Road to Daytona: ARCA Touring Series Champions to Participate in Open Test

ARCA Racing Series Media PR Photography

(TOLEDO, Ohio) - Four drivers who achieved success in the three ARCA touring series in the 2012 season will have the opportunity of a lifetime this weekend at Daytona International Speedway.

Johnny VanDoorn, Travis Braden, Jonathan Eilen, and Dakota Carlson will all participate in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards open test at the superspeedway between Friday and Sunday, having earned their spots in the new “Road to Daytona” program.

The test session will give competitors from nearly all divisions of ARCA competition the opportunity for seat time as ARCA Racing Series teams prepare for the 50th consecutive annual event at Daytona, a tradition dating back to 1964.

VanDoorn, 24 and of Coopersville, Mich., is now a three-time ARCA CRA Super Series champion and won the 2012 title for Kaos Motorsports.

Braden, 18 and of Wheeling, W.V., is the 2012 Super Series Rookie of the Year.

Eilen, 27 and of Hampton, Minn., won the 2012 Midwest Tour championship five years after becoming the series’ first race winner. The Midwest Tour connection to ARCA is new this fall, and the 2013 season will be the first in competition for the ARCA Midwest Tour.

Carlson, 25 and of Cedar Springs, Mich., won the ARCA Gold Cup Series championship, contested at ARCA-owned Toledo and Flat Rock Speedways, as well as Spartan (Mich.) Speedway.

Andy Hillenburg, a two-time Daytona winner and the 1995 ARCA champion, will assist each Road to Daytona driver in the test session. His Fast Track High Performance Driving School, ARCA’s Official Driving School, will provide the cars and support for the test.

New relationships with Super Series and Midwest Tour in the last 18 months have created a unique opportunity to celebrate the best from each of ARCA’s divisions. Last season, Super Series champion Derrick Griffin and Gold Cup champion Dennis Strickland participated in the first year of the Road to Daytona program.

Testing will take place from 9-12 and 1-5 on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. will feature live timing and scoring of each session.

The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards has crowned 30 ARCA national champions in 60 seasons since 1953, and has toured over 200 race tracks in 26 states since its inception. The series has tested the abilities of drivers and race teams over the most diverse schedule of stock car racing events in the world, visiting tracks ranging from 0.375 mile to 2.66 miles in length on both paved and dirt surfaces as well as a left- and right-turn road course in its most recent season.

Founded by John and Mildred Marcum in 1953 in Toledo, Ohio, the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is recognized among the leading sanctioning bodies in the country. Having completed its sixth decade after hundreds of thousands of miles of racing, ARCA administers over 100 race events each season in four professional touring series – the ARCA Racing Series, the ARCA CRA Super Series, the ARCA Truck Series, and new in 2013, the ARCA Midwest Tour – in addition to local weekly events at Ohio’s Toledo Speedway and Michigan’s Flat Rock Speedway.