Dilbeck joins ARCA ranks

By Anthony Rhoads

Chris Dilbeck is on a fast track to success.

The 2004 Henry County High School graduate and West Georgia freshman has signed a deal to race part-time on the ARCA circuit next year for Bobby Jones Racing.

Dilbeck already has an impressive racing resume in the Legends and Bandolero series.

Dilbeck won the 2004 Atlanta Motor Speedway Thursday Thunder Pro division championship and was the 2003 Pro champion at Lanier National Speedway.

He's also won three Legends state championship and one Bandolero state championship.

"It's awesome," Dilbeck said. "I didn't think I was going from Legends cars to an ARCA car."

The car Dilbeck will be driving in 2005 will be the same car David Ragan raced in last year. Ragan, a former Eagle's Landing High School student and son of former NASCAR driver Ken Ragan, is currently on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

Dilbeck is planning on testing the ARCA car this weekend at Cordele and in the next few weeks, plans on testing at Lanier.

Dilbeck is currently working on some sponsorship deals for next season and plans to make an announcement during the Bass Pro Shops/MBNA 500 race weekend coming up Oct. 28-31 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

"I think it's time for him to do it," Atlanta Motor Speedway president and general manager Ed Clark said. "I think he'll make the most of his opportunity."

In addition to his racing and his school work, Dilbeck is also the subject of a Discovery Health Channel documentary ?National Body Challenge,' which will air in January.

The Discovery Health Channel is chronicling Dilbeck's efforts to get in better shape.

"It's going good; they've been helping me out a bunch," Dilbeck said.

Even though Dilbeck is focused on succeeding on the race track, he also wants to earn a mechanical engineering degree.

He plans on being at West Georgia for two years and then will transfer to Georgia Tech.