NASCAR and ARCA have worked together to improve stock racing for more than 60 years and this year is no different.
The two car organizations unveiled their latest innovation at last Tuesday’s 2014 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas. The car is designed to provide greater brand identity and helps prepare drivers to compete at motorsports’ highest levels.
Helping to unveil the new NASCAR K&N Pro Series cars last week at the Las Vegas Convention Center were NASCAR President Mike Helton as well as a trio of Iowa Speedway veterans in Kyle Larson, Ben Kennedy and Ben Rhodes.
Iowa Speedway President Jimmy Small is excited about the latest car model and knows that the change will be better prepare up and coming drivers to take the next step in their careers.
“I’m excited about the 2015 cars and I really believe NASCAR and ARCA are doing the right thing by making these cars look and act like the NASCAR national series cars do,” Small said. “We are proud of the fact that Iowa Speedway is a place for future stars of the sport to grab the spotlight and make a name for themselves. The changes to the cars will better prepare these up and coming drivers to take the next step in their careers and we can’t wait to have them back in Newton.”
The new car bodies have been built to more closely mimic the Cup Series cars. Larson is a Sprint Cup Series driver and the 2012 K&N Pro Series East champion, Kennedy is a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver and K&N Pro Series East team owner and Rhodes was the 2014 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion and Sunoco Rookie of the Year.
In May, Rhodes — a NASCAR Next driver — kicked off “Wide-Opening Weekend” at Iowa Speedway with a win in the Casey’s General Stores 150 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East/West race.
The new body is made from a state-of-the-art composite laminate blend and was developed in partnership with Five Star Race Car Bodies, a long-term NASCAR contingency sponsor.
ARCA Racing Series officials announced that their teams will have the option of running the new composite bodies at tracks one more or less in length — which includes Iowa Speedway — during the 2015 season.
“This announcement marks the first major enhancement to the outward appearance of the ARCA Racing Series race car in several years,” ARCA President Ron Drager said. “We’re proud to have been a part of this project with Five Star, and especially NASCAR, with whom we’ve had a constructive working relationship with for more than 60 years.”
Drager believes that giving teams the chance to use the new body will help to further the series’ cost-containment initiative, which also includes the introduction of the new Illmor 396 engine in 2015.
The car will be available in all three NASCAR manufacturer models: Chevrolet SS, Ford Fusion, and Toyota Camry. The final season for the steel bodies is 2015, and the current one-piece composite body will be phased out after the 2016 season.
The new body will be eligible for competition in ARCA beginning in 2015.
The new K&N Pro Series cars will officially debut at Iowa Speedway on May 16, 2015, and will return on July 31, both weekends they are paired with the NASCAR XFINITY Series.
The new ARCA body and engine combination will make its debut July 17, 2015, at Iowa Speedway, the same weekend as IndyCar will bring their top three series’ to Newton.
Season tickets to Iowa Speedway are on sale now. Call 866- 787-8946 for more information.