by Kari Shear-Carlson
August 21, 2013-A lot of things have changed in racing over the years, but one thing that will always remain the same is the dream of a young driver hoping to one day become the next champion. The ARCA Midwest Tour presented by Scag Power Equipment and Lester Buildings is proud to be a stepping stone in helping drivers achieve their dreams, and their relationship with the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards provides an opportunity to add another rung to the ladder of success.
Driver Development Program. You’ve heard of it. You’ve seen the result of it. You may even want to be a part of it. Over the years the ARCA Racing Series has been the top series to go from into NASCAR. Driver development teams have sought out ARCA drivers to develop and prep in order to move into the NASCAR ranks.
Programs like these have become an integral part in the future of many drivers. The relationship the Midwest Tour has with ARCA has sparked new ideas in filling a gap and building a pathway for some of the most talented drivers in super late model racing, thus allowing them the opportunity to move through the ranks into ARCA and onto NASCAR.
A leader in ARCA driver development programs, Roulo Brothers Racing, recognizes the opportunity that the relationship between the Midwest Tour and ARCA can provide. Roulo Brothers Racing has had a lot of success over the years getting young drivers from ARCA into NASCAR through their driver development programs. They have had a structured relationship with Roush-Fenway since 2005 and have brought drivers like David Ragan, Erik Darnell, and most recently Chris Buescher, through their programs.
Gary Roulo understands the need for another step in the developmental process.
“ARCA has been the No. 1 series to develop drivers and build from. There hasn’t been anything below ARCA. The Midwest Tour fills that void with such a huge talent pool. Drivers in the Tour reach a certain plateau and then think, ‘What do we do now? Where do we go?”
This idea of filling the gap creates a logical progression for the most competitive late model drivers into the ARCA series.
“Gary [Roulo] and I have had numerous conversations about how important it is to build that ladder of development for young stars trying to make their way up in racing. The Midwest Tour has some of the best developmental race teams in the country and this opportunity sets the stage for the future and how we can work together to attract upcoming stars to the series to groom them as they prepare for the ARCA Racing Series. The Roulo Brothers have an excellent pathway to the top with their connection to Roush-Fenway. We look forward to working with them and everyone at ARCA to find ways to keep the sport strong,” said Midwest Tour VP, Stephen Einhaus.
One of, if not the hottest driver in the country right now is Midwest Tour competitor Travis Sauter. Sauter won both Midwest Tour events at Madison International Speedway this season. In fact he has won ten consecutive super late model events at the 1/2 mile oval. So it just made sense that the Midwest Tour shared a part in introducing Roulo Brothers Racing to Sauter for this weekend’s ARCA Racing Series event at Madison International Speedway.
“While Travis may not be familiar with the ARCA car itself, he is obviously familiar with the track. ARCA races at a lot of the same tracks as the Midwest Tour. The more familiar a driver is simply with the surroundings makes for an easier transition. This is great for us as a race team but also good for the Midwest Tour and ARCA to have people look at this as another avenue,” added Roulo.
This isn’t the first time Roulo Brothers Racing has looked at the Midwest Tour for talent. They have been keeping an eye on the drivers for quite some time.
“The Roulo’s have been scouting the Midwest Tour for a while and they continually ask our opinion about drivers that fit into their program. We are very proud of the talent the Midwest Tour produces. While we hate to lose our young stars, it’s part of the business and it’s our job to help them succeed at higher levels. Having a connection to introduce drivers to higher level teams makes the series appeal-able. We are glad we could help with the introduction of Travis this weekend. Its just another great example of how instrumental and important our relationship with ARCA is,” said Einhaus.
Travis isn’t moving up to ARCA this weekend alone however. Lester Buildings, who has had a great presence in racing and is currently a presenting sponsor and great supporter of the ARCA Midwest Tour will sponsor Sauter in the Roulo Brothers Racing Lester Buildings No. 99.
“Lester Buildings has watched Travis improve dramatically over the past couple of years, and we’re excited to see where this opportunity takes him. Without driver development programs, talented drivers like Travis wouldn’t have the opportunity to be successful at the next level,” said Stephanie Beste, Brand Manager, Lester Buildings Systems, LLC.
Travis is thankful for the opportunity everyone involved has given him this weekend.
“I’m really looking forward to running the Lester Buildings Ford at Madison,” Sauter said. “I believe my experience at MIS will pay dividends this weekend. I can’t thank Lester Buildings, Habelman Bros. Cranberries and Roulo Brothers enough for the opportunity to race in front of the hometown crowd.”
The Midwest Tour is proud to be a part of Travis’ stepping stone into this weekend’s opportunity and wishes the entire team the best of luck.
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 to arcamidwesttour.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.