(TOLEDO, Ohio) – The dirt tracks have been perennial favorites for many over ARCA’s storied history, and the tradition continues in 2015. The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards has announced dates for both the Illinois State Fairgrounds and the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds next year, the tour’s 63rd season of competition.
The race at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield will take place Sunday, August 23 during the 163rd annual Illinois State Fair with the date at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds following on Labor Day Monday, September 7, alongside the 93rd annual DuQuoin State Fair.
The race in Springfield will be the 53rd running of the Allen Crowe 100 while the race in DuQuoin marks the 62nd running of the Southern Illinois 100.
“We look forward to the 2015 events after the exciting races in 2014,” said Track Enterprises president and race event promoter Bob Sargent. “We are proud to bring such a diverse series to the dirt one mile ovals…and especially with the great mix of local drivers, series veterans, and the young up and coming stars.”
Kevin Swindell, subbing for John Wes Townley last year at Springfield, staged a thrilling come-from-behind win in a Venturini Motorsports Toyota, while Grant Enfinger drove to Victory Lane in the 2014 Southern Illinois 100, his first at the historic oval.
Beyond the excitement of the events, ARCA president Ron Drager understands the importance of ARCA continuing the tradition of dirt track racing.
“The Illinois State Fair mile dirt venues are vitally important to the character and identity of the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards,” said Drager. “It’s a conscious effort on our part to continue to recognize the role non-pavement tracks played in the development of our series, and motorsports as a whole, and the role dirt racing continues to play today.”
With ARCA’s roots reaching back to 1953, much of the tour’s rich history developed on dirt tracks across America. In fact, the 2015 race events at Springfield and DuQuoin mark the 352nd and 353rd ARCA races on dirt, respectively, since the series’ inception.
10-time ARCA national champion Frank Kimmel has 13 victories between Springfield and DuQuoin – eight at Springfield and five at DuQuoin.
“Running the mile dirts, Springfield and DuQuoin, is one of the neatest things this series does,” Kimmel said.
“It’s the whole atmosphere; there’s so much going on. All the history, all the great drivers who have won there – Foyt, Andretti, Jack Bowsher, Parnelli Jones, (Ken) Schrader…I mean the list of winners is incredible. Every driver wants to be part of that.
“It’s just so dang neat that ARCA still races on the dirt. I tip my hat to them every day for keeping their traditions and dirt-track roots alive. I consider my wins at Springfield and DuQuoin every bit as big as my wins at Charlotte, MIS, Talladega, Pocono or any of the other great tracks we race at.
“I know a few people who turn their nose up at it, but I think they are looking at it all wrong. I consider it a privilege to race there. I really don’t think some of these young kids coming up realize or understand the importance of being able to race there, and what it means to put your name alongside all those great names that have raced there over the years.”
The Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is among the leading auto racing sanctioning bodies in the country. Founded in 1953 by John and Mildred Marcum, the organization administers more than 100 events each year in multiple racing series, including the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, the ARCA/CRA Super Series, the ARCA Truck Series and the ARCA Midwest Tour, plus weekly racing at Toledo and Flat Rock Speedways.
The 63rd ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season is now taking shape as several race dates have been announced, including the season opener at Daytona International Speedway February 14 and the closing race October 16 at Kansas Speedway. More race dates will be announced in the coming days.
ARCA PR – Photo