SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Michael Self held off his Venturini Motorsports teammate Christian Eckes on a two-lap dash to the checkered to earn his fourth series victory of the season Sunday in the Allen Crowe 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.
Self, the current series championship leader, took the lead from another Venturini Motorsports teammate and General Tire Pole Award winner Logan Seavey shortly after halfway. From there, Self build a nearly four-second advantage over the field until an incident in turn four involving Ty Gibbs and Joe Graf Jr. with less than 10 laps to go.
The race would get restarted at the scheduled conclusion, lap 100, setting up a green-white-checkered dash to the checkered.
Self got the break on the restart and battled side-by-side with upstart rookie Corey Heim, but the two made contact in turns three and four. Self dashed to the lead while Heim dropped through the field allowing Eckes to move into second.
“I did not want to see that last yellow,” Self said. “I was really nervous about it. I knew we had to get a great restart. It was pretty wild going off into turns one and two.”
For his part, Heim was disappointed but he knew what to expect going into the final couple of laps.
“We just got pushed up into the loose dirt in turns three and four,” Heim said. “If I was in that position that’s what I would have done too. It sucks we lost all those positions. We stayed patient all day and worked the bottom groove and did what we needed to do. It’s disappointing to end up seventh after the day we had.”
Eckes was happy to come across the line in second knowing he could have given up a lot more ground to Self in the ARCA Menards Series championship battle.
“We’re happy with second but we needed more than that today,” Eckes said. “We were fourth before that last restart so it could have been worse than that. It’s just a shame we gave up everything we picked up at Pocono.”
Bret Holmes was third, Seavey fourth and Will Kimmel was fifth.
Michael Self, Christian Eckes, Bret Holmes, Logan Seavey, Will Kimmel, Kelly Kovski, Corey Heim, Carson Hocevar, Ryan Unzicker, Joe Graf Jr., Travis Braden, Dick Doheny, Tim Richmond, Bobby Gerhart, Ty Gibbs, Brad Smith, Dale Shearer, Mike Basham, Tommy Vigh Jr., Eric Caudell, Wayne Peterson.