When NASCAR merged it’s newly acquired ARCA Menards Series with the K&N East and West tours, a plethora of firsts became apparent for minor league racing.
A new, crossover tour was added, the points formats were changed, and the regional tours received overhauls of their schedules.
We get the first look at those on Monday night at New Smyrna Speedway in Florida.
ARCA: New Look East Series kicks off Monday night at New Smyrna
The new formation and formats have completely revamped the developmental circuit, and a lot of big names are set to tackle the eight-race schedule.
Defending champion and young rising star Sam Mayer will be competing in the full schedule for the East series as well as running the entirety of the SiouxChief Short Track Challenge.
The challenge is optional for drivers in both of the East and West Tours and is part of the main ARCA schedule – created as a crossover tour for the three series in which drivers of any age can compete.
Mayer – a 16-year old – was unable to run at Daytona because of the tracks’ age requirements.
Mayer is already off to a strong start though, as he set the quick time in the open test for the series at the track on Sunday.
The No. 21 GMS Racing car that Mayer drives finished fourth in this race a year ago, behind the No. 16 Bill McAnally Racing entry of Derek Kraus.
Kraus will be running with the team in the truck series, but driving BMR’s ARCA car will actually be a rising star from dirt racing in Giovanni Scelzi.
Scelzi became the youngest driver to ever start in the main event of the Knoxville Nationals – the most prestigious race on the calendar for any dirt driver – in 2018.
He’ll give his hand at trying to compete in the series with one of the best cars available this season.
Ty Gibbs – a four-time winner across each tour last season – will return to his No. 18 car owned by Coy Gibbs.
It’s expected that the 17-year old will run a lot more races than his 18-race schedule from last season.
Four of the five drivers that finished the 2019 season in points will be back to run for a title once again this year.
Chase Cabre, Spencer Davis, and Max McLaughlin are all on the entry list for Monday night.
Not to mention, Venturini Motorsports has entered a pair of cars in the contest to be driven by Corey Heim and Mason Diaz.
The race is part of the week-long program running at New Smyrna – the World Series of Asphalt.
It brings together some of the best asphalt late model and modified drivers in the United States, which means some outsiders could try and spoil the victory for a series regular.
Stephen Nasse might be the favorite to do so.
Nasse is one of the most revered racers in super late models as well as one of the most outspoken.
He crossed the finish line at the 2019 Snowball Derby in first but would later be disqualified and garner a lot of attention on social media.
No matter what, though, the defending Winchester 400 winner and Derby ‘race-leader’ is talented enough to play spoiler on Monday.
Fans can tune into the racing action live by purchasing TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold, or follow along on our twitter @RacingVault for full updates.
Qualifying will begin at 5:30 p.m. ET and live coverage of the race on TrackPass will begin at 7:40 p.m. ET.
2020 ARCA Menards Series East Schedule
Feb. 14 | New Smyrna Speedway
Mar. 14 | 5 Flags Speedway
Apr. 04 | Bristol Motor Speedway
May 02 | Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway
May 16 | Toledo Speedway
July 25 | Berlin Raceway
Aug. 21 | Dover International Speedway
Sep. 12 | New Hampshire Motor Speedway
ARCA East Skips Western Outfiters 175 Starting Lineup
1. Derek Griffith
2. Max McLaughlin
3. Nick Sanchez
4. Ty Gibbs
5. Corey Heim
6. Sam Mayer
7. Daniel Dye
8. Stephen Nasse
9. Giovanni Bromante
10. Mason Diaz
11. Tanner Gray
12. Chase Cabre
13. Tristan Van Wieringen
14. Jesse Love
15. Parker Retzlaff
16. Gio Scelzi
17. Justin Carroll
18. Holley Hollan
19. Brian Finney
20. Gracie Trotter
21. Chuck Hiers
22. Robert Pawlowski