KANSAS CITY, Kan.General Tire's goin' stock car racing.
The Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) has named Continental Tire the Americas L.L.C.'s General Tire brand its exclusive race tire supplier for the next three years for its premier competition, the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards.
This series features late model stock cars competing in a 20-plus race series on paved ovals throughout the eastern U.S. The ARCA Racing Series is similar to NASCAR in the types of cars used, but is considered more of a stock car minor league, with many of its drivers aspiring to move up to NASCAR.
General Tire replaces Hoosier Tire Racing Corp. as the ARCA series' race tire supplier, although Hoosier will continue to produce the General Tire-branded race tires for General under a production/development relationship the two companies have had since 2009.
Hoosier, which has been the ARCA series' supplier since 1995, also makes the Continental-branded race tires used by competitors in the IMSA WeatherTech United Sports Car Series and Continental Tire Challenge road racing series. Hoosier also will continue to be the tire supplier for ARCA's other seriesthe ARCA/CRA Super Series, ARCA Truck Series and ARCA Midwest Tour, plus weekly racing at Toledo (Ohio) and Flat Rock (Mich.) Speedways.
General Tire's participation (in ARCA racing) will be evident in many ways, ARCA President Ron Drager said, including a broad-based activation package with our broadcast partners, race event venues and teams, as well as contributing extensive knowledge and experience in tire manufacturing technology.
Travis Roffler, director of marketing for General Tire, said the deal with ARCA will build on the brand's 100-year tradition.
ARCA produces some fantastic racing and allows us to expose the General brand to a whole new audience of motorsports fans, he said. We're eager to expand our portfolio and showcase our technologies to such a dedicated audience.
The parties did not disclose the value of the contract.
The agreement involves a complete television package including commercials, in-car cameras and billboards, as well as trackside activation, race entitlements and track signage programs, General Tire said.
The series has a contract for race coverage through the 2017 season with FoxSports Network covering 10 of the 20 events scheduled. This past year telecasts averaged 500,000 viewers, according to ARCA.
The first 2016 race is Feb. 13 at Daytona International Speedway.
Track-side support service for the teams will remain seamlessthat is, it will be handled by Hoosier Tire.
This is the General Tire brand's first foray into stock-car racing. It has been competing in various off-road racing venues since 2008.
Among its current involvements are: Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series; Best in the Desert Racing Series; Expedition Overland; Major League Fishing; Chili Bowl; Pro-Pulling; Late-Model Dirt Series; Drag Boat Series; American Sprint Car Series; FreestyleMx.com Tour; Zero One Odyssey; and is the spec tire of Trophylite and JeepSpeed. (See Who competes in what, page 12.)
Founded in 1953 by John and Mildred Marcum, ARCA organizes more than 100 events each year in its multiple racing series.
Events in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards averaged about 35 cars in 2015, although the series points summary indicated more than 100 drivers competed at some point this season.
The cars in the ARCA Racing Series are purpose-built racing car chassis clad with bodywork of either the Chevrolet SS, Ford Fusion or Toyota Camry. All competitors use identically prepped Ilmor 396 V-8 engines, designed to deliver 700 horsepower and 500 ft. lbs. of torque.
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