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Published: Thursday, 5/5/2011 - Updated: 3 years ago

Toledo Speedway season set to start

Area track opens Friday night

BY MATT MARKEY
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Ticket information for the ARCA Series race and all other Toledo Speedway events is available at 419-727-1100 Ticket information for the ARCA Series race and all other Toledo Speedway events is available at 419-727-1100
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Toledo Speedway has engaged in a recent marketing blitz to get the word out that the roar of racing has returned to the half-mile oval. Track officials said they always expect to need a running start, dodging the rain clouds, to build some momentum with the fans for the season of racing that lies ahead.

"We want to remind people that racing season is here, and that this place has a history of producing some thrilling nights of racing," speedway general manager Scott Schultz said Wednesday. "Once they get here, it's our job to entertain them, and to make sure they want to come back."

The track on Benore Road rolls out its regular Friday night schedule Friday, May 6, with the opening event in the second season of the Valvoline Instant Oil Change (VIOC) Summer Racing Series. The format calls for 10 races in the series to take place on select Friday nights in May, June, July, and August.

In conjunction with the nine Toledo-area Valvoline Instant Oil Change locations, the speedway is offering a Family 4-Pak (2 adults, 2 children) of tickets with the purchase of an oil change. Customers receive a voucher they can exchange at the Toledo Speedway ticket office for admission to any one of the 10 Summer Racing Series events.

"In this economic climate, it is absolutely important to be creative, and to give people a way to get out to the race track, and save a little money at the same time," Schultz said. "This appeals to anyone and everyone, so it just makes a lot of sense to offer such a promotion."

In its May through early October schedule, Toledo Speedway stages racing every Friday night in the Sportsman, Figure-8, Street Stock, and 4-Cylinder divisions. For the regular Friday night schedule, the front gates open at 5, with qualifying at 6:15, and racing starting at 7:30.

Next weekend the ARCA Series returns to Toledo Speedway for the Menards 200. Menards, a Wisconsin-based home improvement retailer, has a number of outlets in the Toledo area and is a presenting sponsor for the ARCA Series.

The ARCA Racing Series was founded in Toledo in 1953 by John Marcum, and his family continues to operate the sanctioning body, which makes its national headquarters just across the state line in Michigan. ARCA stages more than 100 race events each season in its two professional touring series and a variety of local weekly events.

When ARCA races in Toledo next week, one of the favorites will be series leader Ty Dillon, who was at Toledo Speedway in March to help preview the upcoming season. Dillon, who is the grandson of legendary NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team owner Richard Childress, won the most recent ARCA event at Talladega SuperSpeedway. He said he likes the fact the ARCA Series will run on superspeedways, short tracks such as Toledo, and on dirt tracks, through the course of its season.

"I'm really excited for all the different tracks," Dillon said. "With all the short tracks and the big tracks, like Talladega and Daytona, I'm just really excited to get going and learn as much as I can."

Dillon comes to Toledo Speedway with a 65-point lead in the series over Frank Kimmel, a record nine-time winner of the ARCA Series championship. Kimmel last won the season title in 2007 -- his eighth straight at the time -- and since then has finished second, third, and fourth in points over the last three years, in that order.

The ARCA Series schedule at Toledo Speedway calls for a practice session on May 14, at 11:15 a.m., with qualifying at 3:30 p.m. and the ARCA Truck Series 50-lap race at 5. On May 15, the Toledo Speedway gates open at 10 a.m., with an on-track autograph session with all of the drivers set for noon. The ARCA Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care takes the starter's flag at 2 p.m.

Ticket information for the ARCA Series race and all other Toledo Speedway events is available at 419-727-1100. Advance ticket purchases for the ARCA Menards 200 will include a free ticket to the ARCA Truck race.

Contact Matt Markey at: mmarkey@theblade.com or 419-724-6510.



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