Ken Schrader, USAC, ARCA, WoO and UMP Highlight Auto Racing at Illinois and DuQuoin State Fairs
7/13/05 - The appearance of NASCAR’s Ken Schrader highlights a busy year of auto racing at both of the state fairgrounds in Illinois, a schedule that kicks into high gear during the month of August, according to promoter Bob Sargent of Track Enterprises in Macon, Illinois. Corporate America also becomes involved at both fairs as Best Western Hotels takes on sponsorship of the Allen Crowe Memorial at Springfield, as well as an associate sponsorship for the remaining events.
Sargent, the promoter at both the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield and the DuQuoin State Fair in Southern Illinois, has released a six race slate that features variety, tradition and speed in the motor sports entertainment lineup of both fairs. The six races are split evenly among the two fairground dirt miles, with Springfield hosting two days of racing during the Illinois State Fair and one in September, while DuQuoin has two nights and one day of racing during the run of the DuQuoin State Fair.
Traditional one mile dirt track auto racing gets underway in Springfield on
Saturday, August 20 with the 45th Tony Bettenhausen 100 for the USAC Weld Racing
Silver Crown Series. Springfield drivers Justin Allgaier and Donnie Lehmann
could be part of a strong Illinois stable of drivers that attempts to make the
Illinois State Fair championship race, an event that celebrates
Stock cars invade Springfield’s gumbo clay the very next day, with the ARCA RE/MAX Stock Car Series stars ready for battle in the 43rd Best Western-Allen Crowe Memorial 100. Best Western Hotels comes on board as title sponsor of the Crowe Memorial as Justin Allgaier of Springfield tries to become just the second driver in the 95 year history of motor racing at the Illinois State Fairgrounds to win both the championship and stock car events on the same weekend, the other driver being Hall of Fame member Al Unser. Allgaier will face stiff competition, as defending ARCA champ Frank Kimmel attempts the impossible, winning five Crowe trophies and breaking the tie between himself, Bob Keselowski and the late Dean Roper. And, defending Crowe 100 winner Bill Baird, the oldest race winner in Illinois State Fair history, is expected to shun retirement once again to run the 100 mile distance.
Accompanying the ARCA stock cars on the last Sunday of the Illinois State Fair will be the 12th annual Wynn’s Sportsman challenge, the big event for the local sportsman cars. The defending winner is Steve Sheppard, Jr. of New Berlin, Illinois.
The auto racing world shifts 150 miles to the south one week later, to the beautiful park like setting of the fairgrounds in DuQuoin, Illinois. The annual DuQuoin State Fair starts it’s first weekend with racing on the “Magic Mile”, in the form of the Lincoln Welders ARCA Truck Series on Saturday night, August 27. Last year’s 50-mile truck event fell victim to Mother Nature, the event was a complete washout and unable to be rescheduled. Brian Rowe, winner of the truck race at DuQuoin in 2003, is expected to compete. Running with the trucks on the night of the 27th will be local and area late model stock cars,with drivers who compete regularly at Mt. Vernon, Highland, Kentucky Lake and Paducah expected to compete.
Labor Day weekend is traditionally known for picnics, boating, fishing and auto racing in the heart of Southern Illinois. Nothing is more traditional than national championship dirt track racing, as the Weld Racing USAC Silver Crown cars take to the DuQuoin “Magic Mile” on Sunday night, September 4 for the 55th running of the Ted Horn 100. Nighttime racing at DuQuoin, with the lights shimmering off the infield lakes and the cool night air has rejuvenated DuQuoin into one of the premier stops on the national championship schedule. The night has also allowed the Silver Crown cars to reach speeds previously unimagined, as a new world record was set in qualifying each of the last two years. Defending champion Tyler Walker and one lap track record holder Tyler Walker may be at DuQuoin, if his NASCAR commitments allow. USAC stars expected at the Ted Horn 100 include Dave Darland, Dave Steele and Brian Tyler. They will be set to battle a strong Illinois contingent which could include Alex Shanks of nearby Marion, Illinois, Randy Bateman of Murphysboro and Tim Siner of Waterloo.
NASCAR star Kenny Schrader arrives in DuQuoin on Labor Day for the 53rd
Federated Auto Parts Southern Illinois 100 for the ARCA RE/MAX Stock Car Series.
The interest in DuQuoin by some of the NASCAR contingent has peaked in recent
years, with drivers like Jeremy Mayfield, Joe Ruttman, Mike Wallace and former
Federated 100 winner Tony Stewart taking to the DuQuoin clay. It is entirely
possible that other NASCAR drivers may decide to come to DuQuoin with Schrader,
which means that defending Southern Illinois 100 winner Frank Kimmel has his
work cut out in defending his crown.
UMP Modifieds race both days on Labor Day weekend, capped by the 20 mile Oldani Memorial on Labor Day. Robinson, Illinois’ Brian Shaw is the defending Oldani Memorial winner.
Racing on the dirt miles wraps up in Springfield, Illinois with the 14th annual Turbo Blue Illinois Fall Nationals on the Springfield Mile Sunday, September 18th. In a deal recently consummated, the late model portion of the Illinois Fall Nationals will be co-sanctioned between UMP and the World of Outlaws, which means that the biggest stars in late model racing should be present to challenge many of the local and area drivers who frequently compete in the Fall Nationals event. Last year’s late model portion saw Darren Miller set a new track recxord in qualifying, then Brian Birkhofer win his third Fall Nationals late model feature race. UMP Modifieds complete the Fall Nationals program, St. Charles, Missouri driver Jim Shereck has won the last three modified events at Springfield.
Tickets are on sale now at the Illinois and DuQuoin State Fair box offices,
as well as at Ticketmaster outlets and through Track Enterprises at
217-764-3200. Additional information can be found at www.arcaracing.com,
www.usacracing.com, and www.trackenteprises.com.
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