SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Fans can expect a wide-open field for Sunday’s 52nd SuperChevyStores.com 100 ARCA Racing Series event at the Illinois State Fair, which is also the annual Allen Crowe Memorial event.
Eight-time winner Frank Kimmel would ordinarily be the odds-on favorite but the 52-year-old, 10-time ARCA Racing Series presented by Menard’s champion won’t even be the oldest driver in the field.
The man who is the oldest winner in ARCA history is also the 1998 winner of this event. Ken Schrader brings the Federated Car Care Chevy to Springfield for his first ARCA appearance at the World’s Fastest One Mile Dirt track since 2009. However, Schrader won’t be the oldest driver entered, either.
That distinction may fall to Bob Strait, who at age 65 returns to one of his favorite race tracks but one he failed to conquer in 18 starts dating back to 1986. However, Strait has won on the DuQuoin dirt and he reunites with the Hendren Racing Team that has fielded cars at Springfield for over 40 years. Strait is teamed with Ryan Unzicker, a former UMP National driving champion.
Strait and Unzicker are just two of the drivers entered who call Illinois home. A third nearly won last year’s event and would have made history in the process. A.J. Fike won the Saturday Bettenhausen 100 championship dirt car race and then came within a whisker of winning the ARCA event on Sunday.
Fike captured the lead after a late race restart and appeared to win the event, but a penalty assessed on the restart dropped him to 14th in the final order. Fellow open wheel driver Chris Windom is expected to join Fike for double duty. Windom ran both dirt races for the Roulo Brothers last year and ran their Ford in a Hoosier tire test at the Illinois State Fairgrounds over Memorial Day weekend.
Kelly Kovski also came close to winning last year’s race, however he too was penalized and dropped out of the top ten in the final tally. Shane Cockrum returns for southern Illinois owner Brad Hill.
Defending winner Brennan Poole threw hit hat into the ring when he resigned with Venturini Motorsports to return to the scene of his 2013 dirt track win as a Springfield rookie.
ARCA points leader Mason Mitchell made his Springfield debut last year and won the pole. He is 15 points ahead of Grant Enfinger in the ARCA point battle with Kimmel third, Hessert fourth and Justin Boston fifth.