by Gregg Paul
The ARCA Midwest Tour presented by SCAG Power Equipment and Lester Buildings is pleased to announce that short track legend and former NASCAR driver Rich Bickle will be competing full time in 2013 and is going to be a part of the famed Touring Star program.
Rich Bickle is a veteran of all three NASCAR divisions in a career that has spanned 36 years. His racing career began in Wisconsin at Jefferson Speedway at age 15. He steadily progressed into super late model racing and won multiple track championships throughout the state of Wisconsin. He then began racing in traveling divisions racing from Florida to Calgary AB, and from New York to California. Bickle’s 450 victories in short track racing proved his dominance and landed him several opportunities in NASCAR’s top divisions.
Some of Bickle’s career highlights include:
• Three-time Slinger National winner (1992, 1996, 2003)
• National Short Track Champion at Rockford Speedway (1990, 2012)
• Five-time winner of the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway (1990, 1991, 1996, 1998, 1999)
• Two-time Madison International Speedway Track Champion (1985, 1986)
• Two-time Slinger Super Speedway Track Champion (1983, 1989)
The 2013 season appears to be Bickle’s last as a race car driver. He has said this will be his final season, but will continue to race snowmobiles as he has done for many years. The ARCA Midwest Tour is something that Bickle is really looking forward to and hopes to go out with a bang.
“Well, that’s what it’s looking at,” said Bickle. “It’s not that I can’t race a lot longer, but it just came up in my mind that this might be it. So we had a bunch of other things put together and that kind of fell apart. I looked at the schedule and thought I might as well call up Steve (Einhaus) and the boys and see what this thing would look like. We talked a little bit and then a couple of days later we decided to run the series.”
The quality of competition and the tracks on the Tour are very familiar to Bickle, yet he knows it will still be a challenge to try to win.
“It kind of reminds me of the old ARTGO days,” said Bickle. “It seems like they have been working at this really hard for years and they have a pretty good series going. As far as the sponsorship and marketing arena there is a good opportunity there as far as promotion. It’s kind of the same guys that have been around here awhile. It should be some good racing and I can’t wait to get going. I’m sick of working in the shop, I know that!”
ARCA Midwest Tour Vice President Steve Einhaus is excited about Bickle coming to race the full Tour.
“Rich submitted an application to join our Touring Stars a few months ago but he had some sponsor hang-ups and couldn’t commit,” said Einhaus. “He called back the other day and we talked and talked about how important it was to all of us to see him race with us full time in 2013. I truly believe we have the best of the best running with us and adding someone of Rich’s stature is a huge asset to the series. We have always had a good relationship and we couldn’t be happier about his decision to hit the Tour with “Guns a Blazing”. The guy can wheel a car, and I’m pretty sure when you put all of our drivers inside of a race track, its overflowing with major talent.”
As for the tracks, Bickle knows what he is in for.
“I’ve been to 221 tracks and I think I’ve been to every one on the Tour,” said Bickle. “They’re all asphalt, they all got curves. Like they say once you’ve been there and done it, it’s time to go do it again.”
I guess that means it’s time to go do it!
Be sure to follow the ARCA Midwest Tour on Facebook (midwesttour) and Twitter (@midwesttour).
To learn more about the Automobile Racing Club of America Midwest Tour, log on toarcamidwesttour.com. For questions call the ARCA Midwest Tour office at (262) 729-4111 or Tim Olson at (612) 327-5831 or Steve Einhaus (630) 212-6022 at or e-mail Tim Olson at email@example.com Steve Einhaus at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is among the leading auto racing sanctioning bodies in the country. Founded in 1953 by John and Mildred Marcum, the organization administers more than 100 events each year in multiple racing series, including the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, the ARCA/CRA Super Series, the ARCA Truck Series and the ARCA Midwest Tour, plus weekly racing at Toledo and Flat Rock Speedways.