For the third straight event, the ARCA Menards Series East will have 15 drivers compete in its event. Fifteen — that means two-thirds of the field will end up with a top-10 result. Furthermore, the last two East events there featured fewer than 15 entrants.
When the main series visited the 0.596-mile short track from 2015-19, the car count declined for four straight years, with only 20 in the 2019 event.
Meanwhile, the short track’s marquee super late model event, the All American 400, draws healthy car counts and packed grandstands. With the few East participants, should the Music City 200 be moved to be a part of the late model race weekend?
For race fans, the answer is both yes and no according to ARCA Communications Manager Charles Krall.
“Selfishly, it would be great if we were a part of that weekend,” he told Frontstretch. “It’s one of the crown jewel races of the country. Selfishly, it would be a wonderful idea; I just don’t know logistically and schedule-wise how you would fit in an event like that onto their calendar.”
However, another race, one of a series owned by NASCAR, extends the amount of time the track would need to pay bills as well as pay the teams. Even though the winning driver of the Music City 200 only earns a base purse of $5,000, as per the entry form on the competitor site of the ARCA website, it’s still an added cost. In total, the payout for the East race is $36,200. That means the racetrack would need to pony up that additional money from the late model weekend.
“The question is they’ve already got a lot going that weekend,” Krall added. “It’s a premium event so the ticket price is already going to be that of a premium event. So an ARCA race there means either another ticket or an increased price. That’s the challenge that you have there.”
The short track has hosted marquee events before, including the Superstar Racing Experience, but up to 30 East teams means more space for teams and the series alike.
“It’d be pretty tight [for space],” Krall continued. “Not only would you have up to 30 more rigs that you’d have to park, but you’d also have more passenger cars [to transport the teams from the hotel or airport to the racetrack]. We’ve got a tire truck cause they [the late model field] run Hoosier tires. It’s the same tire company, but we’d need a General Tire truck to bring in the tires and get all that taken care of. For our Sunoco fuel, we’d…