Brooklyn, Mich. (June 14, 2003) - The word for the day was "perfect": perfect weather for the fans and the race cars.
Perfect start of the race and perfect pitstops under the caution put Casy Mears in the Target Dodge in the winner circle for the ARCA Flagstar 200 at Michigan International Speedway. Dodge Motorsports Engineering Manager, Ed Arthur, was leaning on the fence behind Mears pits, and when asked how it was going for Dodge in ARCA, his one word answer "Perfect!"
The less-than-perfect day was that Mears was because he had to start at the back of the grid, having been pushed to the back after being late to the tech line.
Also less than perfect was the first half of race which was marred by several cautions for wrecks and one for debris.
Frank Kimmel, in the Advanced Auto Parts Ford took the early lead with the drop of the green, and led through the first caution. Kimmel's first pitstop went terribly wrong with a broken air gun putting him back in the field. He was strong on new tires and worked back to third place before fading again to sixth.
Kyle Busch brought the next caution when he cut a tire and smacked the wall in turn one ending his day. Kimmel's second stop was much better and a round of wedge and some air pressure adjustments got the car balanced and he charged toward the front, but was no match for Mears this day.
The race for second was the best of the day between Hermie Sadler and Kimmel. They battled for second and traded positions a few times in the later laps but in the end, Sadler got by Kimmel on the second to last lap and held on for second at the checker.
The order at the end was Mears, Sadler and Kimmel in the first three spots.
Sadler recapped the last laps of the race: " Frank (Kimmel) was just killing us on restarts, but we were able to get under him on long runs. Kimmel is a good racer and he raced me clean. I had a lot of fun."
In the victory circle, Mears was one happy camper. "I came real close to winning here in an Indy Lights car, and it feels real good to get a win here and I so happy for the Target guys, it's their first win and my first win in ARCA. I couldn't be happier! We will celebrate a bit tonight, but not too much because I got to race tomorrow!"
Rounding out the top 10 were Matt Hagens (Chevrolet), Tim Steele (Dodge), Brent Sherman (Ford), Jimmy Henderson (Chevrolet), Eric McClure (Chevrolet), Jason Jarrett (Chevrolet) and AJ Henriksen (Ford).