The ARCA Midwest Tour is preparing to embark on it’s eighth season with the 7-Up 150 Border Wars event with the ARCA/CRA Super Series on Saturday, April 12th. The series has announced a Touring Star program with a wide variety of drivers to go along with a schedule at some of the toughest tracks in the Midwest.
“I think we have a very competitive group of drivers and tracks for the 2014 season,” Tim Olson, ARCA Midwest Tour President said. “Our Touring Stars really enjoy traveling to the variety of short tracks we compete at and race against the weekly competitors. While there may be one winner on the track at each event, the fans are the big winners for the quality show they will see this season.”
Among the 14 Touring Stars registered to compete this season, three are previous champions hoping to join Steve Carlson and Dan Fredickson, who each have won two championships.
Nathan Haseleu, Jonathan Eilen and Andrew Morrissey are three previous champions to commit to the Tour’s Touring Star program in 2014.
Haseleu, the 2007 champion, is the only driver to have competed in each Midwest Tour event since the tour started eight years ago. Haseleu had a great 2013 season picking up wins at Norway and at Oktoberfest and finished third in points with those two wins, seven top-five and nine top-10 finishes.
He maintains a full-time job with a family that includes two kids growing up right in front of him. During the off-season he was debating to run or not run the full schedule, but after looking things over, he decided to go for his second title.
“I thought about what I was going to do in the off-season and decided to give it at least one more run for a championship,” Haseleu said. “We have always been up there in the points and in contention. The Tour has a good schedule where we are not racing every weekend, we do a little traveling to fun tracks which allows me to still race and have time to go to my kids' sporting events and other family activities.”
Andrew Morrissey, the 2011 champion, and Jonathan Eilen, the 2012 champion, also are looking at going after their second title. Each also visited victory lane last season.
Eilen finished sixth in points with one win, three top-five and five top-10 finishes.
Morrissey ran 10 of the 12 events last season where he had three top-10 finishes to go along with the win at Elko Speedway.
Strong Field to Contend for Rookie of the Year Title
This could be one of the more competitive groups of rookies that the Tour has seen in its history. Ty Majeski made waves with winning a variety of races at Oktoberfest last year. Casey Johnson won the 2013 Triple Crown Series at Madison International Speedway and the Big 8 Series crown. Matt Kocourek has competed in several short track events and has finished second in the Slinger Nationals. Nick Barstad and Joel Theisen have had success at Elko Speedway in Minnesota.
Reuvers Returns to Midwest Tour Competition
Donny Reuvers returns to the Tour full-time after a short hiatus. During that hiatus he was the Promoter of Raceway Park in Shakopee, Minnesota while still winning the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Minnesota state championship in 2007, 2008, and 2010.
He was one of the original Touring Stars when the series started in 2007. He has four victories and 24 top-10s in 35 starts on the tour. He finished second in points in 2007 and 2008.
Who’s Who Completes Touring Star Roster
Three former champions and five rookies make up more than half of the 2014 Touring Star class. James Swan returns for his sophomore season after picking up the Rookie of the Year title in 2013. He has won championships in the Mid-American Stock Car Series and the Midwest Truck Tour. Chris Weinkauf has made 38 starts in the ARCA Midwest Tour but is still looking for his trip to victory lane. This is his fourth year in the Touring Star program.
Jason Weinkauf has one leg up on his brother Chris as he has a victory in the Midwest Tour when he won a caution-free 100-lap event at Marshfield Speedway in 2011. Cardell Potter is one driver who could make waves this season. This will be the third year that he is running the full schedule where he has five top-10 finishes. Last year he finished eighth in the standings. Boris Jurkovic is teaming up with car owner Mike Butz this season to run the entire Midwest Tour schedule. The 2011 Winchester 400 winner has made 15 starts with three top-five and five top-10 finishes.
11 Tracks in Six States
The 2014 ARCA Midwest Tour schedule will have the series visit 11 tracks in six different states. They will head to Toledo Speedway in Ohio, Madison International Speedway, Dells Raceway Park, State Park Speedway, Wisconsin International Raceway, La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway and the Milwaukee Mile in Wisconsin. The Tour will also visit Grundy County Speedway in Illinois, Illiana Motor Speedway in Indiana, and Norway Speedway in Michigan and Elko Speedway in Minnesota.
The Tour may add one or two more dates; one of those is a possible event in Iowa that they have hinted on their Facebook page.