SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The field for the 59th Allen Crowe 100 presented by Lucas Oil got more interesting with the announcement that 2006 winner and hometown driver Justin Allgaier will return to contest the ARCA Menards Series event on Sunday.
After competing in the NASCAR Xfinity event at Michigan Int’l Speedway on Saturday, Allgaier will make the trek to his hometown is and substitute for another hometown driver, Kelly Kovski.
Allgaier has 16 wins, 6 poles and 207 top 10 finishes in 360 starts since 2009 in the Xfinity Series.
Allgaier won the 2008 ARCA Menards Series championship on the strength of six victories. The ARCA title led to a ride at Penske Racing in the Xfinity Series. He was the 2009 Xfinity Series Rookie of the Year and won his first Xfinity race in 2010.
Allgaier made his ARCA debut at the tender age of 16 on his hometown mile dirt track in the 2002 Allen Crowe 100 at Springfield. Already a veteran of UMP late models and midgets, he secured a ride with owner and friend Ken Schrader for the Crowe 100 and finished 17th. He finished 28th in 2003 and seventh in ’04. He also attempted the “Springfield Double” in 2004 but the championship dirt car he was assigned for the Saturday event failed to qualify for the Bettenhausen 100.
Allgaier raised the roof of the 78-year-old grandstand at Springfield in 2005 when he set a track record driving the ARCA car owned by his father Mike. The next year the grandstand nearly came down as Justin passed Bob Strait on the last lap to become the first Springfield driver to win a major auto race at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in the history of such events. He was also the first central Illinois driver to capture the Crowe 100 and at the time the youngest winner of the event.
Allgaier finished 11th and sixth at Springfield in 2007 and ’08. In seven stock car starts on the Springfield Mile he has one win, one pole, four top 10 finishes and a total of nine laps led.
On Sunday Allgaier reunites with his car owner father, former car chief and ARCA driver Kelly Kovski to compete at Springfield, some 13 years after his last race on the mile.