General Tire 150 News and Notes: Drivers Visiting Charlotte Knights Game, New ARCA Qualifying Format
After a 13-year break, the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards returns to Charlotte Motor Speedway on Thursday for the General Tire 150 - a 100-lap, wheel-to-wheel battle capping off a scintillating Spectrum Pole Night at America's Home for Racing. Before Zane Smith, Natalie Decker and the rising stars of ARCA take on NASCAR regulars Todd Gilliland and Brandon Jones, here's a look at some notable storylines heading into the race. DRIVERS GET 'KNIGHTED': Riley Herbst, Joe Graf Jr., Gus Dean, Travis Braden, Jesse Iwuji and Zane Smith will sign autographs from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday at the Charlotte Knights game at BB&T Ballpark in uptown Charlotte. In addition to signing autographs, each driver will be paired with a member of the military to assemble care packages to be given to departing troops. Click here for high-resolution driver and car photos. NEW QUALIFYING FORMAT: The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards debuts a new qualifying format with Thursday's General Tire 150. Drivers will have 20 minutes to post a qualifying lap and are limited to making one run - but are allowed to complete as many laps as they choose within the 20-minute time limit. BOJANGLES' SUMMER SHOOTOUT STARS: Chase Purdy is less than two years removed from competing in the Legend Car Pro division at Charlotte's Bojangles' Summer Shootout - the ultimate grassroots racing extravaganza. Now an ARCA regular, Purdy will compete in Thursday's General Tire 150, joining a star-studded cast of drivers who began their careers racing on Charlotte's frontstretch quarter-mile oval before moving to the 1.5-mile superspeedway. Fellow General Tire 150 competitors including Gus Dean and Austin Hill have also raced in the Summer Shootout as their careers began to rise, bringing further notoriety to ARCA's newest chapter at Charlotte Motor Speedway.