It’s not often that one sees Steve Needles start outside of the top five in an Outlaw Super Late Model race at Toledo Speedway (OH), but when it does happen he usually doesn’t stay back there for long. That’s what happened in Saturday’s ARCA Gold Cup 100-lap feature as Needles powered his way to the checkered flag over Harold Fair.
Needles took the lead from Fair near the mid-point of the race as he and Fair weaved in and out of traffic. Needles eventually went to the outside of Fair to take the lead, but the battle continued for another few laps as two slower cars battled side-by-side right in front of Needles.
Once Needles was clear of the lapped cars it was smooth sailing for the white and blue No. 18 machine.
“It was just patience,” said Needles in victory lane. “We started back in seventh and knew they’d come back to us. We had some lapped cars that were racing pretty hard there, so we just had to bide our time and pick our way through them and run a smart race to get to the end.”
When Needles got to the end he saw the checkered flag first, ahead of Harold Fair, Frank Jiovani, Brandon Lyons, and Johnny Belott.
While Fair wasn’t able to take the win, his second-place finish had to feel like a win. Fair crashed hard and destroyed his primary car in Friday evening’s practice session. He went home to Milan, Michigan, grabbed a backup car and came back to Toledo to lead laps and finish second.
“My guys put in a ton of work and put in an all-nighter,” said Fair. “We knew we didn’t have the right car for here but we wanted to run 100 laps and see what we could do.”
Speed51.com had live Trackside Now coverage from Toledo Speedway on Saturday. For an on-demand replay of our Trackside Now coverage presented by AP Brakes, click here.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com
ARCA Gold Cup Spring 200
Toledo Speedway, Toledo, Ohio
|12||22||Kevin Stahl Jr|