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Ricky Baker Welcomes ARCA Midwest Tour Competition to His Home Track

Wayne Carter Classic 100 this Friday Night at Grundy County Speedway

by Kari Shear-Carlson / July 13, 2015 - The ARCA Midwest Tour presented by Scag Power Equipment returns to Grundy County Speedway this Friday night, July 17th for the Wayne Carter Classic 100, where ARCA Midwest Touring Star Ricky Baker got his start, claims as his home track, and continues to find success. With one ARCA Midwest Tour win under his belt at Illiana Motor Speedway this year, Baker is ready to get to victory lane again.

Last Friday night during a weekly event at Grundy County Speedway, Baker set fast time and finished third behind Eddie Hoffman and Brett Sontag, two other local heroes who have entered Friday nights’ event. When young drivers like Baker compete against such strong competition on a regular basis, it relieves a little bit of the intimidation when it comes to a series like the ARCA Midwest Tour.

“Even on a regular night you have drivers like Hoffman, Sontag, and (Larry) Schuler. Those guys have raced all over the country and are the ones to beat. So our regular Friday nights can have just as much competition as a touring series coming in,” said Baker.

In fact, local driver Eddie Hoffman joins current Touring Stars Jonathan Eilen and Chris Weinkauf on the winner’s list.

It doesn’t mean that Baker, who is racing the full ARCA Midwest Tour circuit in 2015, doesn’t expect the competition level to rise when the Tour rolls into the track on Friday night.

“Ty (Majeski) ran really good there and Jonathan Eilen always runs good there. They are all smart guys, so I don’t think you can really say if anyone has an advantage. It’s all up in the air,” added Baker.

Typically when a driver is racing at his or her home track, confidence based on experience plays a big roll. Simply having more laps is sometimes the key to having an advantage over other drivers. But according to Baker, he’d have a lot more confidence if he felt he was running better at Grundy on a regular basis.

“We’ve been struggling a little bit and trying new stuff. We’re not convinced it’s working so we’ll go back to old notes and go back to where it was. I think if we can get the car dialed in, we’ll have a good chance at the win. But it’s a dice roll, you never know what’s going to happen.”

Just like a driver has his or her own unique driving style, each track seems to have its own personality. Grundy has been known to be one of the tougher tracks on the Midwest Tour circuit. It seems that a team is either on or off. While Baker doesn’t really see Grundy as unique in its own way, he provides some insight on how to overcome some of the challenges.

“I just look at all tracks like you have to get the cars right for each one. I really don’t know why people struggle. It’s a little rough, and it is one groove. You have to get the car to work on the outside. And if you try to pass, you’re probably going to have to move them,” admitted Baker.

Adding the ARCA Midwest Touring Stars and Cars to the already stout field of drivers at Grundy County Speedway this Friday night is sure to make for some of the most exciting racing in the Chicagoland area. Gates open at 5:30pm and all of the action begins with qualifying at 6:30pm and racing to follow at 7:30pm.

The ARCA Midwest Tour will be joined by the Mid-American Stock Car Series as well as the Pure Stocks.

For complete event details, log on to arcamidwesttour.com

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. 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 Speedway.