TOLEDO, Ohio  – The ARCA Menards Series East officially enters a new era with a seven-race slate in 2020 that will provide a mix of short-track showcases and national series companion events. The compact stand-alone schedule will also allow for the opportunity for competitors to compete for the new ten-race ARCA Menards Series Showdown championship.

The East season will kick off as the main event of the 54th World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at Florida‘s New Smyrna Speedway on Monday, February 10. The champion will be crowned on Saturday, September 12 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway‘s Full Throttle Fall Weekend.

Sam Mayer captured the 2019 East title at 16 years of age to become the youngest national or regional series champion in NASCAR history. He‘s already counting down the days until the green flag at New Smyrna.

“I am looking forward to returning to the East series to defend my title in 2020,” Mayer said. “I had so much fun racing in that series this year and learned so much at every race. The competition was tough, and I‘m sure it will be even better next year. With the series combining, it will give me the opportunity to race against some new drivers and become more competitive. Hopefully we can go out and win a bunch of races and take home another East series championship.”

“We are really looking forward to being a part of the new East series with Sam Mayer,” said Keith Barnwell, GMS Racing manager of driver development and special projects. “This will be a great series for young drivers to hone their skills and prepare for the next phase of their careers. We consider the East series like our home games, and when we travel for the Showdown it will be like home and away. We are looking for the opportunity to defend our home races and our title.”

With the blending of the ARCA Menards Series with the newly renamed ARCA Menards Series East and West, and a consolidated rulebook to go along with it, opportunities now exist for traditional ARCA Menards Series teams to test the waters in the East Series. One team looking to do just that is the ARCA Menards Series reigning championship team, Venturini Motorsports.

“This is a great schedule with excellent spacing between events,” said Venturini Motorsports co-owner Billy Venturini. “Our team will continue to compete in the ARCA Menards Series, as we have since 1982, but this schedule gives us the flexibility to run these seven races as well. It‘s great to be able to offer this to the young drivers we are working with in 2020 and beyond.”

Other schedule highlights include:

The ARCA Showdown will feature ten events with a separate points championship and will include several traditional East race dates, including the annual combination races at Iowa Speedway and WWT Raceway at Gateway.

The complete NBCSN schedule for the ARCA Menards Series East, including broadcast times, will be released at a later date.

2020 ARCA Menards Series East Schedule

Monday, Feb. 10New Smyrna SpeedwayNew Smyrna Beach, Fla.
Saturday, March 14Five Flags SpeedwayPensacola, Fla.
Saturday, April 4Bristol Motor SpeedwayBristol, Tenn.
Saturday, May 16Toledo SpeedwayToledo, Ohio
Saturday, July 25Berlin RacewayMarne, Mich.
Friday, Aug. 21Dover International SpeedwayDover, Del.
Saturday, Sept. 12New Hampshire Motor SpeedwayLoudon, N.H.

2020 ARCA Showdown Schedule

Friday, March 6ISM RacewayAvondale, Ariz.
Sunday, April 19Salem SpeedwaySalem, Ind.
Friday, May 29Mid-Ohio Sports Car CourseLexington, Ohio
Friday, July 3Lucas Oil RacewayBrownsburg, Ind.
Saturday, July 11Elko SpeedwayElko, Minn.
Friday, July 17Iowa SpeedwayNewton, Iowa
Saturday, Aug. 1WWT Raceway at GatewayMadison, Ill.
Friday, Aug. 14Watkins Glen InternationalWatkins Glen, N.Y.
Thursday, Sept. 17Bristol Motor SpeedwayBristol, Tenn.
Saturday, Sept. 26Memphis International RacewayMillington, Tenn.