menards Series champion, with four wins and 18 top-10 finishes in 20 starts. He also has one career ARCA Menards Series West win, on the dirt at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Zane Smith is the 2018 ARCA Menards Series runner-up and Bounty Rookie of the Year. He finished the season with four wins and finished in the top ten in 13 of his 20 starts.

Brett Moffitt has 10 career ARCA Menards Series East wins, and from 2009 through 2013 finished either second or third in the final series standings. He has 62 career starts, 34 top-five and 45 top-ten finishes.

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