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Texas adding an ARCA race to next April's Cup weekend

  ARCA's Steve Arpin, who just tested tires at Texas Motor Speedway, is the real thing, says Carl Edwards, who wants to get him into NASCAR (Photo: ARCA)

   By Mike Mulhern

   The ARCA series, which over the years has been something of a satellite series of NASCAR and proving ground for potential NASCAR drivers, and testing opportunities for NASCAR teams, is expected to add Bruton Smith's Texas Motor Speedway to its 2010 tour, as a Friday event during next April's Texas 500 Sprint Cup weekend.
   That would mark the first time ARCA has raced at Texas since 1998.
   Hoosier, which supplied tires for the ARCA tour, tested at the Texas track this week, with rookie driver Steve Arpin.
   ARCA has also added another road course to the 2010 tour, Palm Beach International Raceway, a 2.034-mile, 11-turn road course in Jupiter, Florida, with a race date of February 27, the weekend the NASCAR tour will be in Las Vegas.
    The ARCA series is changing the wheelbase of its cars to 105 inches, opening that series to Nationwide cars (that series is making the transition to a new car-of-tomorrow next year, so NASCAR team owners are looking for a new places for their old inventory).
   Arpin calls the Texas track "an awesome, incredible, wicked track."
   For several years Texas was one of the toughest tracks on tires, because the right-front tire takes such abuse in the dramatic changes in corner banking.  Hoosier's Doug Barnes: "This track is very fast and has abrupt changes, so it's challenging to come out with the right combination."
    Carl Edwards says Arpin is a promising driver who deserves a NASCAR ride: "I personally look at the guys who can run well on dirt and not only run well on tracks where they've got nice equipment but can work on a car that isn't that good and make it work. And Steve Arpin is that guy.
    "I've watched him. He's motivated."
    Still, with tough economic times, Arpin is struggling. "It's very tough for him," Edwards says, pointing out that if times had been this tough when he himself was coming up, a few years back, he probably wouldn't have made it…hence his work in helping Arpin: "I've been trying to help him on a Nationwide ride. I feel he's a guy who could get out there with us and win. But it all comes down to sponsorship."

Interesting for ARCA, as

Interesting for ARCA, as they'd raced at Charlotte for several years that included the infamous Eric Martin disaster of 2002 before being dropped - I'd felt Bruton Smith had had enough of the series for some reason.

NASCAR wants more sources of revenue - Hoosier Tire is one area they need to look at, as well as Firestone, since they can provide revenue to the sport and also help diversify the sport's competitive depth the way Hoosier did the last two times.

Scary. More scarier than

Scary. More scarier than ARCA @ Daytona or Talladega. Nice to see ARCA on road courses. I might check out the race in NJ next year.

Best of luck to Steve Arpin. I'm sure if he's in Carl's eyes, he's also in Jack Roush's eyes too.

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