ARCA 60th anniversery...from release

Alabama is known in racing circles for many of the famous names who called the state home. One of NASCAR's first families, the Flocks, hailed from Fort Payne; Tim, the youngest Flock, won two NASCAR championships in the 1950s. Bob and Fonty, his brothers, combined for three ARCA victories in 1954 while also racing in NASCAR.
The members of Hueytown's Alabama Gang, originally headed by Bobby and Donnie Allison and Red Farmer, are the most memorable drivers from the state. In 1975, Bobby won an ARCA Racing Series event at Salem Speedway in the midst of his career as one of NASCAR's all-time winningest drivers.
Bobby's son, Davey, actually made his name in the ARCA Racing Series before moving on to NASCAR stardom. In 1983, Davey Allison won both ARCA races at Talladega Superspeedway, and won once at the Alabama track the next year on the way to finishing as the series' runner-up and Rookie of the Year.
Farmer won the other Talladega race in 1984, just before Allison won his fourth at the track the following year. Farmer also won at Talladega in 1988, a true exclamation point on a superb era for Alabama drivers in ARCA.
But ARCA's history moves far beyond those famous drivers and the high banks of Talladega - which, by the way, will host its 50th ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards race in May.
In 1961, the ARCA Racing Series first appeared in the state at Birmingham Speedway. Ernie Derr won a 250-lap race on November 5, one of his 11 ARCA victories. The next year, ARCA raced at the fairgrounds in the state's capital city, Montgomery; Dick Freeman's win there was one of his 12.
Huntsville Speedway hosted ARCA in 1963 and 1965, featuring wins by Earl Balmer and Jack Bowsher, respectively. Bowsher's 1965 win was one of 25 he earned that year - out of 37 races - and remains a piece of one of the most dominant seasons ever turned in by an ARCA competitor.
Next month, after 53 total races in the state and 46 consecutive seasons away from any Alabama track not named Talladega, the ARCA Racing Series will celebrate its 60th Anniversary Season by placing its mark at Mobile International Speedway for the first time. Located in Irvington, Alabama's fastest half-mile is under the new leadership of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series veteran Rick Crawford. A regular host to weekly action and even several late model championship series, the track will use its first ARCA race to honor ARCA greats like Allison and Farmer - no strangers to Mobile themsleves - and look to the series' future.
The Mobile ARCA 200 will take place Saturday, March 10 at Mobile International Speedway. The race is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. Mobile will host practice and Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell on Friday, March 9. The event at Mobile will be ARCA's first at the track.
The complete 2012 event schedule - featuring 20 races at 18 tracks - is available at ARCARacing.com.
The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards has crowned an ARCA national champion each year since its inaugural season in 1953, and has toured over 200 race tracks in 28 states since its inception. The series has tested the abilities of drivers and race teams over the most diverse schedule of stock car racing events in the world, visiting tracks ranging from 0.4 mile to 2.66 miles in length, on both paved and dirt surfaces as well as a left- and right-turn road course in its most recent season. This year, the series will visit Alabama's Mobile International Speedway and Minnesota's Elko Speedway for the first time; ARCA's first visit to Minnesota will give ARCA a race in a 29th state.
Founded by John and Mildred Marcum in 1953 in Toledo, Ohio, the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is recognized among the leading sanctioning bodies in the country. Closing in on completing its sixth decade after hundreds of thousands of miles of racing, ARCA administers over 100 race events each season in three professional touring series and local weekly events.