Berlin: Phillip McGilton race report

Phillip McGilton, Brewco Motorsports Strong In Berlin "McGilton Sixth In Championship Standings Following Inaugural Berlin Raceway Run" MARNE, Michigan (July 9, 2007) - - ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Phillip McGilton wasn't ...

Phillip McGilton, Brewco Motorsports Strong In Berlin
"McGilton Sixth In Championship Standings Following Inaugural Berlin Raceway Run"

MARNE, Michigan (July 9, 2007) - - ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Phillip McGilton wasn't exactly sure what to think about Berlin Raceway when he first saw it. However, judging on his practice and qualifying times, it shows the Marion, Illinois native adapted very well.

With some momentum from a top-10 finish at Michigan International Speedway, McGilton and the Brewco brigade returned to the Great Lakes state hoping for a repeat performance at the other ARCA Michigan-based track.

The day started off well for the team by posting the second fastest time in the only practice session of the day with McGilton whipping his No. 47 SIPerformance Ford Fusion around the .4-mile paved track in a time of 18.070 seconds at 87.261 MPH.

[IMAGE]"The car is really good, but that's no surprise," said McGilton. "The Brewco Motorsports guys have given me another great piece and we're ready for a strong showing under the lights."

Hoping to pick up the pace in ARCA SIM Factory pole qualifying, McGilton was reaching for his first ARCA pole Saturday afternoon. After mounting a time of 17.775 seconds or 88.709 MPH, McGilton was in contention for the top spot but had to settle for fourth for the Request Foods-GFS 200.

At the start of the event, McGilton comfortably fell into the top-five just biding his time.

Staying in view with the leaders ahead of him, McGilton was studying his prey, learning their weaknesses and preparing to make a charge towards the lead.

Unfortunately approaching lap 50, an unexpected jolt from a competitor behind McGilton saw the No. 47 SIPerformance Ford go for a loop in turn four. McGilton quickly grabbed a gear and remained on the lead lap.

During the caution, McGilton brought his machine to the attention of his crew where they repaired the damage in the quarter panel where the other competitor struck the No. 47 and sent him back into battle.

Despite a gallant effort on the next round of green flag racing, McGilton who started at the rear of the pack because of the pit stop would lose a lap to the leaders. Little did they know, McGilton had a plan.

Following another caution, several laps later, McGilton pitted for tires and fuel and lined up the first car one lap down and blasted his way past leader Justin Allgaier on the restart to retain his lap lost.

McGilton would fend off his competition for several laps and sliced and diced his Ford Fusion around Berlin Raceway to eventually catch a caution, allowing the rookie driver to catch his breath and lineup for a restart on the lead lap.

[IMAGE]Sitting solidly in the top-15, McGilton knew he had a car capable of a top-10 finish, but a heavy span of green flag racing and a quick pace by the race leaders would again find McGilton a lap down with 50 laps to go.

The Brewco Motorsports driver continued to dig, not giving an inch between the rest of his competition hoping to solider to be the first car one lap off the pace, knowing every point is critical heading into the second half of the season.

Despite a late race skirmish inside 10 laps to go, McGilton continued to charge his way around Berlin Raceway taking the checkered flag in the 14th position.

"We were going to have a good day, but unfortunately we were never able to get ourselves back into the top-10 after being punted early in the race. It's unfortunate, because we had a good car. We were turning some fast laps out there, but it comes to show you that track position is everything."

McGilton added, "The Brewco guys once again did a great job this weekend. Everyone knew we were here. We're heading back to Kentucky next, the Brewco Motorsports team won their last season and we finished in the top-10 earlier this year, so we're looking to better our May performance and put this team back into victory lane in our hometown turf."

McGilton currently stands sixth in the championship standings 125 markers from fifth place competitor Justin Allgaier.

Next up for the ARCA RE/MAX Series is a return to Kentucky Speedway for the running of the WLWT Channel 5-150 under the lights this Friday night.

-credit: brewco

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Justin Allgaier , Phillip McGilton