Unzicker Controls The Springfield Mile

Ryan Unzicker dominated Sunday's ARCA Menards Series event at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. (ARCA Photo)
Ryan Unzicker dominated Sunday's ARCA Menards Series event at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. (ARCA Photo)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Ryan Unzicker claimed his first ARCA Menards Series victory during Sunday’s Illinois Truck & Equipment Allen Crowe 100 on the Springfield Mile at the Illinois State Fairgrounds and he did it in dominant fashion.

The 39-year-old dirt track ringer from nearby El Paso, Ill., started on the pole and led all but one lap en route to the checkered flag.

“To lead all 100 laps here at the Springfield Mile, I don’t even know what to say yet,” said Unzicker. “Very proud of my team, and I’m glad we got this new race car.”

Unzicker indeed was in a new No. 24 RJR Transportation/Hummingbird Winery Chevrolet for Bill Hendren, who said during Sunday’s ARCA Menards Series broadcast on MAVTV he knew he needed a new car after Unzicker placed ninth at Springfield last season.

Hendren, whose tenure at Springfield goes back to the 1970s, has longest active streak of any participant in the Illinois Truck & Equipment Allen Crowe 100.

Deegan, who led at the line on a Lap 101 restart, finished second after a wreck with three laps to go took contenders Michael Self and Corey Heim out of the race and pushed the race to overtime.

Self’s DNF paved the way for Bret Holmes, who finished third at Springfield, to clinch the 2020 CGS Imaging Four Crown championship for the second year in a row.

Contested annually since 1984, the CGS Imaging Four Crown tests the mettle of ARCA Menards Series drivers at four distinct types of racetracks found on the ARCA schedule – an intermediate speedway, a short track, a dirt track, and a road course.

In addition, Holmes improved his overall ARCA Menards Series championship lead to seven over Self heading into the season finale in two weeks.

Taylor Gray and Kelly Kovski rounded out the top five Sunday at Springfield.

The finish:

Ryan Unzicker, Hailie Deegan, Bret Holmes, Tanner Gray, Kello Kovski, Mike Basham, Drew Dollar, Corey Heim, Michael Self, Ty Gibbs, Tim Richmond, Tim Monroe, Brad Smith, Will Kimmel, Owen Smith, Eric Caudell, Wayne Peterson.