In only his second career start, 15-year-old Brent Crews scored his first career ARCA Menards Series victory as he won the Dutch Boy 100 from The Springfield Mile at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.
A relatively uneventful race also saw Jesse Love score a third-place finish to continue his healthy points lead.
Crews’ victory capped off the weekend sweep for Venturini Motorsports. Love won the ARCA race at Watkins Glen International on Friday (Aug. 18), Sean Hingorani won the ARCA Menards Series West race at Evergreen Speedway on Saturday night and Crews won at The Springfield Mile on Sunday.
The race began with polesitter Crews shooting out to an early lead from the pole, but it was Love who looked most impressive at the start as he went from his starting position of fourth up to second within the first set of corners.
Love continued his ascent to the top of the board when he got around Crews to claim the lead on lap 18.
As Love and Crews battled for the lead, other frontrunners encountered problems, as both William Sawalich and Christian Rose battled overheating issues. Sawalich’s team made the requisite repairs and sent him back out on his way without losing too much ground, but Rose wasn’t so lucky as his overheating issues set him back multiple laps down.
The first caution on the day flew on lap 33 as Sean Corr’s engined expired and Ken Schrader spun in the fluid Corr’s powerplant had left behind. Corr’s day came to an end while Schrader was able to continue.
While there weren’t many on-track battles or incidents in the first half of the race, some underdogs worked their way up into the top 10 and even the top five, providing interesting stories to follow.
Kelly Kovski, a regular competitor in ARCA’s dirt races, ran as high as third and stayed within the top five for most of the afternoon. Dale Quarterley also remained inside the top 10 for the majority of the race, and he even climbed as high as fourth in the running order shortly before the race’s halfway mark.
A caution for a Taylor Reimer spin on lap 48 served as the race’s halfway break and allowed teams to change tires and make adjustments.
The biggest moment of the race occurred shortly after the midway break as Crews got into Love to retake the lead with 47 to go. The contact sent Love wide into turn 3, allowing Andres Perez de Lara to slip past him into second as Crews pulled away to take a commanding lead.
Crews set a blistering pace for the remainder of the event, as the FOX Sports 1 booth pointed out that most of his lap times were faster than his pole speed from earlier in the day. It became clear that only a caution could stop Crews from scoring the victory, and that caution never came.
After taking the lead with 47 laps to go, Crews didn’t look back from there, as he lapped all but three of his competitors and won by more than 20 seconds. Crews certainly made a statement with his dominant win and claimed the first of the two dirt races in the Performance Seed Dirt Double.
Perez de Lara scored a runner-up finish to end his relatively quiet afternoon on a high note. Love held on to finish third, Kovski finished a solid fourth and Sawalich managed to overcome early adversity to round out the top five with a fifth-place finish.
ARCA will once again be in action Sun., Aug. 27 for the Sprecher 150 from The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wis. Be sure to tune in next Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 to catch all the 150-lap ARCA action.
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