Two-time ARCA Gold Cup Outlaw Super Late Model Series champion, Dakota Carlson retook the lead for the final time with eight laps to go and pulled away to victory at Toledo Speedway (OH). The Cedar Springs, Michigan driver who qualified second quick and would start ninth after the inversion draw, patiently picked his way through the field and survived an attrition plagued event to score his third career ARCA Gold Cup triumph.
Jeff Ganus, a three-time winner this season in ARCA Gold Cup competition and coming off a career high win in Kalamazoo Klash XXIII two nights ago, led the first 61 laps before breaking a rear end. He would limp back out onto the track and turn a few more laps to finish 13th, which was good enough to clinch the 2015 ARCA Gold Cup Series Championship.
“Wow that was pretty crazy out there tonight; we just tried as best we could to stay out of trouble. When we got to second, I didn’t know if we had anything for Jeff (Ganus).” Explained the 28-year-old driver after the race. “When he broke that gave us the lead, but then Brad (Riethmeyer) was really strong tonight and was way better than us on restarts that’s for sure. But we were good once the car ran a couple of laps and here we are, finally.” He added.
After fast qualifier, three-time ARCA Gold Cup Champion, Dennis Strickland drew a 10 for an inversion, it placed Trevor Berry, a part-time competitor in the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour and 2012 ICAR Top Speed Modified Tour Champion, on the pole along-side veteran, Dave Stehouwer. Berry rocketed out to the early lead, but would bring Jeff Ganus with him. On lap five, Ganus motored past Berry to take the lead and check out on the rest of the pack.
Ganus would set sail through a serious of multiple caution flags and two red flags for fluids being laid down on the track. Working on lap 62, Ganus would spin coming out of turn two and that would give the lead to Carlson, who then briefly lost it to Brad Riethmeyer. Carlson recoiled and retook the lead only to see the red come out a third time when Scott Pemberton was tagged from behind by another car triggering a six car melee and the third red flag of the night.
On the next restart, Riethmeyer again grabbed the point only to lose it again to Carlson who tried again to check out on the field. The final restart with 11 laps to go would again see Riethmeyer take the lead only to lose it for a final time to Carlson who would then pull away to a 2.7 second victory over Riethmeyer. Berry finished third as Mike Mazzagatti and 18-year-old Alex Rosenberry were the top five.
Nick Grodi finished sixth as Nick Bailey was seventh over Strickland. Bob Varney was ninth as Pemberton recovered from getting blasted from the back to complete the top 10.
Ganus’ 13th place finished sealed the 2015 ARCA Gold Cup Championship for the 34-year-old driver from Constantine, Michigan. “We broke something in the rear end and I really didn’t want to risk hurting the car,” He explained. “But then that big wreck happened and took out a bunch of people, so we decided to go back out and run some laps until we got a few more positions. We needed to finish 15th and got 13th, so we got a Championship. I can’t thank Brian Short enough for this opportunity; we still have some work to do yet though before the season is over.” Ganus smiled.
-By Matt Prieur, Speed51.com Contributor – Twitter: @MattPrieur
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com
Miller Lite 100 Presented by Grogan’s Towne & Royal Truck & Trailer Sales & Service RESULTS
|16||6||Jimmy Ward Jr.||62|
|18||20||Don St. Denis||57|
|25||71||Harold Fair Jr.||3|