It seems to be a weekend of returns to schedules for motorsports as NASCAR returns to Memphis in the K&N Pro Series East and Delaware Speedway in the Pinty’s Series. The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards returns to Elko Speedway for the first time since 2014. The series has raced at the Minnesota short track three times with Grant Enfinger being the last driver to visit victory lane. Brennan Poole and Frank Kimmel both also visited victory lane, which guarantees that we will have a first time Elko winner.
Austin Theriault enters Elko with a 110 point point lead over Dalton Sargeant. Theriault’s team owner Ken Schrader has two starts at Elko winning the pole in 2013 and finishing fifth both times. New tracks haven’t seemed to knock Theriault this season at tracks like Nashville and Toledo. He will make his eighth career start in the series and will be seeking his third career victory. He has racked up four top-5 finishes and five top-10 finishes this season and looks to expand his points lead.
Sargeant sits second in points as noted above and is the only other ARCA regular entered to score a victory this season with Harrison Burton winning at Toledo, Justin Haley at Talladega, and Chad Finley at Nashville. Much like Theriault, Sargeant has never competed at Elko but will work with 2014 winner Kimmel to try and cut down that points deficit and maybe come home with a victory. His teammate Shane Lee isn’t too far behind him as he also looks to get closer and closer to his first career victory in the series.
Gus Dean has had a run of good luck recently, and will look to continue that on Saturday. He hasn’t finished outside of the top-10 since a disappointing 23rd-place finish at Nashville. Dean will make his 13th career start in the series and his first at Elko. This race marks 11 races since his last victory in the series at Talladega Superspeedway, and he will look to snap that losing streak with a victory. His best finish of the season came at Toledo where he finished second.
There’s a battle brewing for fifth in points between Bret Holmes and Riley Herbst who are tied heading to Elko. Both drivers have had strong showings this season especially for both of their rookie seasons. Herbst is racing for Joe Gibbs Racing, while Bret Holmes is racing for his own team and it’s going to be a fun battle to watch as the season moves on.