Justin Boston picks up his second win of the season in the ARCA Racing Series by winning the Herr’s Live Life with Flavor 200 at Madison International Speedway in Oregon, Wisconsin on Sunday afternoon.
Boston took over the lead with 20 laps to go after current ARCA Racing Series point leader Mason Mitchell fell off the pace on the final restart due to electrical issues. Boston pulled away from defending winner Kyle Benjamin to get the win on a warm, muggy day at Wisconsin’s fastest half-mile oval.
“Mason was really good and I thought we were a little better,” Boston told Speed51.com powered by JEGS after the race. “I wasn’t sure how we were to Grant (Enfinger) because honestly I couldn’t see him all race. We started eighth and didn’t have the greatest track position until the last restart. We had a real good Toyota Camry and it was fun to drive it today.
“This track bodes well for my driving style and we finished second here last year. We knew were going to have something this weekend and really didn’t know with the rainout yesterday. I am glad that things worked out in our favor and we are taking the trophy home. That is all that matters.”
Mitchell took the lead back after Enfinger, who had a 10.3 second lead, fell out off the pace on lap 172 with possible part failure with the gears and brought out the final caution of the day. But on the restart, Mitchell led the field into turn one and the car shut of on him coming out of turn two.
“It’s just one of those things when you run so many laps in the ARCA Racing Series you are bound to have a mechanical failure or two,” Enfinger said after the race. “Hopefully, this is the last of our issues for the year. I just can’t thank everyone at GMS Racing enough; everyone did his or her job today. I thought we were the class of the field today, but we just came up short with the gear.”
Mitchell and Enfinger are first and second in the point battle coming into today’s event, were exchanging the lead back and forth early on in the 200-lap event. When Enfinger fell out of the race, Mitchell saw an opportunity to open up his point lead, but his day ended right after Enfinger’s day.
“It was something electrical, maybe something in the master switch, I don’t know until we get it back to the shop on Monday,” Mitchell said. “It’s kind of unfortunate that Grant had some problems there and we were in the position to win the race. Stuff happens.
“I knew it could have been a big points day, which it was going to be, but somebody wants to keep this tight points battle going for the rest of the season. It will be exciting for the fans but nerve wracking for us,” Mitchell said with a smile after the race.
Kyle Benjamin returned to the track where he picked up his first ARCA win last year. This time he came with his own team that his father, Steve, put together with his winning crew chief from last year, Kevin Reed.
Benjamin started 27th, due to qualifying being rained out on Saturday and came home with a runner-up finish.
“Just like our car last year, it took a lot of laps to get going and the 20-lap run wasn’t enough. Hopefully we will get it next time,” Benjamin said. “I am really happy with the finish. I honestly didn’t expect anything less having Kevin Reed with us. He did an awesome job. We really didn’t have a second place car at the beginning and he made the right adjustments. After that, we were coming to the front. My dad did an awesome job of getting this program together in a short amount of time.”
Brandon Jones made his third ARCA start at Madison. He won his first two events, but earned a podium finish with a third place run. He started 22nd.
“We only had four laps of practice and never been here before, I’ll take third place for sure,” Jones said. “It is really hard to pass here. The outside groove wasn’t working and everybody was on the bottom. It ended up being a pretty good day for us.”
Defending series champion Frank Kimmel was fourth with Tom Hessert rounding out the top-five.
For Boston, this win has more of a special meaning to it.
“It quiets a lot of people for sure. I caught a lot of clout from the race at Lucas Oil Raceway,” Boston said in regards to an incident he had with Bobby Gerhart at the July 25th event. “I had some helmet problems where I couldn’t hear my spotter well and I changed helmets and now I can hear really good. It makes my job a lot easier of where to put my racecar. I really have to thank everybody who supports me and is pushing my racing career in the right direction.”
Venturini Motorsports knows how to setup their cars for Madison International Speedway. They have won the last three of the four events at Madison since the ARCA Racing Series returned in 2011. Alex Bowman won in 2011, Kyle Benjamin in 2013 and Justin Boston today.
The ARCA Racing Series will hit the dirt on Labor Day with their annual Southern Illinois 100 at the DuQuoin State Fair in DuQuoin, Illinois on Monday, September 1st.
Story by: Kevin Ramsell, Speed51.com Midwest Editor/Director of Business – Twitter: @KevinRamsell
Photo Credit: Speed51.com