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Tyler Speer

Springfield, Ill. (August 17, 2017) - Tyler Speer spent all day Wednesday going over the car he'll be driving in the Herr's Potato Chips 100 Sunday afternoon at the Illinois State Fairground mile dirt in Springfield. The Woodstock, Georgia champion boat racer hasn’t driven an ARCA car in nearly a year. Good thing it's just "like riding a bicycle."

"It'd be better if we ran more but once we get into practice, it's just like riding a bicycle," said Speer. "It's been almost a year…I'm looking forward to it."

Speer spent all day Wednesday at Andy Hillenburg's Fast Track racing shop in North Carolina investigating the composite car he'll be wheeling at both Springfield and DuQuoin.

"We just went over the set-up…did our normal nut and bolt check...making sure everything's ready."

Speer is pretty good at "making sure everything's ready." Speer is the 2016 Lucas Oil Drag Boat Series Pro Mod world champion. This year, he's stepped his game up to the faster Pro Outlaw boats full-time, mixing in the Top Fuel boats when he can. Top Fuel on the water is equivalent to the NHRA Top Fuel machines on land. As you might imagine, Speer is still turning heads, currently ranked 3rd in the nation in the Pro Outlaw division, and won in only his second time out on the Colorado River in Parker, Arizona. His career-best speed mark is a breezy 240 mph in 3.7 seconds in 1000 feet.

With a weekend away from drag boat racing, Speer has opted for an ARCA adventure, which has become his typical routine, running Springfield and DuQuoin annually. He'll be driving the No. 10 car at Springfield. It'll be his first start in a composite car.

Tyler Speer

"I'm looking forward to figuring out the composite car. We were the highest finishing steel car at DuQuoin last year and the second-highest at Springfield, but the weight penalty thing didn't help. Andy's got a composite car ready for us this year."

Speer finished 7th at both Springfield and DuQuoin last year. Despite not having the composite car, he did run the ARCA Ilmor 396 engine for the first time in 2016.

"I can already see where the ARCA Ilmor motor is making a difference in the series. It's just getting more competitive all the time. We started to see it last year with the Ilmor thing…they weren't walking us down the straightaway like in years past."

10-time ARCA Racing Series national champion Frank Kimmel is the all-time Springfield winner with eight wins, his most recent in 2012. Over the years, championship stock car winners at Springfield include Curtis Turner (’63), Don White (’66, ’67, ’72), Al Unser (’72), Jack Bowsher (’73), Roger McCluskey (’74), Ramo Stott (’76, ’77, ’80), AJ Foyt (’79), Joe Ruttman (’80), Dean Roper (’81, ’82, ’83, ’83, ’85, ’86), Bob Keselowski (’87, ’88, ’89, ’93), Bobby Bowsher (’91, ’92), Tim Steele (‘96, ’97), Ken Schrader (’98), Bill Baird (’99, ’04), Justin Allgaier (’06), Parker Kligerman (’09), Kimmel (’00, ’01, ’02. ’03, ’05, ’07, ’08, ‘12), Kevin Swindell ('14), AJ Fike ('15) and Justin Haley ('16).

Herr's Potato Chips 100 Schedule
Practice for the Herr's Potato Chips 100 is scheduled from 9-10 a.m. with General Tire Pole Qualifying following at 11. The 55th annual Herr's Potato Chips 100 starts at 1:30 p.m. All times are local Central.

Live on MAVTV
The Herr's Potato Chips 100 will be live on MAVTV. will feature live timing and scoring and live chat of all on-track activity throughout the afternoon.

Discounted Tickets at area Menards
Now's the time to buy your discounted tickets for the big show, on sale now at 10 Menards stores in Illinois through Saturday, August 19.

Fans can save $10 off the $30 gate price at two Menards stores in Springfield (Menards North and South), as well as stores in Champaign, Effingham, Forsyth, Normal, Pekin, Peoria, Quincy and Washington. Discounted tickets are $20 at Menards for ages 12 on up. Kids, 11 and under, are still $10 at the gate. For more information and the complete listing of stores offering discounted tickets.

By Don Radebaugh

Television Schedule

Sunday, March 3
8:00 PM
- Wheatland, MO