ARCA's Bill France Four Crown Championship To Springfield Mile Dirt
The diversity of the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards is, in part, what sets the 61-year-old tour apart from the rest. And ARCA's Bill France Four Crown award best captures the series' versatility that has become, over the years, a large part of the brand's signature.
The Allen Crowe Memorial 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds Sunday, August 18 marks the third leg of this year's Bill France Four Crown, an annual honor that reaches back to 1984, when Davey Allison became the inaugural recipient of the year-end award.
The Four Crown schedule provides a link to the series' roots, featuring a diverse combination of tracks in any given season. This year's schedule includes Michigan Int'l Speedway (superspeedway), New Jersey Motorsports Park (road course), Springfield (mile dirt oval), and Salem Speedway (short track), where the Four Crown will conclude September 14.
"The Bill France Four Crown Award speaks to the very nature of the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards," said Ron Drager, President of ARCA. "Being the full-bodied stock car series that runs on speedways, road courses, short tracks, and dirt ovals, this is the epitome of what our series is about."
Four Crown points are allocated without qualifying or in-race bonuses, and distributed in the same method as in the official series standings.
Frank Kimmel, the defending race winner at Springfield, finds himself atop the Bill France points headed to Springfield. However, this year's Bill France battle is exceptionally tight with Baltimore, Maryland rookie Justin Boston just 10 points away from Kimmel in second, followed by Will Kimmel in third, just 15 points from his uncle Frank. SCOTT Rookie Challenge leader Mason Mingus is also still very much alive in the Bill France Four Crown in fourth, 30 points from the lead.
Frank Kimmel is the all-time Bill France Four Crown champion with six titles (2008, 2007, 2005, 2002, 2001, 1998).
Allison won the first Bill France Four Crown championship in his rookie season. Twenty-five years later another rookie, Parker Kligerman (current NASCAR Nationwide Series driver), would earn the honor driving for Cunningham Motorsports in 2009, the year he won on the Springfield mile dirt.
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 last year's Springfield race, nine-time series champion Frank Kimmel out-dueled the pack to earn a record eighth career victory at Springfield. Kimmel is currently tied with Iggy Katona in all-time ARCA wins, each with 79.
Over the years, Allen Crowe 100 winners include Curtis Turner ('63), Don White ('66, '67, '72), Al Unser ('72), Jack Bowsher ('73), Roger McCluskey ('74), Ramo Stott ('76, '77, '80), AJ Foyt ('79), Joe Ruttman ('80), Dean Roper ('81, '82, '83, '83, '85, '86), Bob Keselowski ('87, '88, '89, '93), Bobby Bowsher ('91, '92), Tim Steele ('96, '97), Ken Schrader ('98), Bill Baird ('99, '04), Justin Allgaier ('06), Parker Kligerman ('09), and Kimmel ('00, '01, '02. '03, '05, '07, '08, '12).
Practice for the Allen Crowe 100 is scheduled from 9:00-10:00 a.m. with Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell following at 11. The 51st annual Allen Crowe 100 starts at 1 p.m. All times are local.
The Allen Crowe 100 will also be the third ARCA Racing Series race that will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network. NBC Sports Network's ARCA racing coverage of the Allen Crowe 100 premieres Friday, August 23 at 11 p.m. ET.
Past ARCA Bill France Four Crown Award Champions:
1984 - Davey Allison
1985 - Lee Raymond
1986 - Lee Raymond
1987 - Grant Adcox
1988 - Grant Adcox
1989 - Tracy Leslie
1990 - Bob Keselowski
1991 - Bobby Bowsher/Bill Venturini (Tie)
1992 - Bobby Bowsher
1993 - Bob Keselowski
1994 - Bob Hill
1995 - Harris DeVane
1996 - Tim Steele
1997 - Tim Steele
1998 - Frank Kimmel
1999 - Bill Baird
2000 - Tim Steele
2001 - Frank Kimmel
2002 - Frank Kimmel
2003 - Jason Jarrett
2004 - Brent Sherman
2005 - Frank Kimmel
2006 - Blake Bjorklund
2007 - Frank Kimmel
2008 - Frank Kimmel
2009 - Parker Kligerman
2010 - Joey Coulter
2011 - Chad McCumbee
2012 - Chris Buescher