TOLEDO, Ohio – A classic blast-from-the-past fairgrounds mile dirt track, and a first-class superspeedway will serve to conclude the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards 60th Anniversary Season in 2012.
With three of the tour’s top titles still very much in play, including the National Championship, the tight fights forge toward the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds mile dirt Sunday afternoon, October 14 for the 60th running of the Southern Illinois 100 presented by Federated Car Care.
Just days later, the world’s most versatile tour heads further west to the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway for a Friday night championship finale under the lights October 19. The 12th annual ARCA Kansas Lottery 98.9 will determine a national champion, the Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge Champion, the Team Messina Rookie Challenge Award, and much more.
The National Championship battle is coming down to a five-wide fight with 19-year-old Chris Buescher leading over 50-year-old Frank Kimmel. Rookies Brennan Poole and Alex Bowman are the other players in the mix. Chad Hackenbracht, currently fifth in points, is mathematically still in too.
While Poole trails in third in the National Championship, The Woodlands, Texas rookie sits atop the Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge title fight, ahead of Kimmel. Hackenbracht and Buescher are clearly still within striking distance for ARCA’s superspeedway crown, first earned by the late Davey Allison in 1984.
Not to leave Bowman out, the 19-year-old Tucson, Arizona driver leads a very close Team Messina Rookie Challenge title by just four points over Poole with rookie Matt Lofton trailing in third.
Additional year-end scores to settle include the Aaron’s Lap Leader Award, the CGS Imaging Hard Charger, Cometic Crew Chief of the Year honors, the Menards Pole Award presented by Ansell, and more.
Buescher is the defending race winner at DuQuoin; however, Kimmel, coming off a dirt track victory in August at the Springfield mile dirt, has won DuQuoin’s Southern Illinois 100 a record five times. Poole and Bowman will see the place for the first time.
Bowman, however, is the defending race winner at Kansas, where he won in only his second ARCA start. Kimmel won the inaugural Kansas Lottery 98.9 in 2001 and again in 2006. Buescher, the 2011 Team Messina Rookie of the Year, finished second at Kansas last year.
While Buescher chases his first ARCA National Championship, Kimmel has his sights set on what could be his 10th. Kimmel, who added two wins in 2012 after a near four-year winless streak, is also gaining again on Iggy Katona’s all-time ARCA win mark of 79. Although he can’t get there in 2012, he is now just three wins away with 76.