Series Illinois spotlight - Michael Phelps

News Flash! Michael Phelps Enters Allen Crowe 100 at Springfield SPRINGFIELD IL (8-15-08) -- It's official, Michael Phelps has entered the 46th running of the Allen Crowe 100 Sunday afternoon at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in ...

News Flash! Michael Phelps Enters Allen Crowe 100 at Springfield

SPRINGFIELD IL (8-15-08) -- It's official, Michael Phelps has entered the 46th running of the Allen Crowe 100 Sunday afternoon at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.

One of the most famous names worldwide will now be a part of the 40-car starting field for Sunday's stock car classic.

No, no, not that Michael Phelps; we're talking about the one from Suwanee, Georgia -- the one who slings 3,400 lb stock cars around in the ARCA RE/MAX Series world.

And when he's not doing that, it's been an all-out media blitz for the driver that shares names with one of the most recognized names on earth -- Olympian gold medalist Michael Phelps, the famous swimmer guy, not the race driver dude.

But this story's about the race driver Phelps, who says the experience of sharing this particular name has been, well, an experience.

"I've never swam," said Phelps. "Never even tried it. Maybe I should. A lot of people are like Michael Phelps? They think I'm the swimmer trying to start a racing career. A lot of people have emailed me through my website and have sent me messages because they think that I am the swimmer and then once they find out they are kind of down and disappointed. It's helping me a little because I'm getting some new fans. I don't know if it's helping him or not."

Next stop for the SunTrust Rookie -- who can't swim a lick -- the Springfield mile-dirt this Sunday. The event marks the first-time that Phelps, who finished a career-best 9th at Pocono and Kentucky, has competed on dirt.

"I'm excited to go race on dirt but I haven't done anything really out of the usual to prepare for it. I'm trying to go into it with an open mind. Mark [Gibson, car owner] has been racing on dirt for a long time and Taylor [Malsam, teammate] comes from a dirt background so they've been giving me some advice. Mark told me that it's a lot like driving a loose racecar and once you get used to its fine. I'm actually really excited to race on dirt. I've always wanted to try dirt Sprint Cars or Late Models or something similar but never got the opportunity. Now I get to try it out in the ARCA RE/MAX Series car so it should be pretty cool."

Meanwhile, it's back to the media blitz.

"It's pretty funny [to be named Michael Phelps] and I get a kick out of it but I'm not the same guy. Maybe the real Michael Phelps would like to sponsor my racecar?"

So don't forget to come out this Sunday for the big race in Springfield, Illinois and be one of the first in line to get an autograph from Michael Phelps, the one from Suwanee, Georgia.

Practice for the Sunday, August 17th Allen Crowe 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds is scheduled from 9:00-10:00 AM local time with SIM Factory Pole Qualifying following at 11:00. The race is scheduled to roll off at 1:00.

-credit: arca

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Series ARCA
Drivers Michael Phelps