SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — USAC sprint-car racer Chris Windom turned some heads with his performance in Sunday’s ARCA Racing Series event at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.
Windom made his first series start in the Win-Tron Racing No. 32 Dodge and finished third in the Allen Crowe 100.
Windom, a 20-year-old from West Lafayette, Ind., won the Pay Less Little 500 at Anderson Speedway in May, and established himself as a dirt track contender in his first ARCA Racing Series start Sunday. After starting eighth and staying there for the first half of the race, Windom climbed to fifth on lap 59 and fourth on lap 82. He passed Frank Kimmel for third on lap 87, and stayed there through the race’s final restarts.
“This is a heck of a run for us,” said Windom. “I had a lot of fun, and I’ve got thank Nate and the whole team and Curtis Smith, who helped put this whole deal together. Everybody on this team, I just met them all today; I can’t think of all their names. I’d really like to come back, so we’ll see what happens.”
Windom ranks second in the USAC National Sprint Car Series standings and has a pair of victories in the series this season.
Win-Tron has one win this season, with Matt Merrell at Berlin Raceway in July, and finished third at two other tracks — Daytona and Toledo. Team co-owner Nate Thiesse was happy to return to those heights.
“Chris) did a fantastic job,” said Thiesse. “He got up to speed right away this morning and by about his third lap was running within a tenth of what we felt was really respectable. It just goes to show you that he’s a true dirt racer. He’s got a good feel of the car and had a really good feel of the track all day and ran a really smart race.”
Thiesse talked about his pursuit of Windom, and his outlook for the driver’s future.
“Last week on Wednesday, we were making some final decisions and trying to get some stuff done, so it was one of those deals where we’re always looking for the young guys to come in and help build a program. He did a wonderful job.”
Asked whether Windom will return for the September 5 event at DuQuoin, Thiesse replied, “I sure hope so.”