ARCA, Southern Illinois 100 Turn 60 Together

ARCA

The 2012 Southern Illinois 100 marks the 347th ARCA race on dirt since the series' inception in 1953. (Photo: ARCA Racing)

Two major league milestones will meet in the small, sleepy southern Illinois town of DuQuoin Labor Day weekend.

The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, celebrating its 60th Anniversary Season in 2012, is steering for the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds "Magic Mile" dirt, where the 60th running of the Southern Illinois 100 presented by Federated Car Care comes alive Labor Day Monday, September 3.

The momentous meeting will take shape alongside the 90th annual DuQuoin State Fair.

Fittingly, much of ARCA's rich history played out on dirt tracks across America. In fact, the 2012 Southern Illinois 100 marks the 347th 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 Southern Illinois 100 at DuQuoin, born in 1950, is one of two dirt-track venues on the annual ARCA Racing Series schedule, the other being the Allen Crowe 100 in Springfield during the Illinois State Fair in late August.

In addition to the pageantry of anniversaries and the accompanying DuQuoin 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), nine-time ARCA champion Frank Kimmel (ThorSport Racing) and Team Messina Rookie of the Year leader Brennan Poole (Venturini Motorsports).

Kimmel, already a five-time winner at DuQuoin, just secured a record eighth victory August 19 on the Springfield mile dirt; and in doing so, climbed to within 15 points of Buescher for the championship points lead. Poole is currently third in points, 95 points from the lead.

Kimmel could also secure another milestone at DuQuoin with what would be a record sixth victory there. Currently, Kimmel is tied with the late Dean Roper in all-time Southern Illinois 100 wins - each having five victories in the prestigious stock car classic.

Kimmel, who has 76 career ARCA victories overall, is also inching closer to Iggy Katona's all-time ARCA win mark of 79.

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, Buescher, in 2011.

Practice for the September 3 Southern Illinois 100 presented by Federated Car Care is scheduled from 9:00-10:00 a.m. with Menards Pole Award Qualifying presented by Ansell following at 11. The 60th annual Southern Illinois 100 starts at 1 p.m. All times are local.

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