The 2020 ARCA Menards Series season finally reached its conclusion with the season finale Friday night in the Heartland at Kansas Speedway.
Only two drivers had a chance at the championship, Bret Holmes and Michael Self, and neither has ever won an ARCA title. While the battle was competitive on track, the 2020 championship eventually went to Holmes after five years of trying. With determination and a never give up attitude even when at times he wanted to give up racing entirely, Holmes finally prevailed.
“It’s been a tough road, for sure,” said Holmes. “Everything we’ve done has just been phenomenal this season, every decision we’ve made. To come out and not even know we were going to run the full season, and to finish it off like this, is really special.”
With an ARCA title on the line, there was also a race winner to be had in the 100 lap race as well. Three segments split up the 100 lapper, with the first segment ending on Lap 30, second on Lap 60 and the final on Lap 100. Ty Gibbs, who ultimately took home the Owner’s Championship qualified on the pole.
Segment 1: Lap 1 – Lap 30
The action was intense early for championship contender Michael Self. Self, in the No. 25 SinClair Lubricants Toyota, started to experience fuel pick up problems on Lap 21 of the race. The issue eventually put the Park City, Utah native a lap down through the rest of the segment, but he was the recipient of the free pass when Segment 1 ended.
Also experiencing problems was the polesitter, Ty Gibbs. At Lap 28, the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team pushed the Monster Energy Toyota behind the wall for multiple laps. It wasn’t until the end of the second segment that Gibbs would return to the racetrack, but multiple laps down.
As the first segment wrapped up on Lap 30, Venturini Motorsports driver Corey Heim was in first, with Holmes, Derek Griffith, Hailie Deegan, Self, Drew Dollar, Dylan Lupton, Kris Wright, Scott Melton, and Eric Caudell completing the Top 10.
Segment 2: Lap 33 – Lap 60
The second segment was caution-free with Heim leading the field to the second break that occurred on Lap 60.
Segment 3: Lap 64 – Lap 100
With Heim pulling away from the field, the focus was on the two title contenders, Self and Holmes, who were battling in the top five. Self rebounded to a fifth-place running position after the fuel pickup problem earlier in the race.
As the checkered flag flew on Lap 100, Corey Heim collected his first-ever checkered flag while Self, unfortunately, fell short for a second consecutive year. Holmes finally took home his first ARCA Menards Series championship in 81 starts since 2016. Self was runner-up in the points finishing 12 points behind Holmes.
“Really surreal right now, man,” said Heim of his first ARCA Menards Series victory. “I’m kind of at a loss for words. Craftsman, Toyota, Venturini Motorsports, all the people who make it happen, couldn’t have done it without them. [Crew chief Kevin Reed Jr.] here, he did an awesome job just dialing me in. We were a little loose throughout the race, but I couldn’t have asked for much more on that last run, and here we are in victory lane. Couldn’t be happier.”
Heim dominated the race by leading 82 of the scheduled 100 laps, en route to his first ARCA Menards Series victory in just 16 starts.
There were two leaders among two different lead changes.
Official Results following the Speediatrics 150 at Kansas Speedway.
- Corey Heim, led 82 laps
- Bret Holmes, led 18 laps
- Derek Griffith
- Dylan Lupton
- Michael Self
- Hailie Deegan
- Kris Wright
- Drew Dollar, 1 lap down
- Scott Melton, 3 laps down
- Eric Caudell, 4 laps down
- Tim Richmond, 6 laps down
- Mike Basham, 9 laps down
- Chandler Smith, 19 laps down
- Ty Gibbs, 40 laps down
- Brad Smith, OUT, Engine
- Owen Smith, OUT, Clutch
- Wayne Peterson, OUT, Brakes
- Alex Clubb, OUT, Vibration
Up Next: After a hectic season and some major rescheduling, the 2020 ARCA Menards Series season is finally completed. Now, the focus will turn to the off-season and toward the 2021 season as well. Normally, an ARCA Open Test at Daytona takes place in January, but nothing has been officially announced as of this writing.