FOLLOW
US:




08/22 2016

17-year-old Justin Haley is ARCA’s youngest winner at Illinois Fairgrounds AUTOWEEK

17 year old Justin Haley is ARCAs youngest winner at Illinois Fairgrounds

Justin Haley celebrates his first career ARCA Racing Series win on Sunday in Springfield, Illinois.PHOTO BY ARCA RACING SERIES

HALEY’S FIRST ARCA RACING SERIES VICTORY COMES IN HIS FIRST RACE ON DIRT

Justin Haley had never driven a stock car on a dirt track before, nor had he ever won an ARCA race.
It was also the first time the Winamac, Indiana, driver had driven a Mason Mitchell Motorsports car. None of it mattered, though, to the 17-year-old driver who wheeled the No. 98 MMM-Braun Auto Group Chevrolet to victory lane at the Illinois State Fairgrounds Mile Dirt in Springfield Sunday afternoon.
Haley, the current points leader in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, held off Illinois favorites AJ Fike and Ryan Unzicker during a green-white-checker finish to win the 54th annual SuperChevyStores.com-Allen Crowe 100 at the Illinois State Faigrounds in Speringfield.
“I tried to hold (Unzicker) off the best I could,” Haley said. “I stayed strong through that first corner. I was very impressed how well he ran us, up on the outside of us. We almost wrecked down the backstretch, but we held onto it.”
Haley surpassed 2006 Allen Crowe 100 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards winner Justin Allgaier as the youngest winner at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in championship auto racing history, going back to the first race in 1934.
“I’m a little surprised,” Haley said. “Never would have dreamed in a million years my first ARCA win would come on a dirt track, but to be here in victory lane is super cool. This dirt track racing is definitely different … it’s tough. I would never have expected this. I’m really happy for Mason Mitchell Motorsports … it’s so cool to get those guys a win here.”
A crash on the backstretch inside of 10 laps remaining between the leader Josh Williams and Unzicker prompted the final caution that sent the race into overtime. With the crowd on their feet, Unzicker, on the final restart, held door-to-door with Haley on the outside through turns one and two. As Haley and Unzicker powered off the corner, Haley pulled ahead and opened up a hole for Fike who charged through to finish second, five lengths away from the winner.
“Considering how bad our car was at the beginning of the race, second (place) feels like a win today,” Fike said. “We just couldn’t get off (turn) 4 like we needed to…loose in and loose off all day. Felt like the track got a little better the last 40 laps, and the restarts helped a bunch.”