For Immediate Release:
Thursday, September 15, 2011
(SALEM, Ind.) - No race track in the 59-year history of the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards has hosted as many as 90 events. Salem Speedway, which has hosted ARCA since 1955, will become the first on Saturday evening.
The Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA Fall Classic is scheduled as the 17th of 19 in the ARCA Racing Series this season, and is important to teams and drivers for several reasons. First, the race comes just four weeks before ARCA's season finale, meaning Ty Dillon (No. 41 Hemelgarn/CIPT Chevrolet) will be aiming to extend his championship advantage and numerous drivers will be fighting for position within the top 10.
Second, the event will be the final leg in the Bill France Four Crown, a season-within-a-season championship that tests drivers on a speedway, a short track, a dirt track, and a road course. Chad McCumbee (No. 1 ModSpace Ford) and Andy Belmont Racing lead Dillon and Frank Kimmel (No. 44 Ansell/Menards Ford) for the prestigious $3000 prize.
Should McCumbee finish 10th or higher, he will win the Bill France Four Crown - named for the late founder of NASCAR, a friend of ARCA, and a stock car pioneer - regardless of any other driver's finish. Past winners of the Four Crown Award include Kimmel, Tim Steele, and Davey Allison.
McCumbee finished ninth in May, which would be enough to give him the award Saturday, but even a minor slip-up could prove harmful. Dillon won the Menards Pole Award presented by Ansell and finished second at Salem in May, and Kimmel has nine wins at the track - including the most recent of his 74 career victories, which came on September 13, 2008.
The Four Crown Award aside, Salem's high banks and tight 0.555-mile configuration will prove a challenge to each of the 35 drivers who start Saturday. Eight caution flags slowed the field in May's 206-lap race, and rare is the Salem winner who drives to Victory Lane without at least slight damage.
"There's a lot of character to Salem Speedway," said McCumbee. "It presents quite a few challenges, you know. You really do race the race track, just like you would at Darlington or Rockingham years ago. It's tough to be there at the end."
Four drivers on the entry list have 15 or more starts at Salem, including Kimmel (35), Darrell Basham (29), Brad Smith (20), and Ron Cox (15). Among Kimmel's starts are 24 top-fives and 29 top-10s.
In addition to Frank Kimmel, son Frank Kimmel II (No. 77 Mars Trucking/Jim French Builders/Clarksville Schwinn/Newton's Grocery/Green Oak Farms Ford) and nephew Will Kimmel (No. 68 Clarksville Schwinn & Cyclery Ford) will also start Saturday's race. The event will be the first in which the three Kimmels all race in contending efforts.
Like the Kimmels, whose Indiana backgrounds make Salem their home track, Owensboro, Ky. native Brett Hudson (No. 94 Hudson Performance Drivelines Chevrolet) is skilled and experienced when close to home. Among Hudson's nine Salem starts in the ARCA Racing Series are five top-10s.
Venturini Motorsports won most recently at Salem, as Brennan Poole edged Dillon and Kimmel in his first series start. Poole is not entered in the Fall Classic, and neither are any of the four winners in the two years before his triumph - meaning that unless Kimmel scores his record 10th Salem win, one driver will celebrate a first Salem win Saturday.
Two certain contenders are Chris Buescher (No. 17 Reliance Tool/David Ragan Ford Ford) and Grant Enfinger (No. 36 Hoosier Tire Midwest/RaceTires.com Dodge). Buescher, who is third in points, scored his first win of 2011 last week at DuQuoin, Ill. Enfinger, who is fourth, will search for his first ARCA win.
On-track activity begins with a 90-minute practice at 1:05 p.m. Saturday, and continues with Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell at 4 p.m.
The 200-lap, 111-mile Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 begins at 7:15 p.m. Saturday. Live timing and scoring of all events and live audio coverage of the race will be presented by ARCA Nation 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 28 states since its inception. The series tests the abilities of drivers and race teams over the most diverse schedule of stock car racing events in the world, annually visiting tracks ranging from 0.4 mile to 2.66 miles in length, on both paved and dirt surfaces as well as a left- and right-turn road course.
Founded by John Marcum in 1953 in Toledo, Ohio, the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is recognized among the leading sanctioning bodies in the country. Closing in on completing its sixth decade after hundreds of thousands of miles of racing, ARCA administers over 100 race events each season in two professional touring series and local weekly events.
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