2022 ARCA Menards Series at Illinois State Fairgrounds

Pit Box: ARCA Menards Series Taking It To The Dirt

Pit Box: ARCA Menards Series Taking It To The Dirt

The ARCA Menards Series returns to the dirt at the Illinois State Fairgrounds on Sunday for the running of the Atlas 100

Aug 19, 2022 by NASCAR Roots
Pit Box: ARCA Menards Series Taking It To The Dirt

Tradition is a big part of the ARCA Menards Series and one such tradition will continue this Sunday afternoon with the running of the Atlas 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois.

The race, the 14th event of the 2022 ARCA Menards Series season, also doubles as the first race in the inaugural Performance Seed Dirt Double. The unique program, which also includes the Southern Illinois 100 at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds on Sept. 4, will award a $50,000 bonus if one driver can sweep both dirt races on the ARCA Menards Series schedule.

The one-mile clay oval located at the Illinois State Fairgrounds has previously hosted 39 ARCA Menards Series events dating back to 1983. In that time, 24 different drivers have secured victories on the dirt surface, led by Frank Kimmel with eight victories and the late Bob Keselowski with four. Corey Heim won the most recent ARCA event at the track last season.

Tickets to Sunday’s Atlas 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds are available. Below is everything to know about the event.

Atlas 100 at Illinois State Fairgrounds


When the ARCA Menards Series gets dirty, dirt racers come out to play.

That’s once again true this year as a trio of drivers known for their exploits on dirt are set to join the ARCA Menards Series regulars for the Atlas 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois.

They’re led by Toyota Racing Development driver Buddy Kofoid, who will make his ARCA Menards Series debut driving the No. 15 Toyota for Venturini Motorsports. Kofoid is the defending USAC National Midget Series champion and made his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut earlier this year in the dirt events at Bristol Motor Speedway and Knoxville Raceway for Kyle Busch Motorsports.

Another dirt expert set to compete in Sunday’s race is Dirt Late Model star Ryan Unzicker, who is a winner in ARCA competition at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. His victory came during the 2020 season on a day that saw the driver from El Paso, Illinois, start from the pole and lead all but one lap for his only ARCA Menards Series victory to date. Unzicker will be back in the No. 24 owned by Bill Hendren.

Lastly, Ken Schrader is making his return to ARCA competition for the first time this season. Schrader, who has 18 ARCA Menards Series victories in addition to four in the NASCAR Cup Series, spends most of his time these days racing on dirt tracks around the United States and Canada. He has one victory at the Springfield, Illinois, dirt track during the 1998 season. Schrader is once again teaming up with team owner Andy Hillenburg for Sunday’s event.

Joining the trio of aforementioned dirt experts are all the series regulars, including championship contenders Nick Sanchez, Rajah Caruth and Daniel Dye. None of them have ever competed in an ARCA event at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

Jesse Love, a regular dirt competitor when he’s not racing stock cars, will again pilot the No. 20 Toyota for Venturini Motorsports. Taylor Gray will be back aboard the No. 17 Ford for David Gilliland Racing and Sammy Smith will wheel the No. 18 Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports.

Other ARCA Menards Series regulars slated to compete in Sunday’s race include Greg Van Alst, Amber Balcaen, Toni Breidinger and Brad Smith. Local driver Kelly Kovski returns for his 32nd career ARCA start while Buck Stevens joins forces with team owner Jeff McClure for his second career ARCA start.

The complete entry list for Sunday’s Atlas 100 is available here.


RACEAtlas 100
PLACEIllinois State Fairgrounds
DATESunday, Aug. 21, 2022
TIME1 p.m. CT / 2 p.m. ET
TRACK LAYOUTOne-mile clay oval
EVENT SCHEDULEFriday, Aug. 19: Practice from 10 – 10:30 a.m. CT … Qualifying at 11:15 a.m. CT … Race at 1 p.m. CT

CREW CHIEF HANDOUT: The starting field for the Atlas 100 is limited to 30 plus provisional positions. This event will be run under the 2022 ARCA Menards Series rules, procedures, regulations and specifications.

QUALIFYING: One lap qualifying. No adjustments or repairs may be made on car after taking the green flag at Start/Finish line. All cars must make a qualifying attempt, and all drivers must practice before they can qualify.

RACE PIT STOP: Break pit stop procedure. Breaks at or near the conclusion of Laps 35 and 70. All cars will be required to make at least one pit stop prior to last 10 laps of race. No adding or moving tires to or from pit box once race has started.

The maximum tire allotment available for this event is as follows: Per ARCA Rulebook, maximum tire usage for this event (purchased plus from-home tires) is 16. Maximum number of tires allowed in pit box for use in race is eight (8).