ARCA announced its 2020 schedule on Thursday and changes were made. Tracks were kicked out, tracks were added, feelings were hurt, icons were lost, and some were left sick to their stomach.
In 2020 the series will travel to 5 new tracks but that comes at a cost. One of the series most iconic races is no longer on the schedule. Here is the 2020 schedule no sense in making everyone wait:
|Saturday, Feb. 8||Daytona International Speedway||Daytona, Fla.|
|Friday, March 6||ISM Raceway||Avondale, Ariz.|
|Sunday, April 19||Salem Speedway||Salem, Ind.|
|Friday, April 24||Talladega Superspeedway||Talladega, Ala.|
|Thursday, May 21||Charlotte Motor Speedway||Concord, N.C.|
|Friday, May 29||Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course||Lexington, Ohio|
|Friday, June 5||Michigan International Speedway||Brooklyn, Mich.|
|Thursday, June 18||Chicagoland Speedway||Joliet, Ill.|
|Thursday, June 25||Pocono Raceway||Long Pond, Pa.|
|Friday, July 3||Lucas Oil Raceway||Brownsburg, Ind.|
|Saturday, July 11||Elko Speedway||Elko, Minn.|
|Friday, July 17||Iowa Speedway||Newton, Iowa|
|Saturday, Aug. 1||WWT Raceway at Gateway||Madison, Ill.|
|Friday, Aug. 7||Madison International Speedway||Madison, Wisc.|
|Friday, Aug. 18||Watkins Glen International||Watkins Glen, N.Y.|
|Sunday, Aug. 23||Springfield Mile at Illinois State Fairgrounds||Springfield, Ill.|
|Saturday, Sept. 5||Magic Mile at DuQuoin State Fairgrounds||DuQuoin, Ill.|
|Thursday, Sept. 17||Bristol Motor Speedway||Bristol, Tenn.|
|Saturday, Sept. 26||Memphis International Raceway||Millington, Tenn.|
|Friday, Oct. 16||Kansas Speedway||Kansas City, Kan.|
New additions to the ARCA Series in 2020 will be Phoenix International, Mid-Ohio, Bristol, Memphis, and Watkins Glen. Phoenix will be the start of the ARCA showdown which will be contested of 10 races on the ARCA schedule.
ARCA will also be making right and left turns for the first time since Road America in 2017. The addition of Mid-Ohio only enhances the Xfinity weekend at the track. The series will also be accompanying the NASCAR Cup & Xfinity Series at Watkins Glen in August. ARCA will also be going to Bristol Motor Speedway for the first time once again joining the NASCAR touring series.
THERE IS NO SALEM NIGHT RACE
The biggest absence from the schedule is the Salem night race! The throwback weekend date in September has been replaced by Bristol. The famed high banks of Salem Speedway have been replaced by the empty seats of Bristol Motor Speedway. Not a knock on Bristol as a track, the last few Cup races there have been some of the best ever. However, the stands will be empty, the night race at Salem over the last three years definitely saw an increase in attendance.
Do we have a vested interest in Salem? Absolutely. It’s been a tradition for this blog and about 20 others to meet up in Central Indiana for a tailgate and the Salem night race. So we’re sad to see it go. The group chat read more like a eulogy for a lost friend than a race track.
The other noticeable absence is Toledo. ARCA’s home office is in Toledo, having a home race always made sense for the series. Now it’s gone and it’s a sad thing to see go. Touring stock car series need to embrace these short tracks. Unfortunately with NASCAR as ARCA’s new owner, the days of seeing ARCA on short tracks around the midwest are gone.
Five Flags Speedway and the Nashville Fairgrounds will also not be returning to the schedule next year. The latter reportedly was over a $4k dispute which if that’s the case I’ll cut a $4k check right now to make it happen.
The 2020 schedule is fine, some of the additions are great, some are meh. Tracks like Pocono, Michigan, and Charlotte could go away and no one would notice. The good news is fans should see bigger car counts with the East & West series now being allowed to compete with ARCA.
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