The first of two mile-long dirt ovals on the 2018 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards calendar, the Illinois State Fairgrounds will play host to the 15th round of this year’s 20-race season with Sunday’s Allen Crowe 100. With NASCAR action from Bristol Motor Speedway wrapping up on Saturday night, this weekend isn’t just unique for its loose track surface—it also represents a rare opportunity for the ARCA field to compete on Sunday, since it’s also in a completely different state.
An entry list of nearly two dozen drivers will take the green flag in Springfield tomorrow afternoon, but only one can earn the win. There’s an obvious pick in this handful of drivers to take the checkered flag, but even if they’re not in the fight for a victory, expect all of these drivers to make things interesting:
Any of the off-road converts who have found their way over to ARCA should be a favorite for this weekend, but Creed has simply been spanking the field all season long. In 14 starts, he’s got more wins (three) than he does DNFs (two), and every race that he’s finished, he’s finished in the top five. On top of all that, Creed was the best finisher in this round last year who will be returning to compete this season; the two-time Stadium Super Trucks champion claimed fourth place in the 2017 event.
The 2016 Snowball Derby earned his first career ARCA victory earlier this season when he took April’s round at Salem Speedway. Returning to the seat for Venturini Motorsports this weekend, Eckes looks to improve on a record of one win, three top-fives, and four top-10s in eight starts so far this season. Coming off of a 13th place run in his superspeedway debut at Pocono, he’ll hope for something closer to last year’s result at Springfield, where he finished sixth after leading two laps.
Despite missing two races, having withdrawn at both Chicagoland and Elko Speedway, Holmes remains ninth in the 2018 standings. Usually competing with his own family team, he’ll make his second start of the season with Ken Schrader Racing on Sunday, where he joins a driver rotation that includes Will Rodgers, Brandon Grosso, and on one occasion, Schrader himself. Holmes’ first crack at this track saw him crash out and finish 20th last season, so expect him to be a little bit better this time around.
Whether you’re a die-hard midget racing fan who’s heard his name a thousand times, or simply know him best for his viral drive up a catchfence to avoid a wrecked competitor, Seavey will bring an added level of excitement when he makes his ARCA debut with Venturini Motorsports on Sunday. The 21-year-old led 53 laps for Kyle Busch Motorsports in this year’s Eldora Dirt Derby on the way to an eighth-place finish, and could be dirt oval racing’s next top prospect to make it big in stock car racing.