Saturday's 50th running of the Lucas Oil 200 ARCA Racing Series race at Daytona International Speedway will be a great start to Speedweeks at Daytona. Two of NASCAR's upcoming talents, Kyle Larson and Darrell Wallace Jr, will make their Daytona on track racing debuts in the race.
The 19-year old Wallace will drive the No. 55 Toyota for Venturini Motorsports on Saturday with sponsorship from Toyota. He will be driving full time for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Camping World Truck Series this season and is a Joe Gibbs Racing developmental driver.
"I know they have great equipment and have helped a lot of talented young drivers gain valuable experience,” Wallace said of Venturini Motorsports. “I appreciate Toyota continuing their support of me and being on board for my first Daytona race."
The 20-year old Larson will drive the No. 4 Cessna Chevrolet for Turner Scott Motorsports in the race. He will compete full time for TSM in the Nationwide Series this season as an Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing developmental driver.
"Daytona is a huge place, and any time you get to race somewhere with so much history, it's really exciting,” Larson said. “I'm just really ready to get in the car and see what we can do. Since it's my first time on a restrictor-plate track, I think it'll be a good learning experience. Hopefully, we can stay out of trouble and prepare ourselves for the rest of the season. The No. 4 Cessna Impala that my team has prepared has always been fast in all of the races it's been in, and I think we have a good strategy to get up front again."
By running this ARCA race, both Larson and Wallace will then become cleared to race in their respective NASCAR
events on the restrictor-plate track next week.
There are 45 total cars entered to try to make the Lucas Oil 200 field. Bobby Gerhart has to be the odds on favorite to win as he has won eight of the last 14 Daytona ARCA Races including the last three seasons. He will be driving his No. 5 Chevrolet with sponsorship from MAVTV-American Real.
Nine-time ARCA Racing Series champion Frank Kimmel will be in his familiar No. 44 with sponsorship from Ansell-Menards. He will drive for ThorSport Racing.
Also driving for ThorSport Racing will be 21-year old Chad Boat in the No. 52 Toyota. It will be his fourth career ARCA start.
ARCA's 2012 champion, Chris Buescher, who is only 20-years old, will also be in the race driving for the team he won the championship with last year. He will be in the No. 17 Ford for Roulo Brothers Racing. He won four times and scored 16 top ten finishes in last year's season. He has nine ARCA wins in 53 career starts. His older brother James won the Truck title last year and is the 2009 winner of the Daytona ARCA race.
Other past winners of the ARCA Daytona race are Benny Parsons (1969), Kyle Petty (1979), Tim Richmond (1981), Joe Ruttman (1982), Mike Wallace (1994), Kenny Irwin (1998), Ryan Newman (2001), Kyle Busch (2004), and Michael Annett (2008).
Practice will take place tomorrow (Thursday) from 1-5 p.m. ET and then qualifying will take place on Friday at 2 p.m. ET. The Lucas Oil 200 will be shown live on SPEED Channel Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET as a warm up act for the Sprint Unlimited later that night.
Tags: Bobby Gerhart
, Brennan Newberry
, Camping World Truck Series
, Chris Buescher
, Darrell Wallace Jr.
, Daytona International Speedway
, Frank Kimmel
, John Wes Townley
, Kyle Busch Motorsports
, Kyle Larson
, Nationwide Series
, Turner Scott Motorsports