ARCA's 60th Anniversary Season Opens at Daytona Saturday's Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 (TOLEDO, Ohio) - As ARCA's 60th Anniversary Season opens Saturday at Daytona International Speedway, as
ARCA's 60th Anniversary Season Opens at Daytona inSaturday's Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200
(TOLEDO, Ohio) - As ARCA's 60th Anniversary Season opens Saturday at Daytona International Speedway, as many as 60 drivers will set their sights on winning the historic season's most grand race, and maybe - just maybe - becoming the 30th person to win an ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards championship.
First, though, those drivers will have to stop the man whose performances on the 2.5-mile superspeedway oval since 1999 have made him the dean of Daytona: defending Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 winner Bobby Gerhart.
Gerhart pitted on Lap 5 in last year's 80-lap contest, took the lead on Lap 20, and held the point without returning to pit road over the race's final three quarters to edge eventual Rookie of the Year Chris Buescher and Matt Merrell for his seventh Daytona victory. Gerhart, driving a familiar Lucas Oil Slick Mist-branded Chevrolet, also won the Daytona opener in 1999, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2010.
"Daytona is so special to me personally," Gerhart said recently. "I grew up coming with my parents to Daytona. I was very vocal at a very young age that I would one day race here. In the back of my head, I kept telling myself I would win here too. It is such a privilege to race here, and I've never lost sight of that fact.