Evernham Crocker Lead On Superspeedways

LONG POND, Pa. - From 1953 to 1963, the ARCA RE/MAX Series competed on short-tracks alone, at that time the majority of them were dirt. However, when the late Bill France, Sr. invited the ARCA sanction to race at Daytona for the first time in 1964, the makeup of the tour changed forever.

France's invitation not only prompted a name change - from MARC (Midwest Association for Race Cars) to ARCA (Automobile Racing Club of America) - to reflect a more national scope, the invitation added superspeedway racing to ARCA's schedule for good.

Nelson Stacy won the first 250-miler at Daytona that 1964 season while Curtis Turner picked up the victory on Charlotte's new superspeedway later that same year. There would never be another season that did not include at least one superspeedway on the schedule.

With new superspeedway flavor mixed in the tour, series officials eventually elected to start a point system designed to recognize the team that accumulates the most superspeedway points in any given season. So, in 1984, ARCA came up with the Superspeedway Challenge Championship.

The late Davey Allison won ARCA's inaugural Superspeedway Challenge Championship in 1984 and duplicated the honor in 1985. Since then, Superspeedway Challenge Champions include Bill Venturini, Bob Keselowski, Jeff Purvis, Mike Wallace, Tim Steele, Mark Gibson and Frank Kimmel to name a few.

Technically, the award officially goes to the team owner. However, one certainly cannot ignore the driver in the chair.

And with 12 superspeedway events on the 2007 schedule, Wilbraham, Massachusetts driver Erin Crocker, in Ray Evernham's Dodge Charger, is indeed the top driver in the superspeedway chair. She currently leads Frank Kimmel and car owner Larry Clement by just 35 points headed to Pocono Raceway for the Pennsylvania 200 Saturday afternoon, August 4th. Pennsylvanian's Bobby and Bill Gerhart are currently third in Superspeedway Challenge points, 65 markers out of first.

No female driver has ever won the Superspeedway Challenge Championship, and just five superspeedway events remain in 2007.

Crocker is already the only female driver in series history to earn three runner-up finishes. And, after earning the SIM Factory Pole Award at Kentucky Speedway with a new one-lap track record a few weeks back, she is now the only female driver in series history who has earned five pole awards.

Crocker started the season with a pole award at Daytona but went a lap down in the race, finishing 20th. At Nashville, Crocker charged right back with a solid third place finish before heading off to Kansas where she finished seventh. It got better at Kentucky where she led 12 laps and finished second. A 20th place finish at Pocono set her back some before rebounding with a third place finish at Michigan. In her latest superspeedway adventure, Crocker finished fifth at Kentucky after leading eight laps.

At any rate, her finishes are good enough to lead the points heading to Pocono for the Pennsylvania 200 Saturday afternoon, August 4th.

Outside of Pocono, superspeedway races remaining in 2007 include Nashville Superspeedway (August 11), Gateway Int'l Raceway (August 31), Chicagoland Speedway (September 8) and Talladega Superspeedway (October 5).

ARCA RE/MAX Series practice for the Pennsylvania 200 at Pocono Raceway is scheduled from 10:15 a.m. to 11:55 a.m. Friday, August 3 followed by SIM Factory Pole Award Qualifying at 1:45 p.m. The Pennsylvania 200 is LIVE on SPEED Saturday afternoon, August 4 at 1 p.m. (ET).

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