Late August is time for the ARCA Menards Series to get dirty.
With the exception of 1997 and 2020, when the races were held in October, the series has competed on the Springfield Mile at the Illinois State Fairgrounds every August since 1984. That doesn’t include ARCA’s inaugural event on the one-mile dirt (technically clay) oval in 1983, which was held in June and won by Dean Roper.
This tradition has become a staple on the ARCA Menards Series schedule, with the Allen Crowe 100 taking place as part of the last weekend of fair in the state capital on an annual basis. The race is among the most physical for drivers and among the most entertaining for fans of the series.
Below is everything to know about the Springfield Mile at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.
Track Profile: Springfield Mile at the Illinois State Fairgrounds
|Location||Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois|
The Springfield Mile was built in the late 1800s, but 1910 marked the beginning of its hosting professional auto racing. That makes it one of the oldest and most iconic speedways in the United States.
The clay oval we recognize today was configured in the winter of 1926-1927, when the grandstands along the frontstretch were constructed.
In 1934, the fair received an American Automobile Association national championship race, just one of four on the schedule, courtesy of legendary promoter Ralph “Pappy” Hankinson. The track has hosted national championship dirt racing ever since.
The ARCA Menards Series’ Springfield tradition began almost 40 years ago. Frank Kimmel, the series’ all-time wins leader, has the most Springfield victories with eight.
That includes Kimmel’s four consecutive victories on the one-mile clay oval from 2000-2003. He also won back-to-back events at Springfield in 2007 and 2008.
The 2012 event, also won by Kimmel, set a record for an ARCA race at the mile with an average speed of 95.265 mph.
ARCA Menards Series races at the Springfield Mile