One week after wrapping up the Sioux Chief Showdown at Memphis International Raceway, another of ARCA’s in-season championships will conclude at the Springfield Mile following the running of the Illinois Truck & Equipment Allen Crowe 100: the CGS Imaging Four Crown.
Contested annually since 1984, the CGS Imaging Four Crown tests the mettle of ARCA Menards Series drivers at four distinct types of racetracks found on the ARCA schedule – an intermediate speedway, a short track, a dirt track, and a road course.
ARCA MENARDS REWIND: What We Learned at Memphis
Formerly known as the Bill France Four Crown, named in honor of the NASCAR founder and longtime ally of ARCA, drivers hopeful of winning the award must showcase their driving talents at four diverse venues throughout the season. The rules are simple: The driver with the most cumulative race points over the four designated races wins the Four Crown. Bonus points for winning, leading laps or starting from the General Tire Pole are not counted towards a driver’s Four Crown total.
The CGS Imaging Four Crown was first awarded in 1984, with the inaugural trophy going to the late Davey Allison in his rookie season in the ARCA Menards Series. Success in the races that make up the Four Crown calendar is often a key element of the overall series championship chase. A driver has won both the Four Crown and the ARCA Menards Series championship in the same year 16 times, with Austin Theriault being the most recent racer to accomplish the sweep in 2017. The defending Four Crown winner is Bret Holmes.
The 2020 CGS Imaging Four Crown began at Michigan International Speedway for the superspeedway leg on the schedule. The VizCom 200 was won by Riley Herbst, though the win meant little in terms of the Four Crown chase as he had plans to run a limited schedule that did not include any further Four Crown races. With his second-place finish, Bret Holmes was the de facto point leader heading into the wild card road course race at Daytona International Speedway.
Road course ace Michael Self won the General Tire 100 and assumed the top spot in the Four Crown standings, having finished third at Michigan. The Four Crown then moved to the designated short track race with the Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200 at Memphis, won by young Ty Gibbs. Holmes, the day’s dominant driver, settled for third while Self came home in sixth, setting up a tight battle to be settled in the fourth and final race.
The Springfield Mile at the Illinois State Fairgrounds will be the only dirt race on the 2020 AMS schedule due to the schedule changes necessitated during the course of the season. Traditionally run under the blazing August sun, the Allen Crowe 100 will be held in October for the first time since 1997 with much milder fall weather in the forecast for Springfield.
Self and Holmes are separated by just three points at the top of the standings, with Hailie Deegan lurking nine points back should the two leaders both run into trouble.
Self, known for his road course expertise, adapted to the clay quickly and enters the Allen Crowe 100 as the defending race winner. Holmes, on the other hand, was born and raised a dirt racer with many laps under his belt at the Talladega dirt track but has never finished better than third in five AMS starts on dirt.
The present scenario has to feel like déjà vu to Self and Holmes: last year, Self also entered the final Four Crown race of the year – the short track round at Salem – leading the standings over Holmes, only for suspension issues to relegate Self to the garage for over 60 laps while Holmes became the unexpected 2019 CGS Imaging Four Crown champion.
2020 CGS Imaging Four Crown – Current Points
|Michael Self||#25 Sinclair Lubricants Toyota||Venturini Motorsports||41||43||38||122|
|Bret Holmes||#23 Holmes II Excavation Chevrolet||Bret Holmes Racing||42||36||41||119|
|Hailie Deegan||#4 Monster Energy Ford||DGR-Crosley||38||38||37||113|
|Drew Dollar||#15 Sunbelt Rentals Toyota||Venturini Motorsports||40||32||36||108|
|Thad Moffitt||#46 CleanPacs Ford||DGR-Crosley||35||33||40||108|
|Brad Smith||#48 Henshaw Automation Chevrolet||Brad Smith Motorsports||32||25||29||86|
|Mike Basham||#10 Fast Track Toyota||Fast Track Racing||27||26||32||88|