SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Defending Springfield mile dirt winner Brennan Poole spends most of his time on the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards tour these days spotting and consulting for Justin Boston.
That’s all fine and good, but, like most racers, he’d rather be in the driver’s seat. Poole will get the opportunity again when he trades in his headset for his helmet in the 52nd running of the SuperChevyStores.com-Allen Crowe 100 Sunday, August 17 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.
“I’m a dirt track guy,” Poole said. “I grew up racing dirt modifieds. If you go back to the beginning, I started in quarter midgets on the dirt.”
In last year’s Springfield race, Brennan Poole surfaced as the winner after a controversial finish during which Illinoisans Kelly Kovski and AJ Fike, deemed to have jumped the final restart, were denied victory.
“I just wanted to go and have some fun, then we ended up winning the thing. That’s a really special win for me, personally. It’s such a special event…so historical. There’s so much racing history there; it’s so cool to go there and relive that history. So many great champions raced at the state fair over the years. To have that win, at that place, means a lot.”
This year’s race will coincide with the 162nd annual Illinois State Fair.
“You definitely get a certain feeling when drive into the place, with the state fair going on…the race…then the concert afterwards. The entire experience is so cool. The one year, Taylor Swift was playing right after our race. I thought to myself, ‘how cool is that?’ I really wanted to go.”
Poole will be driving a Venturini Motorsports Toyota with sponsorship from The Identical movie, scheduled to debut in theaters September 5.
“The car looks awesome…can’t wait to take it to the dirt.
“Running Springfield is a feel-thing. It’s all about throttle control. You’ve got to feel the rear-end of the car…feel the traction. You drive it in pretty straight, but they do get sideways in the corners. You can definitely tell you’re in a different environment. You put the car right up against the inside guardrail and keep it there, without touching it. It’s tough to do, especially if you haven’t done it before.
“It’s (Springfield) my favorite of the two dirt tracks ARCA runs. I’ve only raced there twice but it really feels like coming home for me. I spent a lot of nights growing up running modifieds at the local dirt track. We ran a lot of dry-slick tracks and it taught me a bunch. It all comes back to me when I come back to Springfield. It’s so cool.”
10-time ARCA Racing Series national champion Frank Kimmel is the all-time Springfield winner with eight wins, his most recent in 2012.
NASCAR veteran and former Springfield winner Ken Schrader has already filed an entry for the race.
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), 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 SuperChevyStores.com 100 is scheduled from 9:00-10:00 a.m. with Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell following at 11:15. The 52nd annual SuperChevyStores.com 100 starts at1:30 p.m. All times are local.
ARCAracing.com will feature live timing and scoring of all on-track activity as well as live flag-to-flag audio coverage of the race.