DuQuoin prepares for Silver Crown challenge

Illinois' A.J. Fike and Justin Allgaier Seeking History at DuQuoin DuQuoin, IL-Twenty-three year old A.J. Fike of Galesburg and college freshman Justin Allgaier of Springfield are looking to write their names in the auto racing history books at...

Illinois' A.J. Fike and Justin Allgaier Seeking History at DuQuoin

DuQuoin, IL-Twenty-three year old A.J. Fike of Galesburg and college freshman Justin Allgaier of Springfield are looking to write their names in the auto racing history books at the DuQuoin State Fair on Labor Day weekend. Each driver is hoping that their versatility helps them enter the history ledger as well as advancing each of their auto racing careers.

Fike ran in the USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown series last year, finishing 12th in the Ted Horn 100 at DuQuoin. A.J. moved to the ARCA RE/MAX Stock Car Series this year and is one of the leading candidates for Rookie of the Year, winning the pole and leading several laps at Springfield, Illinois on August 22. Fike drives in the ARCA series for former USAC driver Andy Hillenburg. Fike made a stunning announcement last week when he made his intentions known to enter the Southern Illinois 100 ARCA event at DuQuoin, as well as the USAC Ted Horn 100 and the UMP Modified Oldani Memorial! If Fike can make the finale for all three events, he would become the first driver in 33 years to race three different types of cars in three different races on Labor Day weekend at DuQuoin. The list of drivers who have been successful at the DuQuoin "triple" is short, but filled with legendary names such as A.J. Foyt, Tony Bettenhausen, Rodger Ward and Bobby Marshman. The last driver to run three different races Labor Day weekend at DuQuoin is ironically also from Illinois. In 1971, the late Larry "Boob Boom" Cannon, a barber and future politician from Oakwood, Illinois ran the USAC Midget, Stock Car and Dirt Car events at DuQuoin.

Joining A.J. Fike in the quest for racing immortality is a young Springfield resident who entered college this fall, Justin Allgaier. Justin, a veteran of ARCA and short track late model competition is the youngest man ever to start the Southern Illinois 100 stock car race at DuQuoin. His exploits in stock cars and midgets caught the attention of his current mention, NASCAR star and DuQuoin ARCA entrant Ken Schrader. Allgaier received a call this winter from Arcola's Ebby Bergfield who purchased a Silver Crown car run last at DuQuoin by Eric Gordon a few years ago. While the car was well prepared for the Tony Bettenhausen 100 at Springfield, Justin missed by one spot making the 100-mile event and thus becoming the first driver since Tom Bigelow to run a championship dirt car and stock car on the same weekend at Springfield. Bigelow is also the last driver to perform that feat at DuQuoin, running the USAC and ARCA events on labor Day weekend in 1989.

A.J. Fike and Justin Allgaier's quests begin when the annual DuQuoin State Fair auto racing extravaganza takes place on Labor Day weekend. For the first time the festival of speed opens on a Sunday night, September 5 with the 54th running of the Ted Horn 100 for the USAC Silver Crown cars and qualifying events for the UMP Modifieds. Practice begins at 5, with the Horn 100 slated for 8:30 p.m.

Less than 12 hours later the gates of the "Magic Mile" swing open again, this time for the ARCA RE/MAX Stock Car Series and the 52nd Federated Car Care-Southern Illinois 100, plus the 20-mile Bill Oldani Memorial for the UMP Modifieds. Practice on Labor Day begins at 9 a.m., with the Oldani Memorial at approximately 12:30 and the Federated-Southern Illinois 100 at 1:30 p.m.

Advance tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for children and on sale at Track Enterprises at 217-764-3200, Ticketmaster or the DuQuoin State Fair Box Office.

-midamer-

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Series USAC
Drivers Ken Schrader , A.J. Fike , Eric Gordon , Rodger Ward , Justin Allgaier , Tony Bettenhausen , A.J. Foyt