Only two of the 20 races on the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule take place on dirt ovals, but the second is a Labor Day tradition. Today’s General Tire Grabber 100, held at the dirt mile at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds, will see 21 drivers take the green flag in today’s only scheduled major national stock car race.
Seven of those drivers, led by polesitter and points leader Sheldon Creed of MDM Motorsports, broke a ten-year-old track record previously held by current NASCAR star Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in today’s qualifying session, so expect an exceptional show when they take the green flag at 3PM ET/12PM PT. As you’re watching, be sure to pay attention to these developing storylines:
Can Sheldon Creed finally win his first dirt oval race?
Creed’s prodigal status as an off-road racer makes it an interesting development that he’s yet to win a stock car race held on the dirt. He was fourth and second on the two ARCA dirt ovals last year, and finished second in Springfield last month. He’s also made three starts at the Eldora Dirt Derby, the only dirt race in any of NASCAR’s three national series. With three ARCA wins this season on paved tracks, and now the pole for today’s action, could DuQuoin put an end to Creed’s dirt oval drought?
How will Christian Eckes perform in his quest for back-to-back dirt oval wins?
Despite never having run a stock car on the dirt before last month’s event at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, Eckes outlasted the field in overtime to win the Allen Crowe 100. It was his second win of the season, as well as the second win of his ARCA career. He’ll roll off third in today’s action, behind only polesitter Creed and dirt regular Ryan Unzicker, who focuses on running dirt ovals every year. Another victory would be a confidence boost for Eckes’ remaining ARCA and NASCAR schedules in 2018.
Can Zane Smith hold onto the CGS Imaging 4 Crown Championship lead?
Talladega, Madison, Pocono, and DuQuoin are four of the most different tracks from one another on the ARCA calendar, which is precisely what makes the 4 Crown such a unique and entertaining concept. Smith leads his teammate, Creed, in the standings coming into the race, and will guarantee the title for himself if he finishes seventh or better—but if he finishes eighth and Creed wins, they tie, with Creed taking the tiebreaker on wins. Guess what? Creed starts on the pole, and Smith starts… eighth.