Despite the unseasonably cold temperatures outside, it won’t be long before Toledo Speedway heats up.
At least that was the prevailing talk during the start of the speedway’s 55th season kickoff luncheon Tuesday at Hollywood Casino.
The track’s summer-long schedule will feature the Menards 200 for the sixth season. This year’s race weekend is May 17-18 with the main event taking place at 2 p.m. on May 18.
PHOTO GALLERY: ARCA presser
The event, to air on FOX Sports 1, is one of 13 ARCA races to be televised on either FS1 or CBS Sports.
Legend Frank Kimmel — a 10-time ARCA champion — has the race circled on his schedule for this spring. ARCA's all-time race winner — he's won 80 races in 470 starts — has claimed a record nine victories on the Toledo track. He’s also won nine ARCA events at Salem (Ind.) Speedway, his home track.
He’s been chasing win No. 10 at Toledo Speedway since last winning there in 2003.
"I always look forward to racing at Toledo Speedway," Kimmel said. "We'll run well there."
Mark Gundrum, ARCA’s vice president of business development and corporate partnerships, expects another competitive season. He said Kimmel, who turns 52 on Sunday, will certainly have to earn his 10th victory in Toledo against a talented crop of young drivers.
"Kimmel would like to win again, but there are a number of young kids who are hungry to make their name and beating Frank Kimmel will help them make a name for themselves," Gundrum said.
Toledo Speedway begins on April 12 with the 7-Up 150, a race featuring the ARCA Midwest Tour and the ARCA/CRA Super Series.
Toledo Speedway will serve as one of six tracks to host the new King of the Wing series, officials announced. The six-race sprint-car series’ first 40-lap event will begin in Toledo on July 2.
Winchester (Ind.) Speedway, Bakersfield, and Irwindale speedways in California have also committed to hold races for the series; three races will be run in the Midwest in July and three races in California in November.
Former IndyCar driver Davey Hamilton, who developed the six-race sprint-car series, believes it will be a success for drivers and fans of speed.
"The track record in Toledo will probably be broken and everywhere else we race," Hamilton said.
"It's 40-lap races, no pit stops."
Hamilton added: "It's a chance to help short track racers to get to where I got to."
Dave Baumgartner, an Ottawa Lake, Mich., resident and ARCA Series driver, is planning to drive in all six races.
"Considering the guys that it will draw, it's going to be just spectacular talent to show up to the races," Baumgartner said. "It'll be a race that you'll really want to see."
Buckeye Cable Sports Network plans to broadcast 11 races from Toledo and Flat Rock speedways as part of the all-sports network's Sunday Night at the Races broadcasts.
BCSN will begin airing races on April 21.