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Oct 02, 2012 - 02:45 PM
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ARCA Championship Contenders Buescher, Kimmel Take Title Fight Back
Posted by: newsla on Oct 02, 2012 - 02:41 PM
ARCA Championship Contenders Buescher, Kimmel Take Title Fight Back To DuQuoin For Late Season Show On The Mile Dirt

Dirt tracks always fit into the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards championship equation, but possibly not quite as poignantly as they will this year.


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While the event at the Illinois State Fairgrounds went off without a hitch in August, the annual Southern Illinois 100 at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds got rained out in early September, prompting the race promoter and series officials to reschedule the race in mid-October (October 14), right in front of the championship finale at Kansas Speedway on October 19.

That said, there is little time to recover from a potential dirt track disaster.

However, current ARCA Racing Series championship points leader Chris Buescher, last year's Team Messina Rookie of the Year and runner-up championship driver, doesn't seem concerned.

"We were ready for DuQuoin in September, and we'll be ready for DuQuoin in October," said Buescher, who holds an 85-point lead over nine-time ARCA champion and five-time DuQuoin winner Frank Kimmel with just two races remaining in 2012.

Despite Kimmel's phenomenal record at DuQuoin, Buescher is the defending race winner of the Southern Illinois 100.

"We definitely got better at DuQuoin last year," Buescher added. "We had a little more dirt track experience going in; at least I did anyway. We're taking the same car to DuQuoin that we won with there last year, so I think we should be in pretty good shape to run up front. And the Roulo Brothers have all kinds of experience on these dirt tracks, so I'm not real concerned."

Buescher drives for Gary and Russ Roulo, who field cars for Buescher under the Roush Fenway Racing Driver Development program. The Roulo Brothers have been successfully fielding ARCA cars since 1980 for a wide variety of top-notch drivers, earning 31 career ARCA victories overall with drivers such as Bob Strait, Ken Schrader, David Green, Joe Ruttman, Dave Weltmeyer and more. Schrader's victory with the Roulos was on the Hagerstown, Md. half-mile dirt in 1990.

"Shape-wise, DuQuoin's about like Indy," Buescher added. "You got short chutes through the center of the corners. It's a blast to drive as long as it's turning and everything's going good. If you have all that down, and you're fast, it's a lot of fun.

"But I've never run a dirt track this late in the season either, so I'm not exactly sure what to expect. Fortunately, the Roulo Brothers have seen this scenario before."

Kimmel, who's won the Southern Illinois 100 more than any other driver, sees the track at DuQuoin a little differently going back.

"It really remains to be seen how the track will be. Considering there will be no race the day before like there usually is, and being deeper into the season, it's going to be a completely different track. Good thing for us racers is that Bob Sargent (track promoter) and his guys are so good at track preparation, that we know the track will be in good shape no matter what. They know what's going on and what it takes to get the track ready regardless of the circumstances. It'll be a different track, but it will be different for everyone.

"I'm excited to go back to DuQuoin. I've never raced there in October. This should be very interesting."

The past winners list of the Southern Illinois 100 includes some of the greatest names in motorsports. Jay Frank won the inaugural Southern Illinois 100 in 1950. Just some of the winners who would follow include Marshall Teague, Indy 500 winners Jimmy Bryan and AJ Foyt, Fred Lorenzen, Don White, Norm Nelson, Jack Bowsher, NASCAR champions Rusty Wallace and Tony Stewart, Bob Keselowski, Billy Thomas, Ken Schrader, Parker Kligerman, and most recently, Chris Buescher, in 2011.

Practice for the October 14 Southern Illinois 100 presented by Federated Car Care is scheduled from 10:00 a.m. to 11, with Menards Pole Award Qualifying presented by Ansell following at 12 noon. The 60th annual Southern Illinois 100 starts at 2 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.

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