The anticipated 2017 motorsports season is just a few short weeks away, and drivers in the ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards hit the track Thursday at Talladega Superspeedway to conduct open testing before the season opener at Daytona International Speedway Feb. 18.
Seasoned drivers Carl Long, of Roxboro, NC, Bo LeMastus, a Louisville, KY native, and Mark Thompson, of nearby Cartersville, GA all took advantage of the mammoth 2.66-mile tri-oval to practice speed and gaining additional experience on the high-banks of a superspeedway. All three drivers participating in testing Thursday have competed in years past at NASCAR’s Most Competitive venue - Talladega Superspeedway.
Long has three races under his belt at Talladega, with all three starts in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. LeMastus also has three starts at the biggest and baddest track, all coming in the ARCA Racing Series, with a best finish of 9th in May, 2015. Thompson has competed a total of 20 times at TSS in ARCA and NASCAR XFINITY series events. Though he has never tasted victory on the 33-degree high banks, Thompson has accumulated nine top-10’s, including a pair of runner-up finishes out of his 19 starts in the General Tire 200 ARCA Racing Series event.
A staple at Talladega Superspeedway since its inception in 1969, the ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards will return for the General Tire 200 to kick-off an eventful weekend of racing on Friday, May 5. Defending General Tire 200 champion Gus Dean, along with the likes of Alabama natives Bret Holmes (Munford, AL) and Thomas Praytor (Mobile, AL), are expected to compete again this spring during the always exciting running of the 76-lap event.
Friday's slate will consist of practice, qualifying and the drop of the green flag for the General Tire 200 at 5 p.m. (CDT). Friday night the track will also host the “Big One on the Blvd” parade and fan competitions, featuring an array of NASCAR drivers and loads of hysterical fun.
Saturday’s activities feature NASCAR XFINITY Series and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying, along with the start of the Sparks Energy 300 at 12 Noon CDT. Later that evening, fans who purchase a GEICO 500 ticket will get free admission to the traditional Saturday Night Infield Concert (featured headliner to be announced soon). Sunday, the GEICO 500 is set for a 1 p.m. CDT start.
For more ticket information on all three days of activities, log on to www.talladegasuperspeedway.