When Gregg McKarns took over the reigns of the ARCA Midwest Tour, many wondered if he would promote the series like his father the late John McKarns did with the ARTGO Challenge Series. It didn’t take long for fans to start seeing a comparison.
Like his father, Gregg McKarns is always interested in creating events that will draw interest for the fans and competitors.
The Chicagoland Showdown scheduled for this Monday, May 25 between the ARCA Midwest Tour and the ARCA/CRA Super Series powered by JEGS is an event that has the famous McKarns trademark on it.
Instead of a single 150-lap event with the two popular Midwest series competing together, fans will see three 50-lap races at Illiana Motor Speedway (IN).
Each series will have a 50-lap points race. The top-12 from each of those races will then move on to a final 50-lap shootout with $5,000 and a Tommy Gun trophy on the line for the winner.
“This is kind of in line to what the Milk Bowl at Thunder Road Speedbowl (in Barre, VT) and the Dick Trickle 99 at Oktoberfest at La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway (in West Salem, WI) where it’s not just a single race but a segment type of an event,” explained Gregg McKarns. “Honestly, I didn’t want to watch a single 150-lap race on Memorial Day, I would like to watch something unique and different.
“With the concern of how each series would reward points for their respective standings, we thought this would work out well.”
Glenn Luckett, Series Director of the ARCA/CRA Super Series feels that the fans will get their money’s worth on Monday afternoon.
“This is something different and I think all three races will be exciting to watch,” Luckett said. “I think the best part is that each series will have their own race where their competitors can get their points. When it comes down to that last 50, it’s all about money and the trophy.”
The event itself has raised the interest level of the drivers planning on competing in the event.
“This is completely different from what I have ever done in my career,” said Ty Majeski, 2014 ARCA Midwest Tour champion and recent winner. “This is something new for our sport and I think it is going to be fun for everyone. The final 50-lap feature is going to be exciting to say the least. We will race our way in and get our points in the first 50, so that when it comes to final 50, we can hang it all out there on the line and go for big check and that trophy.”
Paul Shafer Jr., who will be racing at his home track under the ARCA/CRA Super Series banner, also feels this will be a fun event.
“I think the idea is pretty fun, this is something that we normally don’t do, this is something new for the sport,” said Shafer, who finished third in the Illiana Motor Speedway feature last Saturday night. “This is an event where you have to race as hard as you can in your respective 50-lap event to get a good starting spot for the final 50. Then you have to go harder in the final 50 and make that big move for the win.
“For me, winning this event would be the biggest win in my career. I want to win that Tommy Gun and put it up on my wall.”
The action will get going at 9:30 a.m. on Monday morning with practice. The final practice will take place at 11:00 a.m. with qualifying at 12:15 p.m. An autograph session is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Racing begins at 2:30pm. The Mid-American Stock Car Series will also be competing that day.
-By Kevin Ramsell, Speed51.com Midwest Editor – Twitter: @KevinRamsell
-Photo credit: Speed51.com