David Levine Scores Solid Seventh at Springfieldby Kyle Pokrefky August 27, 2015 0 comments
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Entering the Allen Crowe 100 at Illinois State Fairgrounds on Sunday, Illinoisan David Levine likely was not on your shortlist for favorites for the event.
However, following a seventh-place effort in his first career dirt race, Levine’s stock as a favorite entering the Southern Illinois 100 at DuQuoin State Fairgrounds has skyrocketed.
The leading driver in the ARCA Racing Series’s Scott Rookie Challenge didn’t get his weekend in Springfield off to the best start after turning in the 18th-fastest lap in the lone practice for Sunday’s 100-lap race. However, thanks to the benefit of having a top-12 starting spot due to qualifying raining out and watching how his fellow competitors attacked the race track, he was able to rebound to his ninth top-10 of the season.
“Definitely got to thank MOMO, Ford Performance and TracGear for everything they did because our Lira Motorsports Fusion was just an absolute rocket,” Levine said. “My first time on dirt and we started off six seconds off pace and we ended up with the third or fourth-fastest lap of the day. I’ve got to say a big thanks to my crew. We definitely had a car that could have competed for the win.
The driver of Lira Motorsports’s No. 59 Ford sat in row two on a late restart with less than 10 laps to go but found himself going backwards after getting into some oil dropped by the No. 25 Toyota of Frank Kimmel.
“We definitely had it, but we got really unlucky on the restart when the No. 25 blew up,” Levine stated. “ARCA decided to leave him out there and he blew up on the restart a second time – I went through oil and we slipped from fourth to twelfth.
“We were able to fight back to seventh. Like I said, massive thanks to our crew and all of our sponsors. We know we’ve got a fast car, we’ll be back and we’ll get them next [race.]”
Being his first race on dirt, Levine looked to other drivers for advice prior to hitting the mile-long clay oval.
Levine, a native of Highland Park, Ill. – about 215 miles northeast of Springfield, sought out advice from ARCA’s Kimmel clan consisting of 10-time driver champ Frank, his brother and owner of Kimmel Racing, Bill, and Bill’s son, Will, on how to best get around the track.
“Frank, Will and Bill Kimmel, like always,” Levine stated. “I’ve been able to lean on those guys all year – especially Will once we were out there. We were able to get together for 20, 30-40 laps and we were able to stay together so I could learn a whole lot from him and then I was able to tell the guys on the pit box what I wanted changed.”
Levine heads into the Southern Illinois 100 fifth in the drivers standings – 405 points out of Grant Enfinger’s points lead.
Photo Credit: Kyle Pokrefky/The Fourth Turn