Newton, IA – Sheldon Creed continued his mid-season dominance of the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards with his third win in the last five series race in Satuday's Fans with Benefits 150 at Iowa Speedway. Creed finished ahead of a fast-closing Chandler Smith, who was looking for his second consecutive victory after winning in his last series start at Madison.
“We have some momentum right now,” Creed said following the victory. “It's so hard to get these racecars hooked up and right now we're hooked up. It's a great feeling. We've been focused on winning races all season long, but we've been looking at the points since day one as well. We aren't comfortable with where we're at just yet. There's a long way to go.”
Smith settled for second at the finish. The sixteen-year-old made up a tremendous amount of ground over the final ten laps but simply ran out of time at the end to make a move.
“I would have liked to have had a few more laps,” Smith said. “I was trying different lines the last ten laps and found some things that really worked. I went to the very bottom side of the track in three and four on the last lap at really closed in on him. I would have liked another chance or two to make another run at that and see what we could have done with him.”
Chase Purdy finished third, his sixth top five finish of the 2018 season.
“Race drivers all have ups and downs, and we're kind of on a bottom right now,” said a disappointed Purdy after the race. “We want to be over there where Sheldon is. We're close, and that's good. Once we get that first win out of the way we're going to be hard to beat, just like he is. We just need a little experience. I am looking forward to going to some of these racetracks I've been to before so we'll be on a little more of an even playing field.”
Creed had to withstand five caution flags for incidents on the race track and numerous challenges from drivers throughout the field. There were a total of 16 lead changes among seven drivers, with Creed leading a total of 85 of the race's 150 laps. There were a total of five caution flags for 30 laps; the average speed was 98.521 miles per hour.
Creed unofficially leads the series points with 2910 over Smith at 2745, Riley Herbst, who finished 17th after an incident with Michael Self mid-race, sits third at 2560, Purdy is fourth at 2455 and Travis Braden, who was ninth on Saturday, rounds out the top five at 2425.
Next up for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards is the Sioux Chief Power Pex 250 at Elko Speedway on Saturday July 14. The race will be televised live on MAVTV starting at 10 pm ET; ARCARacing.com will have live timing and scoring and track updates throughout the day for registered users.
-ARCA Press Release & Photo