Spencer Gallagher was making his 51st start in the ARCA Racing Series on Friday night at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas and was still looking for his first win in the series. He will be looking no more as he finally reached victory lane in the ARCA 98.9 season finale.
Gallagher would lead the last 53 laps en route to the big win. He practically had to pass the full field to earn the trophy.
“It’s the culmination of what we have been trying to do at GMS Racing from when we started until now,” Gallagher said after the race. “I knew it was going to be a challenge to come from 32nd (out of a 33-car field) to win the race. I was looking forward to it and we did it. This is my first national series win and I couldn’t be happier.”
The Las Vegas, Nevada native said his crew was huge factor in the win.
“The key contributor was the GMS Racing team had a blazing pit stop where we came in sixth and came out first with a key adjustment,” Gallagher said. “I told my crew chief to do what he had to do and we took a big swing at it and let it set sail.”
Gallagher inherited the lead after early leader Matt Tifft blew a right front tire and made contact with the wall to bring out a caution.
Grant Enfinger, Gallagher’s teammate, was the only one to make serious challenge for the lead. But with eight laps to go, Enfinger also had a tire go down and he also hit the wall to bring a two-lap dash to the finish.
When the green flag flew, Gallagher took off and wasn’t challenged as the checkered flag flew in the air.
Behind him, Josh Williams held off Ross Kenseth for the second place finish.
“You would like to win, but a second is like a win for our team,” Williams said. “We are family owned and that is how we have done it throughout our career. It’s just fantastic for us to come out here and run like we did.”
Kenseth was making his second ever start in the ARCA Racing Series and was pleased with a top-three run.
“The guys made a great adjustment to get us a lucky dog and back on the lead lap and we were able to get back up there,” Kenseth said. “This team is not one of the biggest teams in the garage but they looked like one tonight. They did a heck of a job and I think they are all real happy with that.”
Cody Coughlin matched his best finish in the ARCA Racing Series with another fourth place run holding off Mason Mitchell.
Mitchell, just by starting the race, became the third youngest driver and the first owner/driver since 1993, to win the ARCA Racing Series championship.
“I knew we had the championship when the green flag dropped, so we just went out there to have fun,” Mitchell said. “It started to settle in a little bit as we were waiting to celebrate. We will head back to Iowa and celebrate with family and friends this weekend.”
Austin Wayne Self, who had a bad wreck about the halfway point of the race while running the top five, will take the 2014 Rookie of the year title.
The ARCA Racing Series banquet is scheduled for Saturday, December 13 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
|1||32||23||Spencer Gallagher/Las Vegas NV||99||Running|
|2||19||6||Josh Williams/Port Charlotte FL||99||Running|
|3||11||3||Ross Kenseth/Little Chute WI||99||Running|
|4||9||55||Cody Coughlin/Delaware OH||99||Running|
|5||1||98||Mason Mitchell/West Des Moines IA||99||Running|
|6||6||15||John Wes Townley/Watkinsville GA||99||Running|
|7||8||25||Justin Boston/Baltimore MD||99||Running|
|8||28||72||Brandon Gdovic/Yorktown VA||99||Running|
|9||33||8||Justin Allison/Salisbury NC||98||Running|
|10||22||9||John Lowinski-Loh/Milford MA||98||Running|
|11||3||77||Tom Hessert/Cherry Hill NJ||98||Running|
|12||13||66||Leilani Munter/Rochester MN||96||Running|
|13||31||42||Bo LeMastus/Louisville KY||96||Running|
|14||24||88||Charles Evans Jr./Pasadena TX||94||Running|
|15||26||10||Ed Pompa/Ballston Spa NY||93||Running|
|16||23||18||Bill Catania/Westfield NY||93||Running|
|17||2||90||Grant Enfinger/Fairhope AL||91||Accident|
|18||21||97||Mark Meunier/Louisville KY||90||Running|
|19||14||48||Brad Smith/Shelby Township MI||87||Running|
|20||12||2||Thomas Praytor/Mobile AL||80||Engine|
|21||4||44||Frank Kimmel/Clarksville IN||73||Accident|
|22||7||22||Austin Wayne Self/Austin TX||71||Accident|
|23||16||6||James Swanson/Clarksboro NJ||69||Accident|
|24||30||20||Tom Berte/New Berlin WI||54||Accident|
|25||18||60||Galen Hassler/Columbia MO||53||Accident|
|26||29||73||Dale Shearer/Alhambra IL||53||Accident|
|27||25||5||Bobby Gerhart/Lebanon PA||47||Engine|
|28||5||52||Matt Tifft/Hinckley OH||45||Accident|
|29||17||68||Will Kimmel/Sellersburg IN||43||Accident|
|30||27||0||Con Nicolopoulos/Columbus MI||26||Rear End|
|31||20||40||Roger Carter/Sunfield MI||7||Steering|
|32||10||69||Chris Bailey/South Park PA||6||Transmssn|
|33||15||0||Tim Viens/Daytona Beach FL||3||Clutch|