SODDY-DAISY, TN: The finale race of the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards takes place at Kansas Speedway on Friday night. Hixson Motorsports (HMS) is sending two familiar drivers to the Kansas 150 to close out the season.
Eric Caudell will pilot his No. 2 Hixson Construction Ford and Bobby Dale Earnhardt will be back behind the wheel of the No. 3 Hixson Construction Chevrolet. Crystal Bates of the Soddy-Daisy based team, and crew chief, says that Kansas is looking to be an exciting race for both HMS teams. Especially with Caudellsitting just outside of the top-ten in driver points.
“Kansas is going to be a blast,” Bates said. “Eric is battling for a top-ten finish in points for the season. He’s only a handful of points back in eleventh. Eric is looking for a good run and we think he has a great chance to finish the season tenth in driver points.”
Heading to Kansas
Eric Caudell says the Kansas race will be a special one including the fact that the starter for the race will be one of several special guests.
“We have about 25 veterans with Honoring America’s Warriors coming to the race,” Caudell said. “We will carry the groups logo on the hood to honor those men and women. One of the veterans is going to be the honorary starter for the ARCA race.”
In addition to the veteran’s rooting for Caudell to finish the season inside the top-ten in driver points, the Hixson crew is excited to have Bobby Dale Earnhardt back behind the wheel of the No. 3 car. It will be Earnhardt’s fourth ARCA race in 2017.
“Bobby and Eric are such hard working drivers,” Bates said of her two wheelmen for Kansas. “Eric has driven the full schedule this season for us in the two car and Bobby has raced his heart out in the No. 3 car several times. Bobby has made it known that he’s working his way up the racing ladder on his own terms and earning every step of the way!”
Bobby Dale Earnhardt is the son of Kerry Earnhardt, grandson of Dale Earnhardt Sr, great grandson of Ralph Earnhardt, nephew of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and brother of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Jeffery Earnhardt. That’s a lot of legacy to follow. But, Bates says her No. 3 Hixson Construction Ford driver handles it well.
“Bobby is a great guy, dedicated husband and father,” Bates said. “He knows ARCA fans are excited to see him race in the series and he takes it in stride. He just wants to do the best he can, learn and keep moving forward.”
Moving forward is something that’s happening for Earnhardt. The driver was notified by NASCAR’s Brett Bodine that he was approved to run on 1.5-mile tracks which led to Earnhardt pulling Double Duty at Kansas. The move by NASCAR came following successful runs in the ARCA series ranging from short tracks to Pocono. Earnhardt said it was a fantastic call to receive!
“It was such an awesome day when I got the call from Brett Bodine,” Bobby Earnhardt said about his conversation with Bodine who works with NASCAR on approving drivers. “When he said I was OK’d for Kansas and 1.5-mile tracks… It was an amazing call – a pretty great feeling.”
Earnhardt will race the No. 3 Chevy for Hixson Motorsports Friday in the Kansas 150 and then jump behind the wheel of the No. 40 Chevy for MBM racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series on Saturday. Earnhardt is excited about the two numbers for the race weekend.
“The No. 3 car was my grandfather’s number so that’s an honor to be behind the wheel. And, the No. 40 car was my dad’s first number when he was racing in the Busch Series – now the Xfinity Series. So – it’s pretty awesome!”
From the Driver’s Seat
No. 2 – Eric Caudell: “I’m looking forward to Kansas and getting a good run – proud to have several veteran’s as guests. My Kentucky race didn’t end well. At first, I thought I had gotten into some fluid on the track, lost control, and shot up the track to the outside wall. We later found out it was a left rear going down. Car got hurt, but I was fine. Now it’s time to put that behind us and for me to gain back the points I lost and try to finish the season in the Top-Ten in Driver points.”
No. 3 – Bobby Dale Earnhardt: I’m excited to be back behind the wheel of the No. 3 car and the No. 40 at Kansas. I’m very excited to race on a 1.5-mile track. My goals are to deliver a great finish for HMS for Owner points. And, drive, learn, apply what I’ve learned in ARCA Trucks, ARCA Racing Series Cars and in the Xfinity Series so far. Finish each race running in the best position possible – and then hand two cars back to my teams undamaged. That would be a great weekend”
Coverage:The ARCA Kansas 150 is scheduled for Friday, October 20, 2017 6:30 PM Eastern. Watch on FS2 and view live timing and scoring on arcaracing.com. The Kansas Lottery 300 is scheduled for Saturday, October 21, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. ET. Watch and listen live on NBCSN, Sirius XM channel 90 and MRN Radio.
About the Author: Kent Whitaker, also known as “The Deck Chef,” is a culinary writer and cookbook author. He’s also penned Young Reader and History titles. The former winner of the Emeril Live Food Network Barbecue Contest also covers football, motor-sports, and bass fishing. Kent currently lives in East Tennessee with his wife, son, and a couple of dogs that love when he fires up the smoker or grill.