Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Pursuit of ARCA's Prestigious Bill France Four Crown Award Begins Friday at Michigan Int'l Speedway
TOLEDO, Ohio -- The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards is renowned for its diverse schedule. From superspeedways to short tracks and from dirt tracks to road courses, drivers are challenged on a wide variety of track types and surfaces.
While only one driver will earn the coveted national championship, there's another prestigious title within ARCA's framework up for grabs each season - the Bill France Four Crown award.
The award, depictive of the series' versatility, is a separate point fund that tests drivers on four very different tracks. This year's Bill France Four Crown will include events in four different months on the calendar, and competition for the celebrated prize begins this weekend in the RainEater Wiper Blades 200 at Michigan International Speedway, the newly-paved two-mile superspeedway in the Wolverine State's Irish Hills region.
Filling out the Four Crown schedule are: the July 1 road course event at New Jersey Motorsports Park's challenging Thunderbolt Raceway; the August 19 dirt mile race at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield; and the September 15 short track showdown at Salem Speedway in Indiana.
The award is certainly important for whom it's named after - Bill France Sr. - but also for what it represents: variety. No other touring series requires drivers to compete on as many different styles of tracks as the ARCA Racing Series does. The award truly captures the essence of ARCA competition.
The very first Bill France Four Crown championship was awarded in 1984 to the late Davey Allison, a rookie at that time. Last season, Chad McCumbee won the Bill France Four Crown with finishes of third, eighth, first, and ninth in the four events.
Frank Kimmel is the all-time leading Bill France Four Crown champion with six titles. 12 of the last 28 ARCA Racing Series champions have also won the Bill France Four Crown, but the award certainly gives other drivers a chance to shine outside of the regular championship chase. In fact, the Four Crown winner has been someone other than the series champion in each of the last four seasons.
Past Bill France Four Crown Award Champions:
1984 - Davey Allison
1985 - Lee Raymond
1986 - Lee Raymond
1987 - Grant Adcox
1988 - Grant Adcox
1989 - Tracy Leslie
1990 - Bob Keselowski
1991 - Bobby Bowsher/Bill Venturini (Tie)
1992 - Bobby Bowsher
1993 - Bob Keselowski
1994 - Bob Hill
1995 - Harris DeVane
1996 - Tim Steele
1997 - Tim Steele
1998 - Frank Kimmel
1999 - Bill Baird
2000 - Tim Steele
2001 - Frank Kimmel
2002 - Frank Kimmel
2003 - Jason Jarrett
2004 - Brent Sherman
2005 - Frank Kimmel
2006 - Blake Bjorklund
2007 - Frank Kimmel
2008 - Frank Kimmel
2009 - Parker Kligerman
2010 - Joey Coulter
2011 - Chad McCumbee
Practice for the RainEater Wiper Blades 200 will begin at 4:05 p.m. Thursday and will last for one hour and 35 minutes. Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell will start at 10 a.m. Friday, ahead of the 5 p.m. race. The 100-lap, 200-mile race will air live on SPEED. ARCARacing.com will feature live timing and scoring coverage of all on-track events.
2012 is the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards' 60th Anniversary Season, featuring 20 races at 18 tracks. The complete 2012 event schedule is available at ARCARacing.com.
The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards has crowned an ARCA national champion each year since its inaugural season in 1953, and has toured over 200 race tracks in 26 states since its inception. The series has tested the abilities of drivers and race teams over the most diverse schedule of stock car racing events in the world, visiting tracks ranging from 0.375 mile to 2.66 miles in length, on both paved and dirt surfaces as well as a left- and right-turn road course in its most recent season. This year, the series visited Alabama's Mobile International Speedway and Minnesota's Elko Speedway for the first time.
Founded by John and Mildred Marcum in 1953 in Toledo, Ohio, the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is recognized among the leading sanctioning bodies in the country. Closing in on completing its sixth decade after hundreds of thousands of miles of racing, ARCA administers over 100 race events each season in three professional touring series and local weekly events.