Seventeen-year-old Brandon Grosso will skip his high school graduation in order to compete at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois. The New Jersey native — sans cap and gown — will be strapped into Ken Schrader Racing’s No. 52 Ford in the PapaNicholas Coffee 150 for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards on Friday night, June 22. The ARCA race will be held the night before the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ Gateway 200 presented by CK Power on June 23.
Schrader, of Fenton, Missouri, is a retired NASCAR Winston Cup Series (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) driver. As a NASCAR driver, Schrader earned four Cup wins, two victories in what now is the Xfinity Series and one in the Camping World Truck Series. He also has 18 wins in the ARCA Racing Series. As an ARCA team owner, Schrader won the 2017 championship with driver Austin Theriault.
Grosso started racing at age 5 and competed in national and regional USAC Quarter Midget events, earning 250 wins and 17 championships. In 2015, Grosso was the first racer ever to receive special permission from the State of New Jersey to compete in a full-size race car at the age of 15. He moved into dirt Sportsman and Modified competition — at tracks like New Egypt and Bridgeport Speedways in New Jersey and Big Diamond Speedway in Pottsville, Pennsylvania — and where he produced 18 wins and three track championships.
Grosso made one ARCA start in 2017, finishing fifth at Du Quoin, Illinois.
He will turn 18 on March 30, which will clear him to race at all superspeedways.
Grosso has a lot of good help in his corner at Ken Schrader Racing, including last year’s champion Cometic Crew Chief of the Year, Donnie Richeson.
“Donnie Richeson is going to be crew-chiefing me all year and I’m really excited about that,” Grosso said. “I think we’re going to do really good. I definitely have the people around me to help me do that. I definitely think we can win. I’ve got a good crew, good car all the right people helping me.”
In addition to his full-time ARCA schedule, Grosso will be racing his Modified when the calendar allows.
“I’m going to be doing quite a bit in the dirt Modified in New Jersey, Delaware, New York and Pennsylvania. I also might do a couple of asphalt Modified races at Wall Stadium (in Belmar, New Jersey).”
Grosso already is setting expectations for himself in his first ARCA season.
“I’d like to win a lot, obviously. Getting seven wins like Austin (Theriault) did last year would be pretty hard to do. But if we could win four or five and finish in the top three in points, that would be a great year. Maybe that’s setting the bar too high, but I feel like I have everything around me to help me do it.”
The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards PapaNicholas Coffee 150 is set for Friday, June 22 at 8 p.m. CDT. ARCA practice and General Tire Pole Qualifying will precede the 150-lap race event, scheduled for broadcast coverage on FOX Sports.
The PapaNicholas Coffee 150 will mark the return of the ARCA Racing Series to the 1.25-mile Gateway track. ARCA has raced at Gateway six times since 1997 but not since 2007 when Bryan Clauson drove a Ganassi Racing entry to victory. Mark Gibson won the inaugural ARCA race at Gateway in 1997. Other winners in between include 10-time ARCA national champion Frank Kimmel in 2001, Ryan Hemphill in 2004, Joey Miller in 2005 and Cale Gale in 2006.
“We are proud to work with promoter Bob Sargent of Track Enterprises and ARCA’s management team to bring the ARCA Racing Series to the St. Louis region,” said GMP Executive Vice President and General Manager Chris Blair. “Our June NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event has been one of the most popular races on the schedule and the addition of another premier series allows us to continue the momentum we’ve been building since we purchased the track in 2012.”
Menards stores in the St. Louis area will offer local race fans the chance to “Save Big Money” by purchasing advance, discounted race tickets to the PapaNicholas Coffee 150.
The PapaNicholas Coffee 150 is one of six ARCA races promoted by Track Enterprises in 2018.
“Track Enterprises is looking forward to our expanded role with ARCA, in partnership with Gateway Motorsports Park,” said Bob Sargent, Track Enterprises president. “We have a great relationship with ARCA, and promote other exciting events in several markets. We are looking forward to helping bring the ARCA Racing Series back to Gateway, a great facility in the heartland of the country.”
For more information on Gateway Motorsports Park, please call (618) 215-8888. Follow GMP on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.
Thanks to ARCA and Area Auto Racing News.
About Gateway Motorsports Park
Gateway Motorsports Park is the home of INDYCAR, NASCAR and NHRA racing in the St. Louis region. Located just five minutes from downtown St. Louis and covering more than 340 acres, Gateway Motorsports Park is the largest outdoor entertainment facility in the area. Gateway Motorsports Park’s facilities include a 1/4-mile drag strip, 1.25-mile superspeedway, 1.6-mile road course, a state-of-the-art karting facility and a 14-acre, multi-purpose dirt off-road venue. Gateway Motorsports Park was the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Facility of the Year Award from the Race Track Business Conference and the 2017 Spirit of St. Louis Award from St. Louis Attractions Association.
About Track Enterprises
Track Enterprises is a racing promotion company that oversees popular events that feature top touring series like the ARCA Racing Series, USAC Racing, Dirtcar UMP, POWRi Racing, All Star Circuit Of Champions, Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, CRA, Southern Super Series, and more. The company also oversees all racing promotions at Macon Speedway, Lincoln Speedway, and the Terre Haute Action Track. For more information on the upcoming racing schedule, visit www.trackenterprises.com.