Michigan: Phillip McGilton race report

McGilton Leads Laps at MIS for Third Consecutive Race "Rookie-of-the-Year contender finishes sixth in race dominated by ARCAwackers" BROOKLYN, Michigan (June 18, 2007) - - If Brewco Motorsports developmental driver Phillip McGilton could have...

McGilton Leads Laps at MIS for Third Consecutive Race
"Rookie-of-the-Year contender finishes sixth in race dominated by ARCAwackers"

BROOKLYN, Michigan (June 18, 2007) - - If Brewco Motorsports developmental driver Phillip McGilton could have had an additional 50 miles or 25 laps in Friday's ARCA 200, the rookie driver could have notched his first career victory, instead he had to settle for a strong sixth place finish.

McGilton entered Michigan International Speedway with confidence and excitement following a successful open test with Kentucky-based Brewco Motorsports team. The team showed their true strength during their race runs which quickly made them a threat for the 11th race of the season.

In the first and only practice session of the week, McGilton captured the sixth fastest time with a lap of 39.526 seconds at 182.159 MPH. While McGilton was happy with the run, he knew the car still had a lot left.

"This is a good car," he offered following practice. "I really think you will see this car come to light during the race, that's our primary focus this week. I'm not sure if we have quite enough for all the Nextel-Cup affiliated teams."

With crew chief Shawn Parker on top of the box, McGilton would turn to the NASCAR veteran leader to put a competitive qualifying setup underneath the SIPerformance Ford Fusion.

In ARCA SIM Factory qualifying, McGilton notched a lap of 39.683 seconds or 181.438 MPH lining him up ninth on the starting grid and returning the team to top-10 status.

"That's about where I thought we would qualify," McGilton said. "Again, we're focusing our car on race setup and I think that's when we'll really come into play."

[IMAGE]At the start of the 100 lap/200 mile event, McGilton quickly began his charge towards the front. Turning some of the fastest lap times on the two-mile oval, McGilton would become the hot topic on the track after thundering his No. 47 Ford Fusion towards the top-spot.

Early race cautions would briefly halt his charge, but when the field returned to green, McGilton would be back on top of his game gunning towards the lead.

McGilton would storm his machine to the top spot on lap 56 and hold the position for eight circuits before being overtaken by eventual race winner Erik Darnell on lap 64.

Trying to make charge through the field after a pit stop for fuel late in the race, McGilton would be forced to settle for his fifth top-10 finish of the season, marking his second top-10 finish in three races.

He also led the field in his third straight race of competition. The Marion, Illinois native controlled the field at Iowa Speedway, Pocono Raceway and MIS.

"We had a great SIPerformance Ford Fusion," McGilton said. "The Brewco Motorsports guys did a great job, we just ran out of time. Our car was really working strong, but we just came up a little short. I really like this place, with a lot of room to race and pass it makes the race exciting and I'm sure that's what it was today."

McGilton maintains sixth in the championship slicing ten points from fifth place competitor Michael McDowell's effort. Unofficially however, McGilton retook the ARCA Rookie-of-the-Year lead over McDowell.

To add to the team's impressive run, McGilton and Brewco Motorsports were the highest finishing full time ARCA RE/MAX Series team gaining points on the first five competitors.

The ARCA RE/MAX Series will enjoy a two-week break from competition before returning to Michigan for a battle at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Michigan just outside of Grand Rapids on July 7.

"I've never been to Berlin, but I'm looking forward to it," McGilton sounded. "I've heard a lot about that track and our short track program is a good one here at Brewco Motorsports. We're hoping our first win comes in two weeks."

-credit: bm

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Shawn Parker , Michael McDowell , Erik Darnell , Phillip McGilton