Rookie Phil Bozell Rules on the Milwaukee Mile WEST ALLIS WI (8-27-06)--ARCA RE/MAX Series rookie Phil Bozell used pit strategy and patience Sunday afternoon at the Milwaukee Mile to earn his career-first victory in the ...
Rookie Phil Bozell Rules on the Milwaukee Mile
WEST ALLIS WI (8-27-06)--ARCA RE/MAX Series rookie Phil Bozell used pit strategy and patience Sunday afternoon at the Milwaukee Mile to earn his career-first victory in the Governor's Cup 200.
Bozell, in Matt Hagans' Eagle Creek Aviation-Sappanos Brothers Racing Dodge, pitted just twice during the 200-lap, 200-mile race while the other front-runners pitted three times. Regardless, no driver in the end had enough to catch Bozell, who finished 10 lengths in front of Sparta, Wisconsin rookie Tim Schendel.
"We started off pretty good," said Bozell. "We knew we had a good racecar so the plan was just to stay out and run in the front. It seemed like all of the front-runners were really strong in the beginning but then fell off towards the end and we just stayed steady. We decided not to pit at the end there even though every one else came in because ARCA issues 10 tires for this race and we knew they all had already gone through two sets, that meant they could only put on two tires at most. I think most of them went with right sides. But our car didn't seem like we needed any tires, and we had plenty of fuel so we stayed out. I just kept hitting my marks being smooth and it paid off."
Bozell's victory made him the 15th different winner in 17 events in 2006. The victory tied a record set in 1992 for the most different winners in a single season of ARCA RE/MAX Series competition. Bozell also became one of 10 first-time series winners this season.
"It just goes to show what this series is all about," said Bozell. "The competition in this series is the best of the best. You've got people coming here trying to make a name for themselves here because this series runs on all the tracks that the big boys race at. We started our ARCA team on our own, just doing what my dad could afford. Then, this year I went to work for [Matt] Hagans down in Indiana because Bobby Blount is helping them and I've known Bobby for a long time. I'm real good friends with Bobby and his son Chad Blount. Part of the deal was that I would be able to drive a couple of races for them. I love working on cars."
Schendel, in the No. 52 Mathews Archery-Texpar Energy Chevrolet, led 38 laps and finished a career-best second in only his third series start after a late-race battle with seven time and defending champ Frank Kimmel.
"I figured we'd have a good car," said Schendel. "I'm not used to these things; I'm used to Late Models. When I was leading it and the car was so awesome early on just like everyone else. To finish second makes me really happy. We're just a family-owned team, and we only have one car. We're based right here out of Wisconsin so I had a lot of really good people helping me out here today."
Kimmel, who led 19 laps, settled for third in the No. 46 Pork the Other White Meat Ford after an eventful day in which the series point leader spun in turn three on lap 40 while running in the top-five, and later tangled with Bobby Gerhart in turn two on a late-race restart.
"It was a pretty eventful day," said Kimmel. "I think someone put fluid down or something because every one went sliding around. I spun. I was just hanging on."
ARCA RE/MAX Series rookie Justin Allgaier, in the No. 16 Auto Xpress-AG Tech-Hoosier Tire Midwest Chevrolet, finished fourth after leading 64 laps, more than any other driver. The 19-year-old driver is coming off of his career-first ARCA RE/MAX Series win at Springfield last Sunday. He was also the Highest Finishing Rookie of the Race.
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin rookie Ryan Mathews finished fifth in the No. 22 Eddie Sharp Racing Dodge.
"It was a good run for us to come out of Milwaukee with a fifth-place finish," said Mathews. "I had the chance to see a bunch of old friends that I hadn't seen in a long time here this weekend and to come home to Wisconsin and get a fifth is awesome. I think that we've proven that we can run in the top-10 and top-five every week and that's very satisfying for me and the whole Eddie Sharp Racing team."
Isanti, Minnesota's Blake Bjorklund earned the Pork Pole award on Saturday and led 35 laps in Sunday's Governor's Cup 200 but finished 18th, three laps down after cutting a tire. Bjorklund earned the Hurst Fastest Lap of the race award on lap 166 (31.083 seconds, 115.819 mph).
Mike Harmon led three laps in the No. 38 Oostlander Racing Chevrolet, but was relegated to the 31st finishing position after making contact with the wall in turn four. He was not injured.
Schendel's crew chief, Tony Mitchell, earned the SK Hand Tool Crew Chief of the Race honors.
Tony Leis, who currently resides in Mooresville, North Carolina, but grew up just down the road in Middle Ridge, Wisconsin, earned Hoosier Hard Charger honors in the No. 24 Hydro Cool-Volden Construction-Bagniefski HVAC Ford for finishing sixth after starting 25th.
The next stop for the ARCA RE/MAX Series is Toledo Speedway for the Hantz Group 200, LIVE on SPEED at 9 p.m. Eastern on Friday, September 1st.