Pursuit of ARCA's Prestigious Bill France Four Crown Award
Begins Sunday at New Jersey Motorsports Park
ARCA's Diverse Sechedule Reflected in Four Crown Award
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 continually challenged on a wide variety of track types and surfaces.
And 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 ModSpace 150 at New Jersey Motorsports Park's Thunderbolt Raceway, a 14-turn road course in southern New Jersey.
Filling out the Four Crown schedule will be: the June 17 speedway event at the 2-mile Michigan International Speedway; the August 21 dirt mile race at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield; and the September 17 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: ARCA's versatility. 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. Twenty-five years later another rookie, Parker Kligerman, would earn the honor driving for Cunningham Motorsports.
Last season, Joey Coulter won the Bill France Four Crown Award with finishes of first, second, fourth, and eighth in the four events, all scheduled in August. Frank Kimmel is the all-time Bill France Four Crown champion with six Bill France Four Crown titles.
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
Two Saturday practices are scheduled for the ModSpace 150, from 11:15 a.m.-12:45 p.m. and 1:45-2:45 p.m. Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell - won on all three occasions in 2011 by Dillon - will begin at 4:30 p.m., in turn setting the field for Sunday's race, which starts at 1 p.m. Live timing and scoring coverage of all ARCA Racing Series activity will be available on ARCARacing.com.
2010 ARCA Racing Series winner Tom Hessert is a New Jersey native hoping for some home-state love at NJ Motorsoprts Park. (ARCA Photo)