Concord, North Carolina (August 20, 2018) – Christian Eckes scored his second career ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards win in Sunday’s Allen Crowe 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Eckes, driving his familiar No.15 JBL Audio Toyota, took over the lead when most of the other lead lap cars pitted late in the race and held off two furious charges, first from teammate Logan Seavey and then from eventual runner up Sheldon Creed, to score his second ARCA victory of the year.
Eckes nipped Creed at the line by 0.305 seconds on a two-lap overtime dash to the checkered flag.
Eckes and crew chief Kevin Reed pitted for the final time of the day under the second caution flag at lap 50. When the rest of the lead lap cars pitted under the third caution just ten laps later, Eckes was elevated to the lead, a lead he wouldn’t give up the rest of the distance.
“I can hardly believe this,” Eckes said in victory lane. “We were 1.7 seconds off the pace in practice. I literally have no idea how we ended up here. I thought Logan Seavey would have been the car to beat, and he was, and I thought Sheldon Creed would have been the car to beat, and he was.
“I didn’t expect to win today. I thought we would have to just run the day out. Once I figured out I was driving the car all wrong it really took off.”
Logan Seavey, a Toyota Racing Development Driver making his ARCA debut with Venturini Motorsports, finished third driving his No. 20 Craftsman Toyota Camry.
“Track position was pretty big all day,” Seavey said. “We got up to the lead but got blocked on pit road and lost all of it. We went all the way back to last and had to work out way back to the front. We really struggled to pass outside of restarts. But we had a lot of fun and we’re looking forward to DuQuoin.”
“Overall it was a really solid day for our Craftsman team. I can’t thank Toyota and Craftsman Tools enough for giving me this opportunity. I’m really excited to take everything we learned and apply it to DuQuoin in a couple weeks. We’ll be ready to go.”
Natalie Decker had a very eventful Springfield debut. The 21-year old driver was delayed getting to the track after thunderstorms the day before left her in Dallas after all flights in and out were canceled. Decker missed practice but made it to the track just before qualifying.
With virtually no dirt racing experience and no practice laps Decker qualified 18th. At the drop of the green flag she would pace herself around the 1-mile dirt track, improving with each lap. Racing her way up to the sixth position Decker would settle for 10th at the checkered flag.
There were six lead changes between five drivers. Eckes led the most laps on the day, pacing the field for a total of 47 laps. There were six cautions for 38 laps, holding the average speed to 71.200 miles per hour.
The next event on the schedule for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards is the rescheduled Primera Plastics 200 at Berlin Raceway on Saturday, August 25. ARCARacing.com will have live timing, scoring, and race radio broadcast for registered users starting at 8:30 pm ET.
ABOUT VENTURINI MOTORSPORTS:
Over the last 35-years Venturini Motorsports (VMS) has evolved into one of the most recognizable names in professional motorsports. Known for long-time dominance in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, Venturini Motorsports is held in high regard as one of the premier NASCAR driver development programs in the county. Since 2007, VMS has specialized in the career development of some of today’s top racing talent including current NASCAR “Stars” – Joey Logano, Erik Jones, William Byron, Alex Bowman, Ryan Blaney, Darryl ‘Bubba’ Wallace Jr., Daniel Suarez, Christopher Bell, Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, Ben Rhoads, Ryan Reed, Brandon Jones, Matt Tifft, Brennan Poole, Dalton Sargeant, Justin Haley and Todd Gilliland. Integrity, dedication and continuous innovation paired with years of on-track success has helped define Venturini Motorsports as one of the longest tenured teams in all of modern day racing. In 2012, the Venturini racing family was recognized for their collective achievements and inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame – now finding themselves enshrined with such sports icons as Joe DiMaggio, Mario Andretti, Chip Ganassi, Andy Granatelli, Vince Lombardi, Tommy Lasorda and Rocky Marciano.