(SPRINGFIELD, Ill.) – The Allen Crowe 100 national championship stock car race at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, featuring the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, is turning 50.
The 50th running of the Allen Crowe 100, one of the capital city’s largest sporting events, takes center stage on the world’s fastest mile dirt track Sunday afternoon August 19, alongside the 160th annual Illinois State Fair, ongoing since 1853.
And while the Allen Crowe 100 celebrates its 50th anniversary, the ARCA Racing Series heads to Springfield in celebration of its 60th Anniversary Season. Fittingly, much of ARCA’s rich history played out on dirt tracks across America. In fact, the 2012 Allen Crowe 100 marks the 346th ARCA race on dirt since the series’ inception in 1953.
“The Illinois State Fair mile dirt venues are vitally important to the character and identity of the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards,” said ARCA President Ron 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.”
The Allen Crowe 100, named in honor of Springfield resident Allen Crowe who lost his life in a sprint car crash at New Bremen Speedway, is one of two dirt-track venues on the annual ARCA Racing Series schedule, the other being the Labor Day Southern Illinois 100 at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds.
In addition to the pageantry of anniversaries and accompanying State Fair, the ARCA Racing Series is brewing with a major-league title fight featuring Roush Fenway Racing development driver Chris Buescher (Roulo Brothers Racing), Messina Rookie contender Brennan Poole (Venturini Motorsports), nine-time champion Frank Kimmel (ThorSport Racing) and Penske Racing development Driver Alex Bowman (Cunningham Motorsports). As of 7-26-12, and with two-thirds of the season nearly complete, Buescher leads Poole by just 35 points with Bowman and Kimmel separated by just five points for third and fourth, respectively. Kimmel, in fourth, trails the point leader by 100 points. Kimmel is the all-time Springfield winner with an amazing seven victories at Springfield reaching back to his first win there in 2000. Kimmel is also the all-time Springfield lap leader with 614 laps led in 13 races. However, Kimmel, whose winless streak is currently 75 races long, has not gone to Victory Lane anywhere since September of 2008.
The past winners list of the Allen Crowe 100 includes some of the greatest names in motorsports. Curtis Turner won the inaugural Allen Crowe 100 in 1963. Just some of the winners who would follow also include Don White, Jack Bowsher, Al Unser, Roger McCluskey, Ramo Stott, AJ Foyt, Dean Roper, Bob Keselowski, Tim Steele, Ken Schrader, Springfield native Justin Allgaier, Bill Baird, and most recently, Chad McCumbee, in 2011.
Practice for the August 19th Allen Crowe 100 is scheduled from 9:00-10:00 a.m. with Menards Pole Award Qualifying presented by Ansell following at 11. The 50th annual Allen Crowe 100 starts at 1 p.m. All times are local.
ARCA Celebrating 60th Anniversary Season
2012 is the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards’ 60th Anniversary Season, featuring 20 races at 18 tracks. The complete 2012 event schedule is available at ARCARacing.com.
The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards has crowned an ARCA national champion each year since its inaugural season in 1953, and has toured over 200 race tracks in 26 states since its inception. The series has tested the abilities of drivers and race teams over the most diverse schedule of stock car racing events in the world, visiting tracks ranging from 0.375 mile to 2.66 miles in length, on both paved and dirt surfaces as well as a left- and right-turn road course in its most recent season. This year, the series visited Alabama’s Mobile International Speedway and Minnesota’s Elko Speedway for the first time.
Founded by John and Mildred Marcum in 1953 in Toledo, Ohio, the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is recognized among the leading sanctioning bodies in the country. Closing in on completing its sixth decade after hundreds of thousands of miles of racing, ARCA administers over 100 race events each season in three professional touring series and local weekly events.
Griffin Hickman, ARCA
(419) 574-2685 (mobile)
Don Radebaugh, ARCA
(419) 450-0611 (mobile)