Kimmel Seeks Record 8th Win at Illinois State Fair ARCA Brings Kimmel, Schrader & Host of Rookies to Springfield! Seven time Allen Crowe 100 winner Frank Kimmel comes to Springfield with a new sponsor and paint scheme in search of a record...
Kimmel Seeks Record 8th Win at Illinois State Fair
ARCA Brings Kimmel, Schrader & Host of Rookies to Springfield!
Seven time Allen Crowe 100 winner Frank Kimmel comes to Springfield with a new sponsor and paint scheme in search of a record eighth win at the Illinois State Fairgrounds one mile dirt track on Sunday, August 23 with a host of strong competitors looking to dethrone the former ARCA champ in the 47th running of the Allen Crowe 100. The 47th Crowe 100 is the 14th of 21 races on the 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Stock Car Series schedule.
The 47 year old Kimmel dominated last year's Crowe 100 setting a track record of nearly 110 miles an hour in qualifications and then leading 83 of the laps to capture his seventh Crowe 100 trophy in a season where sponsorship concerns had the new Kimmel Racing team wondering if they would be able to complete the season. Kimmel returns in 2009 with sponsorship from Menard's as well as a third place position in the 2009 ARCA title chase despite the lack of a victory and remains one of the favorites on both dirt tracks on the ARCA schedule. In a new twist it was announced this week that Kimmel's son Will had enteredthe47th Crowe 100 to compete against his father.
Returning to his roots and the 'home' fans, 54 year old Ken Schrader of Fenton, Missouri won the 1998 Allen Crowe 100 and is still in search of his second 100-mile triumph at Springfield. After spending a number of seasons on the NASCAR Sprint Cup tour, Schrader has returned to the short tracks and dirt tracks running modifieds, late models and ARCA races in lieu of a full-time NASCAR ride. While Schrader has yet to post a win this season, he has three starts in 2009 with one top 5 and 2 top 10 finishes. Schrader picked up two wins in the ARCA series at DuQuoin, coming in 2006 and 2007.
Eighteen-year-old Parker Kligerman of Westport, Connecticut currently leads the ARCA point standings as a development driver for owner Roger Penske. Kligerman has a considerable amount of experience in midget competition and on road courses as well and has made a successful transition to stock cars, winning 5 times in the first 11 races and finishing only once outside the top 10. Trailing Kligerman is 23-year-old Justin Lofton of Westmoreland, California. Lofton won at Talladega and led the ARCA point standings earlier in the year, he now trails Kligerman by 20 markers. Lofton took the lead in the ARCA series temporarily after Pocono but penalties from infractions handed the lead back to Kligerman. Lofton started 34th as a rookie at Springfield last year and was running at the end in 24th
Nineteen year old Joey Coulter of Miami Springs, Florida is 5th in the ARCA standings as a rookie with one pole and 7 top ten finishes in 11 starts for the UNC-Charlotte Engineering student. Greenville, North Carolina's Craig Goess is 4th in the standings for Eddie Sharp after running several years in Legends cars. Florida's Bryan Silas is 6th driving again for former ARCA champ Andy Hillenburg, while fellow Floridian Patrick Sheltra, a dirt track veteran, is 8th with one win in 2009. New Jersey's Tom Hessert has run with the USAC midget and Silver Crown Series and is 9th.
One driver whose status for Springfield was questionable but is now confirmed is Steve Arpin, a dirt track veteran of modified and late model racing who competed last year as a rookie in the USAC Silver Crown Series. Arpin, 7th in the points, was running as a development driver for Eddie Sharp but the team's sponsorship funding became in doubt earlier in the year. Arpin hooked up with the capable Venturini Motorsports organization and has to be considered dark horse favorite at Springfield.
ARCA has a group of regulars that traditionally make the trip to the Illinois State Fairgrounds, including Michigan's Brad Smith, Texas' Ken Weaver, Indiana's Darrell and Jason Basham and Tennessee's Ron Cox. However, the two dirt track events also lure many local drivers and even some who will be driving more than one race car during the last weekend of the 157th Illinois State Fair.
Parma, Michigan's Brian Tyler announced earlier this year he had secured a ride with veteran car owner Doug Stringer for the two dirt events, Tyler is a former track record holder at DuQuoin and finished a strong 3rd at Springfield last year after winning the Tony Bettenhausen the day before. Fellow USAC Silver Crown shoe A.J. Fike of Galesburg is also pulling double duty over the weekend, Fike won the pole at Springfield in 2004 and at DuQuoin in 2007.
Damon Lusk, a former pole sitter at Springfield replaces Mokena, Illinois veteran Bob Strait in the Bill Hendren machine. Hendren has been trying since the 1970's to win at Springfield. Arenzeville native Mark Littleton also returns for another start on the Springfield mile, as does Springfield's own Kelly Kovski who ran 9th in last year's Crowe 100. One driver who will be unable to return is 2006 Crowe 100 winner Justin Allgaier, the Springfield native has moved to the NASCAR Nationwide Series driving for Roger Penske, however Robb Brent fills the seat in the Allgaier machine. Brent has found the Allgaier seat to his liking, as he is currently 10th in the ARCA point chase. Centralia native Joe Cooksey also returns for the 47th Crowe 100.
Forty cars and teams are anticipated filing into the Illinois State Fairgrounds on August 23rd with the practice session for the ARCA machines starting at 9 a.m. Menards Factory pole qualifying is set for 11 with drivers taking aim at Frank Kimmel's track record of 32.878 (109.496). Bobby Bowsher set the 100-mile track record of 1:08:00.00 (90.000) in 1991. The 100-mile Allen Crowe memorial event is slated to begin at 1 p.m.