NASCAR & Auto Racing

Rookie McDowell gets ARCA win at Chicagoland

JOLIET, Ill. – Rookie Michael McDowell dominated Saturday at Chicagoland Speedway on the way to his third ARCA RE/MAX Series victory of the season, tightening up the championship battle with eight-time series champion Frank Kimmel.

McDowell led a sweep of the top-three spots in the Chicagoland ARCA 200 by drivers making the transition from sports car road racing, with Justin Marks second and Colin Braun third in only his second race on an oval.

Kimmel finished sixth in the 40-car field and saw his points lead cut from 200 to 150 with three races remaining.

“This is definitely a special win for us, especially coming off last week at DuQuoin (Ill.), where we cut a left rear tire and went from 40 points behind Frank to 200 behind,” the 22-year-old McDowell said.

“This definitely helps us rebound a little bit and, hopefully, we can get Frank to make a mistake.”

The winner, who led 98 of the 134 laps on the 1.5-mile oval, drove the same Dodge in which he won earlier this season at Kentucky and Pocono.

Jeremy Clements finished fourth, followed by Erin Crocker in fifth.

The race was slowed by 10 cautions for a total of 47 laps. The worst accident came on lap 25 when Josh Wise, Alex Yontz and Darrell Basham crashed, bringing out a 24-minute red flag while crews repaired the energy-absorbing SAFER Barrier.

Wise limped away from the crash and was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, where he was check and released.