The 2018 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season inches closer to its conclusion with this weekend’s General Tire Grabber 100, the 17th round of the season and the series’ 36th appearance at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds in Illinois. The Labor Day tradition is also the second and final dirt mile that the ARCA field will take on this season, having run the Allen Crowe 100 last month at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.
With a number of quality entries scheduled to compete this weekend, it’s anyone’s guess who will take the checkered flag in the only stock car race scheduled for Labor Day in the United States. That said, here are four drivers who have earned your attention through strong on-track performances coming into the weekend:
What’s better than getting to run your first dirt oval race in a stock car? Winning it, like Eckes did at Springfield. He follows in the footsteps of drivers like Parker Kligerman, who did the same thing back in 2009. Eckes will go for his third win of the season this weekend in his 11th start for Venturini Motorsports in 2018.
Seavey has made a strong impression so far this year in his limited time outside of the USAC ranks, finishing in the top 10 in the Eldora Dirt Derby and third in his ARCA debut for Venturini Motorsports in Springfield. He’ll look to complete a 2018 dirt oval sweep for the team, and should be a candidate for more appearances in 2019.
Joe Graf Jr.
Graf’s first career ARCA victory at Berlin Raceway came under controversial circumstances, but any racer will tell you that a win is a win. He’ll look to build on that as the series returns to the dirt at DuQuoin, especially since he failed to finish at the first dirt oval of the season at Springfield (he DNFed after 87 laps).
While his MDM Motorsports teammate Sheldon Creed leads the overall standings, Smith has a shot to win the CGS Imaging 4 Crown title. The four-race mini-championship is comprised of rounds at Talladega, Madison, Pocono, and DuQuoin, each different from the next. Smith leads Creed by 45 points and has two wins.