Series notebook 2009-08-17

Versatile ARCA RE/MAX Series Switches to Dirt The ARCA RE/MAX Series will transition to dirt track racing on Sunday, August 23 for the Allen Crowe 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois. The race marks the 14th of 21...

Versatile ARCA RE/MAX Series Switches to Dirt

The ARCA RE/MAX Series will transition to dirt track racing on Sunday, August 23 for the Allen Crowe 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois. The race marks the 14th of 21 events on the 2009 schedule and the first of two dirt track events for the ARCA RE/MAX Series in 2009. The ARCA RE/MAX Series has toured more than 200 racetracks since its inception in 1953 and competes each year on a variety of racing surfaces, including paved short tracks, speedways, road courses and dirt tracks.

The ARCA RE/MAX Series has competed at the Illinois State Fairgrounds on 26 previous occasions and nine-time ARCA RE/MAX Series Champion Frank Kimmel is the all-time ARCA winner at the track with seven wins in his last 11 attempts. Other former Springfield winners include Dearn Roper, Bill Baird, Bobby Bowsher, Tim Steele, Justin Allgaier, Bob Brevak, Bob Hill, Bobby Jacks, Ken Schrader and Billy Thomas.

Anatomy of a Dirt Car

An ARCA RE/MAX Series racecar prepared for the Illinois State Fairground might look slightly different from an ARCA RE/MAX Series racecar prepared for a superspeedway such as Chicagoland or a paved short track such as Toledo, even though the core set of technical rules that teams must adhere to do not change from race to race. For the dirt tracks, teams often equip their racecars with shakers made of screen on their front grille to prevent dirt from collecting and causing overheating issues, angular sheet metal rock deflectors attached to the hood and many Series drivers take rags with them in the car to clean dust residue from the inside of the windshield.

"For the most part we bring a car that we could race at a short track," said Patrick Donahue, Crew Chief of the No. 81 Greenville Toyota of North Carolina Toyota driven by Craig Goess and fielded by Eddie Sharp Racing. "I'm bringing the same car that I raced last year with Scott Speed. We have come up with a real simple package that we can put on any of the cars. We put a screen under the car in front of the motor to help keep dirt or mud from getting up into the belt on the motor. Then we put pieces of screen behind the front tires to keep stuff from getting packed up under the car."

In addition, Springfield and DuQuoin are the only two tracks on the ARCA RE/MAX Series tour in which Hoosier supplies teams with bias ply tires instead of radial tires.

Schrader Returns

Ken Schrader, a veteran of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition, makes a return to the ARCA RE/MAX Series for the first time since the May 17 ARCA race at Toledo Speedway. He joins Frank Kimmel as one of two former Springfield winners entered for Sunday's race.

Kimmel Six Laps Shy of Major Career Milestone

Nine-time ARCA RE/MAX Series Champion Frank Kimmel is just six laps shy of leading 10,000 laps in ARCA RE/MAX Series Competition. Although he has only led 36 laps so far this season, Kimmel heads into the next race on the schedule-the Allen Crowe 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds-as the defending race winner. Kimmel led 83 of 102 laps en route to victory at Springfield last year and set a new one-lap track record at the one-mile dirt track. He is a seven-time race winner at Springfield.

Dirt Track Newbies

Current ARCA RE/MAX Series Points Leader Parker Kligerman is among four rookie drivers in the top-10 in the point standings who have never raced on dirt. Greenville, North Carolina's Craig Goess (fourth in points), Miami Spring, Florida's Joey Coulter (fifth in points) and Shelby Township, Michigan's Robb Brent (tenth in points) are among the dirt track newbies heading into this weekend's Allen Crowe 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

By contrast, several drivers entered for the race are considered dirt track "ringers" including seven-time race winner Frank Kimmel, 1998 race winner Ken Schrader, and Brian Tyler and AJ Fike, who both plan to compete in Saturday's USAC Silver Crown race before Sunday's ARCA RE/MAX Series race.

Basham and Basham: Top-20 in Points

Father and son duo Darrell and Jason Basham have each stayed in the top-20 in the ARCA RE/MAX Series this season despite limited sponsorship for the family-owned team. Both drivers work fulltime as truck drivers in between ARCA RE/MAX Series races.

There has been one set of Father-son driving champions in ARCA RE/MAX Series history; Jack Bowsher in 1964, 1965 and 1966 and Bobby Bowsher in 1992 and 1994.

Lofton 16th in NASCAR Nationwide Series Debut

Current ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship Point Contender Justin Lofton, crew chief Mark Rette and members of his Eddie Sharp Racing Team traveled to Michigan International Speedway this weekend where Lofton made his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut for CJM Racing in the No. 14 Lofton Cattle Toyota. Lofton finished 16th on the lead lap in the 125-lap/250-mile race.

The race was won by Brad Keselowski, a former Late Model winner at ARCA-owned Toledo Speedway and the son of former ARCA RE/MAX Series Champion Bob Keselowski.

Continuing to Write History

Developing technology has allowed ARCA RE/MAX Series officials to enhance their historical database, verifying race dates that were not previously included in Series statistical information. By utilizing microfilm and other electronic databases, Series records have been updated with seven newly-found races in that last two weeks. Research continues as ARCA pieces together its 56-year history.

Newly-found races....

16th Street Speedway (Indy), 5-25-57, winner Nelson Stacy Toledo Raceway Park, 5-26-57, winner Nelson Stacy New Bremen Speedway (OH), 6-9-57, winner Jack Shanklin Winchester Speedway, 6-30-57, winner Don O'Dell Lansdowne Park (Ottawa ON), 8-24-57, winner Jack Farris Lansdowne Park (Ottawa ON), 8-24-57, winner Jack Farris Eldora Speedway, 7-27-58, winner Nelson Stacy

ARCA represents the most diverse nationally touring stock car series, and the second longest running championship racing series in the country, crowning a national champion each year since the inaugural 1953 season and touring more than 200 racetracks in 26 states since its inception.

-credit: arca

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Series ARCA
Drivers Ken Schrader , Frank Kimmel , Tim Steele , Brian Tyler , Brad Keselowski , Justin Allgaier , Robb Brent , Justin Lofton , Bill Baird , Parker Kligerman , Craig Goess , Joey Coulter