The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards returns to Lucas Oil Raceway for the rescheduled Shore Lunch 200 on Saturday, October 6. The race was originally scheduled for September 7 but was postponed due to a weekend-long storm system that drenched the Indianapolis area for five consecutive days.
Sheldon Creed (No. 28 United Rentals Toyota) comes into the Shore Lunch 200 with a 405-point lead in the series championship with two events remaining. Creed has recently been named to compete in the final four NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races of the season but will have his attention laser-focused on closing out the ARCA championship.
Creed has three wins so far in 2018, including a short track win at Iowa Speedway in July.
“We have had a really strong season,” Creed said. “The short tracks haven’t been our strong suit. Zane (Smith) has been a little stronger than we have been on the short tracks so he might have a little advantage going in, but we’re going to run as hard as we can. We want to close out the season on a strong point and get the championship locked up.”
Zane Smith (No. 41 LaPaz Margarita Mix/ICON Vehicle Dynamics Toyota) is Creed’s closest competitor in the battle for the ARCA Racing Series championship. Smith, Creed’s teammate at MDM Motorsports, has four wins in 2018, including a pair of victories on short tracks at Nashville and Toledo.
While Smith may have an uphill battle to steal away the overall series championship, he is in a great position to take home the Sioux Chief Short Track Challenge, a championship within the overall series championship conducted on tracks under one mile in length.
“It would be great for a young guy like myself to have the Sioux Chief Short Track Challenge championship on my resume,” Smith said. “We’ve had a really good season on the short tracks. We might not have a realistic chance at the overall championship but we’re taking the short track championship very seriously. We’re going to do everything we can to win it.”
The Shore Lunch 200 will also see the return of veteran driver Tom Hessert III (No. 22 NutriChomps Ford) to the series. Hessert has 185 career series starts, with six career wins and 110 top-ten finishes. Hessert’s first career win came with Cunningham Motorsports in 2010; team owner Chad Bryant bought the assets of that organization in the offseason from owners Kerry Scherer and Briggs Cunningham.
Hessert’s last start came earlier this season at Daytona. At LOR, he will drive the car originally assigned to 2016 series champion Chase Briscoe. Briscoe could not return due to obligations with his NASCAR XFINITY Series team, opening the door for Hessert.
“I’ve been talking to Chad Bryant about doing a race or two all season,” Hessert said. “He’s been focused on his primary deal with Joe Graf, and I’ve been busy taking care of business on my end so it just hasn’t worked out. When the race was postponed I figured Chase wouldn’t be able to make it back. I have a lot of history with Chad and his team, so it’s like going back and racing with family.”
ARCARacing.com will have exclusive live coverage of all on-track activity from the Shore Lunch 200 at Lucas Oil Raceway for registered users, including live audio streams of practice starting at 2 pm ET and General Tire Pole Qualifying at 4:15 pm ET. ARCARacing.com will have an exclusive live four-camera video stream of the race starting at 7:15 pm ET. ARCARacing.com will also have live timing & scoring of all on-track activity. Registration to access all of the exclusive content from the Shore Lunch 200 is free.