By Zach Sturniolo, ARCA Menards Series
Corey Heim dominated the Allen Crowe 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds and rolled to the ARCA Menards Series victory Sunday on the Springfield Mile.
Heim started on the General Tire Pole and led all but a handful of laps during the 100-lap feature on the one-mile clay oval. Heim’s only slip came moments before the second scheduled break of the race while trying to lap Mike Goudie.
“Can’t thank my Venturini Motorsports team enough for battling back today,” Heim said. “I know we kind of got behind at one point but felt good about my car all day and just wanted to bring it home first.”
Heim, the race’s only leader at that point, caught Goudie in the center of Turns 3 and 4 and contacted Goudie’s left rear. That resulted in a dented right-front bumper for Heim while Goudie was sent spinning, destroying the nose of Goudie’s No. 11 car.
That relegated Heim back to third while Taylor Gray took the lead and Ty Gibbs moved into second. On the following restart, Gray was able to pull away with the lead but Heim did retake second ahead of the break.
Jesse Love, in the No. 15 Toyota for Venturini Motorsports, stayed out under the break electing to take track position instead of new tires. That set him on the inside of the front row for the final dash to the finish with Gray to his outside, Heim behind him and Gibbs fourth.
Heim got a great restart, and thanks to the repairs made by his Venturini team under the break, rocketed past Love for the lead and never looked back. Gibbs followed Heim through and finished second while Gray finished third and Love fell to fifth.
Rejoining the ARCA Menards Series on Sunday was NASCAR Xfinity Series regular Justin Allgaier, who hadn’t competed in ARCA since winning the series championship in 2008. Allgaier started eighth Sunday and charged through to finish fourth.
Defending race winner Ryan Unzicker was optimistic entering the contest and qualified ninth. But an engine issue cut his day short after just 23 laps, relegating Unzicker and his No. 24 car to the garage early.
“Looks like we got overheated there,” Unzicker said. “One of my guys said the lower radiator hose had sprung a hole in it, and once we pulled in it broke completely so that’s unfortunate. We had a really good car in the race. I felt good but comfortable, just trying to work my way up through there but just hate it for the team. These chances don’t come around very often.”
Rounding out the lead-lap finishers were Will Kimmel in sixth, followed by Landen Lewis, Tim Monroe and Toni Breidinger. D.L. Wilson finished 10th, 16 laps down after losing power on Lap 84.