McKarns Takes Over ARCA Midwest Tour Ownership

December 5, 2014 - Tim Olson, President of the ARCA Midwest Tour, announced on Wednesday that he has sold the ownership of the ARCA Midwest Tour to former Big 8 Series Director and Rockford Speedway General Manager Gregg McKarns.

Olson will continue to stay involved in the series as the race day director and tire sales with the series that he and Steve Einhaus created in 2007.

“I want to continue to keep the series going and I feel good selling the series to Gregg. I think he will keep it going in the right direction,” Olson said. “This will allow me to spend more time with our family’s trucking company and my grandchildren.”

For Olson, he feels that the series has come full circle as it was Gregg’s father, the late John McKarns, who played a major consulting role when the series was created in late 2006. He feels confident that the second-generation promoter will continue building the popular Midwest series.

“Gregg has shown what he can do with the success of the Big 8 Series and his passion for this sport will really help take the ARCA Midwest Tour up to another level,” Olson said. “I think the teams and fans will be excited about this announcement.”

McKarns felt that this was a good time for him to step into this new role as the sole-owner of the series.

“This is something that I feel will work out better in the long–term plan of the ARCA Midwest Tour,” McKarns said. “I am motivated to creating memorable shows featuring today’s short track racing stars.”

That goal was what his father did with the well-known ARTGO Series that ran from the mid-70’s to mid-90’s. But, McKarns has no plans to bring back the famous name.

“That history has been written,” McKarns said. “We are going to continue to write the history of the ARCA Midwest Tour while implementing many of the fundamentals that made ARTGO successful.

“We are already in the planning stages to put together a 12-race schedule in 2015 and we will keep everyone updated on”

McKarns also said that there is nothing major planned as far as changes within the series. He did confirm that Mike “Lumpy” Lemke will remain as the Tech Director, but will be working on revamping the “Touring Stars” program.

He also confirmed that the series would continue to be sanctioned with ARCA Racing.

“Ron Drager (ARCA Racing President) and his staff have been very good to work with during this transition process and I am eager to work with them with the growth of this series,” McKarns added.

“We respect what Tim Olson and Steve Einhaus established and developed with the ARCA Midwest Tour, and appreciate Tim’s long term dedication to the tour and the sport,” said ARCA President Ron Drager. “Tim’s decision to entrust the future of the series to a seasoned and successful industry veteran like Gregg McKarns will surely instill confidence in the stakeholders of the tour. We are proud to have featured the ARCA Midwest Tour as an ARCA sanctioned property since 2013, alongside the ARCA CRA Super Series and the ARCA Truck Series. Everyone at ARCA looks forward to supporting the ongoing efforts of Gregg McKarns in 2015 and beyond.”

McKarns is already in discussions with tracks and sponsors for the 2015 season and will have future announcements coming soon and will be posted on

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 For questions, call Gregg McKarns at (815) 703-0285 or e-mail

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.