Austin Nason added another big ARCA Midwest Tour win to his resume Sunday, taking the checkered flag in auto racing’s return to The Milwaukee Mile (WI) with a late-race pass of Dan Fredrickson.
The Roscoe, Illinois driver took tires at a competition caution with 20 laps to go in the 100-lap race, then raced to the top spot, passing Fredrickson with seven laps to go.
For the 2018 Joe Shear Classic winner, the win carried some redemption, after a less than pleasant memory from past races at The Mile before it sat dormant for several years.
“The last time we brought a new car here, we left with a destroyed one,” Nason said in victory lane. “We brought another on hoping that wouldn’t happen, and we ended up in victory lane.
“This thing was nothing but a chassis two weeks ago,” added Nason. “We busted our butts on this thing.”
While the call to wait for the late-race dash to put on tires was a gamble, Nason trusted the fresh rubber would be key and immediately saw benefits.
“We put new tires on late because I knew tires would be key here,” explained Nason. “We put them on for that restart, can’t pass before the start/finish line, I got going a little too good there. I backed it down, but I got past all those guys going into one and two there.”
In the end, Nason was humbled and thrilled to add a Milwaukee Mile win to his resume, in front of a strong crowd that showed up despite chilly, overcast weather to enjoy racing’s return to the venue.
“This is special,” said Nason about the turnout and fan support. “I can’t thank these guys enough, this place is packed. I hope they let us come back, this place is awesome. I think this is the start of a great event, and the fans made this possible.”
Ty Majeski also took tires on the late caution, but had fallen deep into the pack on the green-flag run preceding it. With just a handful of laps to the finish, the Wisconsin native settled for a runner-up finish.
“Just ran out of time there,” said Majeski. “We definitely had the best short-run car. We fell off there on the long runs. We missed the balance a little bit and abused that right-rear. We tried to sretch it and pit late. We lost too much track position in that first run to be close enough to get back to the lead with 18 to go.
“We had a great race car and a lot of fun,” added Majeski. “It was a great show for everyone. Congrats to Austin on the win. This would be a cool race to win, and wish we could have been one spot better.”
Fredrickson finished third, able to maintain a podium finish after leading through the middle stage of the race and staying out during the final caution after pitting on lap 40.
“It was a good car,” said Fredrickson. “We came down pit road the first caution. I didn’t know if people were going to try to stretch it. We put our tires on early, then stayed out. We just ran what we had to stay out in the lead. We tried to conserve, but I knew we were dead meat when everyone came in to pit.
“It was pretty fun, though,” added Fredrickson. “I liked it. Just built this car last week, it wasn’t too bad for its first outing. Obviously, I’d like to win, but these guys did it smarter than me.”
Race fans who missed Sunday’s Father’s Day 100 can relive the action by watching an on-demand replay of Speed51’s pay-per-view broadcast of the race by clicking here.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo