Toledo, OH (September 2, 2018) – ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards rookie driver Zane Smith (No. 41 LaPaz Margarita Mix/ICON Vehicle Dynamics Toyota) still has his eyes on the big prize, the 2018 ARCA National Championship. But while he’s chasing one teammate for a series title, another teammate is chasing him for the Scott Rookie Challenge Rookie of the Year title.
Smith, the California driver who narrowly missed his fifth victory of the season Saturday night at Berlin Raceway, trails MDM Motorsports teammate Sheldon Creed (No. 28 United Rentals Toyota) by 220 points with just four races remaining. While Creed’s point lead is substantial, Smith has the proven race-winning ability to close the gap and catch Creed if he can continue to run up front to close out the season.
“I have seen some of the names who have won the ARCA rookie of the year award,” Smith said, referring to drivers such as Charlie Glotzbach, Benny Parsons, Davey Allison, Alex Bowman, and Chris Buescher, all former ARCA rookie of the year award winners.. “Any time you can add your name to a list like that it’s important. And it would be nice to add to my resume as I look towards the future. We haven’t given up on chasing down Sheldon for the championship, but if we can’t do that we really want to win the rookie of the year award.”
In addition to occupying the runner-up spot in the championship standings, Smith is leading the Scott Rookie Challenge points over another MDM teammate, Chase Purdy (No. 8 Bama Buggies Toyota).
“Chase has had a really good season,” Smith said. “I don’t really look at it like we’re racing a teammate. We’re out there doing what we need to do, and so is he. We know we’re going to race each other hard but not do anything to take each other out or force the other to have a bad day.”
Purdy has had a solid rookie season, but has yet to find his way to victory lane. He has posted seven top-five finishes, including runner-up finishes to Smith at Toledo, and to Creed at Gateway. More troubling for Purdy have been bad outings at Daytona (21st), Talladega (25th), Charlotte (24th), and Springfield (18th).
However, the Scott Rookie Challenge program only counts a drivers best 15 finishes, which will give Purdy a shot at the Scott Rookie Title. He’ll need a strong finish over the final four races, beginning this weekend at DuQuoin.
“It’s really important for a driver any time we can win an award like the Scott Rookie of the Year,” Purdy said. “Zane has been excellent on the short tracks this season, but we’ve been right there with him a few times. We’ve been second, we’ve been third, we just needed a little more luck on our side to get that first win.”
Purdy isn’t just a rookie in the ARCA Racing Series, he’s a dirt rookie as well. He will be making just his second ever start on dirt at DuQuoin; the first was two weeks ago at Springfield.
“I had a lot more fun on dirt than I thought I would have,” Purdy said. “It’s fun slinging these big cars around on dirt. You’re always sliding, always hustling, and never going straight. It was a ton of fun and I can’t wait to get to go for it again at DuQuoin.”
The General Tire Grabber 100 at DuQuoin is scheduled for Labor Day, Monday September 3. Practice is scheduled for 10:45 am ET/9:45 am CT, General Tire Pole Qualifying is scheduled for 12:30 pm ET/11:30 am CT, and the green flag will wave at 3 pm ET/2 pm CT. The race will be televised live on MAVTV and ARCARacing.com will have live timing, scoring, track updates, and scanner audio throughout all on track sessions all day for registered users.
FAST FACTS: General Tire Grabber 100 presented by Federated Auto Parts
WHAT: General Tire Grabber 100 presented by Federated Auto Parts
SANCTION: ARCA Racing Series presented by MenardS
WHERE: DuQuoin State Fair Racetrack
TRACK LENGTH: 1 mile
RACE LENGTH: 100 laps/100 miles
WHEN: 3 pm ET/2 pm CT, Monday, September 3, 2018
2017 WINNER: Austin Theriault, 79.800 mph
2017 POLE: Will Kimmel, 109.290 mph
TRACK RECORD: Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 109.436 mph, 2008
- The General Tire Grabber 100 is the 17th race of 20 on the 2018 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. It is also the ninth round of the 2018 Sioux Chief Short Track Challenge, an eleven-race championship-within-a-championship that takes place on tracks one-mile in length and less throughout the season. Other SCSTC races remaining on the schedule are Friday night at Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg, Indiana, and Salem Speedway, in Salem, Indiana.
- The DuQuoin State Fair Racetrack is one of two one-mile dirt tracks on the ARCA Racing Series schedule; the other is the Springfield Mile at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.
- The General Tire Grabber 100 marks the third time the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards will visit Illinois in 2018. Illinois hosts more ARCA events than any other state with four; it joins Indiana (3), Michigan (2), and Pennsylvania (2) as the only states with multiple ARCA events in 2018; Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Wisconsin play host to single series events throughout the season.
- There have been 34 previous ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards races at DuQuoin dating back to 1983. Winners include Dean Roper (1983, 1986, 1987, 1994), David Goldsberry (1984), Lee Raymond (1985), Bob Keselowski (1988, 1989), Bob Brevak (1990), Bob Strait (1991), Bob Schacht (1992), Billy Thomas (1993, 1997, 1998, 2000), Bob Hill (1995, 1996), Jeff Finley (1999), Frank Kimmel (2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2008), Tony Stewart (2003), Ken Schrader (2006, 2007, 2013), Parker Kligerman (2009), Steve Arpin (2010), Chris Buescher (2011), Grant Enfinger (2014, 2015), Tom Hessert III (2016), and Austin Theriault (2017).
- The deepest anyone has ever come from at the start to win is 34th when Parker Kligerman won in 2009.
- The race has been won from the General Tire Pole only five times: Bob Hill in 1996, Tony Stewart in 2003, Ken Schrader in 2006and 2013, and Grant Enfinger in 2015.
- The record for lead changes at DuQuoin is 11, set in 1995 in a race won by Bob Hill.
- The record for most cautions at DuQuoin is 12, set in 2003 in a race won by Tony Stewart. The record for most laps under caution was also set in 2003 with 57.
- The record for the fewest cautions at DuQuoin is 3 set in the series’ first race in 1983.
- The fastest race was also in 1983 when Dean Roper won at an average speed of 90.101 miles per hour.
- From 1988 through 1992, the race was won by a driver whose first name was Bob. Bob Keselowski won in 1988 and 1989, Bob Brevak won in 1990, Bob Strait won in 1991, and Bob Schacht won in 1992. Bob Hill is the fifth driver named Bob to win, with a pair of wins in 1995 and 1996.
- From 1984 through 1991, the races at DuQuoin were scheduled for 200 miles. The 1984 race took 3 hours, 22 minutes and 38 seconds; winner David Goldsberry averaged just under 60 miles per hour en route to victory.
- In 1992, the race was shorted to 250 kilometers, or 156 miles. That distance was scheduled through 1995.
- In 1996, the race was cut back to 100 laps, 100 miles.
- The race has been extended to overtime eleven times in history: 1994,1995, 1996, 2002, 2003, 2008, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017.
- The 2012 race was rained out on its original Labor Day date, and rained out again on it’s mid-October make-up date and canceled.
- Rain has otherwise shortened the race twice, in 1991 and 2004.
- There have been a total of 88 cautions so far in the 2018 ARCA season, for an average of 5.5 per race; the total number of laps under caution so far is 556, for an average of 34.75 per race.
- There have been a total of 136 lead changes so far in 2018 for an average of 8.5 per race. Twenty-five drivers have led at least one lap so far this season; Chandler Smith has led the most at 564.