In last year’s ARCA/CRA Super Series feature at Lucas Oil Raceway, John Hunter Nemechek lost by inches to Kyle Busch in a photo finish after leading into turn three. This year, Nemechek made sure the ending wasn’t as dramatic.
Driving for father, and NASCAR veteran Joe Nemechek’s NEMCO Motorsports team, Nemechek worked his way around pole-sitter Grant Quinlan and held off the field on numerous restarts to claim the Circle City 100 Presented by Greg Hubler Chevrolet, his first-career ARCA/CRA Super Series victory.
Nemechek couldn’t help but smile after redeeming last year’s heartbreaking loss.
“Most definitely,” said Nemechek of the win adding a sense of redemption. “We came out here to win, and that’s what we did.
“It’s great. I can’t thank Dad enough, Alex, all of these guys that work on these things. It’s all up to them.”
Jake Crum would end the night in second, trying to find positives in a race he felt he should have won.
“It never fails. Anytime that I qualify good, we go to some series that inverts the fields,” said Crum. “The last restart, I don’t know what was going on. We started on the backstretch. But I’m not going to blame it on that.
“Really happy to get back and run towards the front and have a chance to win the race,” Crum continued. “We had a really good car all day. (Nemechek) was the class of the field all day, so hat’s off to him, but I wish we were in his shoes.”
Cody Coughlin put on a show after battling back from a mid-race flat tire to finish third.
“It’s bittersweet,” said Coughlin. “It’s unfortunate that we cut a tire down, but we battled back and finished third. We definitely have nothing to hang our heads about.”
Jeff Cannon and Dominique Van Wieringen would round out the top five, with Quin Houff, Eddie VanMeter, Brett Robinson, Quinnton Bear and DJ Weltmeyer making up the back half of the top 10.
The field was slowed for seven cautions in an accident-filled evening at the .686-mile track. There was only one lead change, as Quinlan and Nemechek dominated the event.
Following a 10-car qualifying inversion, points leader Quinlan led the field to the green at the Brownsburg, Indiana track to pace the field for this first time in his career. Quinlan would maintain the lead throughout the early stages of the event, surrendering the lead to Nemechek only after a series of restarts.
Following a caution with five laps remaining, Quinlan found himself running in third place, looking to claim his first-career ARCA/CRA Super Series victory.
The 16-year-old wouldn’t be so lucky.
After a slow restart, Quinlan was running side-by-side with Cannon for second when the two drivers made contact coming off of turn four. Cannon and Quinlan made contact going down the front straightaway, sending the Quinlan into the turn one wall and ending his night with four laps remaining.
Cannon would go on to finish in fourth, while Quinlan was relegated to a 17th-place result.
The two drivers disagreed about the incident after a post-race discussion.
“Real tight racing there up off Turn four,” said Quinlan. “I rubbed up against (Cannon) trying to get all that I could. He thought that it was a good idea to go down there and right-rear me into the wall.”
Cannon claimed the contact coming off of turn four led to the incident.
“It is what it is,” said Cannon. “We were racing back here, and I just chased it the whole way down the straightaway because he got into me. I ended up hooking him in the right-rear.
“Anybody that’s been racing me long enough knows that I wouldn’t intentionally turn somebody nose-first into the wall,” Cannon continued. “I haven’t raced him enough for him to know that, but it is what it is.”
Despite his anger, Quinlan claimed that no payback should come of the incident.
“I don’t know if it’s even worth my time,” said the teenager.
The ARCA/CRA Super Series will return to action on August 15 for the Kalamazoo Klash at Kalamazoo Speedway.
For an on-demand recap of tonight’s Trackside Live coverage presented by Max Papis Innovations and AP Racing, click here: http://speed51.com/trackside-now-cra-super-series-at-lucas-oil-raceway/
-By Aaron Bearden, Speed51.com Contributor – Twitter: @AaronBearden93
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com
ARCA/CRA Super Series Circle City 100
Lucas Oil Raceway, Brownsburg, Indiana
|1||8N||John Hunter Nemechek|
|16||20||Jack Dossey III|
|19||33||Wes Griffith Jr|