TOLEDO, Ohio (Aug. 10, 2017) – Springfield, Illinois' Kelly Kovski will again return to the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, pairing with an 'ole friend for the Herr's Potato Chips 100 coming to the Illinois State Fairgrounds mile dirt in Springfield Sunday, August 20.
"I'm really excited," said Kovski. "Grant's (Enfinger) is going to drive it. We're getting the old team back together."
Kovski's reference to the "old team" would be his friends and co-workers at Allgaier Motorsports, who are currently preparing a car for Enfinger to drive in the race at Springfield. Kovski has worked with Enfinger a lot over the years in the capacity of crew chief, dirt mentor and good friend.
Under Kovski's direction, the Allgaier team, with some good old-fashioned volunteers, have assembled a new piece for Springfield.
"The guys at the shop have built a new composite car. Mike (Allgaier) is helping us with an Ilmor motor. My dad and I bought a brand new chassis in the off-season. Mike knew someone over at Gibbs and we ended up getting a composite body from them. The guys on this Allgaier team have worked really hard on this. I'm really excited how the race car is coming out."
Kovski isn't the only one excited about coming back to ARCA.
"Heck yeah…I love the ARCA Series," said Enfinger. "This is Kelly's deal…I'm just showing up to race. Our intention is to have fun, but we're both really competitive racers and we're coming to win. I've never won at Springfield…Kelly's always been good there, but that one has eluded us."
Enfinger, the 2015 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards national champion driver, won back-to-back dirt races at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds in 2014 and '15. Enfinger was also the General Tire pole winner at DuQuoin in '15.
Enfinger currently competes fulltime on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series tour for ThorSport Racing, and is currently 8th in the championship standings.
"Every bit of my effort is in the Truck Series; that's why I said I'm just showing up to drive it," Enfinger continued. "I don't want to take anything away from the Truck deal but I love running ARCA races and I've loved all my ARCA experiences…I really enjoy being around all the people. The dirt's really fun even though I don't consider myself a dirt racer."
It's worth noting that the last time Enfinger climbed into an ARCA car, he climbed out the winner in Victory Lane at Pocono Raceway in June of 2016.
Reuniting with Enfinger and the ARCA tour in his hometown Springfield will no doubt be therapeutic for Kovski. This past February, Kovski was struck by a sprint car that had careened off the track. There were multiple injuries as a result of the accident from which he continues to mend. Kovski and Enfinger have stayed close through the entire ordeal.
"It really shook us up," Enfinger said. "Kelly's not only been a vital part of my racing career, we've been close friends through a lot. He's definitely going to be my crew chief at Springfield. I'm just showing up and driving. This is something he really wanted to do. We're both pretty stubborn. When he first asked me, at first I thought…well…but the more I thought about it, I think it'd be fine…let's do it."
10-time ARCA Racing Series national champion Frank Kimmel is the all-time Springfield winner with eight wins, his most recent in 2012. Over the years, championship stock car winners at Springfield include Curtis Turner (’63), Don White (’66, ’67, ’72), Al Unser (’72), Jack Bowsher (’73), Roger McCluskey (’74), Ramo Stott (’76, ’77, ’80), AJ Foyt (’79), Joe Ruttman (’80), Dean Roper (’81, ’82, ’83, ’83, ’85, ’86), Bob Keselowski (’87, ’88, ’89, ’93), Bobby Bowsher (’91, ’92), Tim Steele (‘96, ’97), Ken Schrader (’98), Bill Baird (’99, ’04), Justin Allgaier (’06), Parker Kligerman (’09), Kimmel (’00, ’01, ’02. ’03, ’05, ’07, ’08, ‘12), Kevin Swindell ('14), AJ Fike ('15) and Justin Haley ('16).
Herr's Potato Chips 100 Schedule
Practice for the Herr's Potato Chips 100 is scheduled from 9-10 a.m. with General Tire Pole Qualifying following at 11. The 55th annual Herr's Potato Chips 100 starts at 1:30 p.m. All times are local Central.
Live on MAVTV
The Herr's Potato Chips 100 will be live on MAVTV. Look for Live Timing, Scoring and Chat at arcaracing.com.