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ARCA: Fall Classic 200 at Salem Remains a Popular Stop

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SALEM, Ind. — The case could be made that the Federated Car Care Fall Classic 200 is the ARCA Racing Series equivalent to the Bristol Night Race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Indeed, the annual fall event at The Salem Speedway features a similar on-track product as Thunder Valley and also draws some of the most notable names in short track racing to the high banks of Central Indiana.

A total of five former winners at Salem have all filed entries — a list headlined by ARCA championship leader Grant Enfinger but also including Ken Schrader, Frank Kimmel, Tommy Hessert and Brian Keselowski.

While ARCA also competes at storied venues like Daytona, Talladega and Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, no other event is as anticipated on the schedule quite like The Salem Night Race each September. Schrader won the Fall Classic back in 1999 and also won at the high-banked half-mile earlier in the season — calling it his favorite stop on the tour.

“I’ve always loved the place,” Schrader said. “I don’t know anyone who doesn’t. When you look at the history behind it and all the tradition that comes with Salem, it’s hard to keep passing it up.”

Venturini Motorsports General Manager Billy Venturini called it a must-see event for any motorsports aficionado.

“We go to a lot of cool venues and places but the racing doesn’t get any better than Salem,” Venturini said. “Some of the best races I’ve ever seen took place at Salem and they just don’t get talked about a lot because there isn’t footage or that it wasn’t as high profile as a NASCAR race.”

There will be footage this Saturday night, however, as the Night Race at Salem will be broadcast live on the official ARCA website. (Editor’s note: Gratuitous plug. Popular Speed Executive Editor Matt Weaver will serve as the pit reporter for the broadcast)

Enfinger enters the event with a 180 point championship lead over Josh Williams and could extend that mark to a full race (200 points) with only two events remaining after Salem. The Alabama native won the spring race at the Indiana track back in 2014.

He has collected two top-5s and four top-10s at the stories venue, meaning that he is quite the fan as well.

“It’s a special place,” Enfinger said. “We’ve always liked going and it’s neat that we get to go there twice a year.

“Jeff (Stankiewicz, crew chief) and the GMS Racing crew made a lot of positive changes when we were at Salem testing last Tuesday. We got to play around with a lot of different packages. I am confident that we will have a fast Allegiant Travel Chevrolet for this weekend.”

The Fall Classic 200 is just that — a classic.

The event has garnered one of the most impressive entry lists of the season and also includes all three active members of the Kimmel racing clan in Frank, Frankie and Will. Lira Motorsports has brought a season-high four cars to the event while Chase Briscoe and Tyler Dippel will be making their first starts at the track.

It’s an eclectic grouping of drivers for one of the most prestigious events of the year and the entry list can be viewed below. Green flag for the event is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.

  • Wayne Peterson
  • Mike Abram
  • Sarah Cornett-Ching
  • Josh White
  • Josh Williams
  • Con Nicolopoulos
  • Thomas Praytor
  • Ed Pompa
  • Kyle Weatherman
  • Grant Enfinger
  • Frank Kimmel
  • J. Fike
  • Brian Keselowski
  • Richard Hauck
  • Darrell Basham
  • Brandon Lynn
  • Tyler Dippel
  • Eric Caudell
  • Bo LeMastus
  • James Swanson
  • Ken Schrader
  • Frankie Kimmel
  • Blake Jones
  • David Levine
  • Will Kimmel
  • Chase Briscoe
  • Dale Shearer
  • JJ Haley
  • Tom Hessert
  • Kody Evans
  • Kevin Campbell
  • Austin Wayne Self

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

  1. Grant Enfinger Ldr.
  2. Josh Williams -180
  3. Tommy Hessert -215
  4. Austin Wayne Self -265
  5. David Levine -475
  6. Sarah Cornett-Ching -735
  7. Bo LeMastus -815
  8. Thomas Praytor -950
  9. James Swanson -1065
  10. Kyle Weatheran -1470

EMAIL MATT AT matt.weaver@popularspeed.com

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Matt Weaver

Matt Weaver is the Executive Editor of POPULAR SPEED. He has covered NASCAR since 2011 and full-time since 2013. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He has been published all across the country and routinely makes radio appearances on Sirius XM Satellite radio and NBC Sports Radio Network.