Race Weekend Central

ARCA Preview: 2019 Southern Illinois 100 at DuQuoin State Fairgrounds

The ARCA Menards Series heads to Southern Illinois for the second and final stop on dirt, with a Labor Day classic taking place on Sunday, Aug. 31, on the dirt track of DuQuoin State Fairgrounds.

As the season winds down, the championship battle gets tighter and tighter. The last time ARCA raced, Michael Self got the upper hand on Christian Eckes at Illinois State Fairgrounds, but the New York native kept Self in his sights with a second-place finish. Self earned his fourth victory of 2019, while Eckes earned his third second-place finish. The points gap between the two is now at 105 points with four races remaining in the season.

The last time ARCA was at DuQuoin, Venturini Motorsports driver Logan Seavey picked up his first career victory. He returns to the series for the second straight race after finishing fourth two weeks ago in Springfield, Ill. The dirt veteran earned that win in just the second start of his career.

Tyler Speer returns to ARCA for the first time since 2017. The drag boat racing star has not been seen behind the wheel of an ARCA car since this race two years ago. Despite having a few starts on asphalt, Speer’s cup of tea comes on the dirt tracks of Springfield and DuQuoin. He will be making his 14th start of his career behind the wheel of the No. 11 car for Fast Track Enterprises. He has a career-best finish of seventh, which he has done four times — most recently at Springfield in 2017.

ARCA veteran Bobby Gerhart is on the entry list for the second straight race of 2019. Gerhart finished 14th at Springfield and has the best finish of 12th at Pocono Raceway earlier this season. He will make start No. 340 in the series on Sunday. The ARCA veteran has tallied nine victories, 55 top fives and 124 top 10s in his career. His career-best finish at DuQuoin came back in 1988, when he finished seventh.

Sherman, Ill. native Kelly Kovski will run his second straight race of 2019 and the 30th start of his career. DuQuoin has bookended Kovski’s top fives, with him earning one in 2011 and one in 2016. He earned a sixth-place finish two weeks ago in Springfield and will look to pull his momentum into a strong finish on Sunday.

Speaking of Illinois natives, Ryan Unzicker will also make his second straight start. Unzicker finished ninth in Springfield, his fourth straight top-10 finish. The dirt late model driver will look to better his best career finish earned at Springfield in 2016, when he finished third.

NASCAR and ARCA veteran Ken Schrader returns to competition this weekend piloting his self-owned No. 52 Ford Fusion — the same car that Austin Theriault won the championship in in 2017. Theriault also earned the victory at DuQuoin that season. It will be Schrader’s 83rd start in the series. The veteran has three victories at DuQuoin, most recently in 2013. The competition needs to be on the lookout with the veteran Schrader in the field.

The 2019 Southern Illinois 100 Entry List

The Southern Illinois 100 goes live on MavTV at 9 p.m. ET.

About the author

His favorite tracks on the circuit include Barber Motorsports Park, Iowa Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville, and Bristol Motor Speedway.

During the season, Christian also spends time as a photographer with multiple other outlets shooting Monster Energy AMA Supercross, Minor League & Major League Baseball, and NCAA Football.

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So they got Schrader to help fill the entries out….hmmmm….

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