Dillon runs away from field to win American 200 at Rockingham; Sheltra finishes fourth, claims ARCA championship ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (October 9, 2010) - Ty Dillon returned Richard Childress Racing to victory lane at Rockingham Speedway Saturday,...
Dillon runs away from field to win American 200 at Rockingham; Sheltra finishes fourth, claims ARCA championship
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (October 9, 2010) - Ty Dillon returned Richard Childress Racing to victory lane at Rockingham Speedway Saturday, winning the American 200 presented by Black's Tire & Auto Service, while Patrick Sheltra claimed his first-ever championship in the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and MENARDS.
"We knew (Craig) Goess would have a good car and (Tom) Hessert and everybody, so we had to go up there and lead laps," said Sheltra, who led twice for 74 laps before finishing fourth. "We just had to be a little aggressive at the beginning."
Goess trailed standings leader Sheltra by a mere five points when the race began on the 1-mile track, while Hessert was 20 points in arrears. Sheltra possessed a 4-second lead at one point during the race, but then a yellow flag appeared and his advantage was erased.
"We started getting a little tight there at the end," Sheltra said. "That is when we started looking at the big picture and seeing where everybody was running. We really started championship racing at the last pit stop."
When Sheltra's Toyota began having handling issues, Dillon's Chevrolet excelled. By the time the checkered flag waved, Dillon possessed an 8.902-second advantage over runner-up Kevin Swindell.
"Two wins in a row. What can I say?" Dillon asked after producing his second straight victory in three career ARCA starts. "These guys worked hard all week and fine tuned it. We saved our tires all day. They got a little worried when I got up front; thought I was over using it. But I knew this car could handle it. I saved a lot on the restarts trying not to spin the tires."
Dillon, the grandson of NASCAR team owner and former driver Richard Childress and the son of former NASCAR driver Mike Dillon, qualified sixth but led only once during the event. Swindell, who started on the pole, took charge for the first 52 laps. Steve Arpin, who eventually finished 12th, then set the pace for eight laps before Sheltra led a circuit on the 1-mile track. Justin led 25 laps before Sheltra resumed the lead on lap 87. The Indiantown, Fla., native appeared headed for victory, leading 73 laps, before Dillon's powerful Earnhardt-Childress Racing engine boosted him past Sheltra and into the lead on lap 160 of the 200-lap race. Over the next 41 laps, Dillon stretched his lead to claim an easy victory.
"They [ECR] built us great engines all year," said Dillon, who averaged 107.829 mph in the race that was slowed by four caution flags for 31 laps. "Once you see those Cup cars out there getting poles and winning races, you know these ARCA cars and trucks can do it."
Dillon, who played with "little box cars" in the Rockingham grandstands as a child, said he plans to compete for the ARCA championship in 2011. Racing returns to Rockingham Speedway on Nov. 27, 2010 with the third-annual running of the Polar Bear 150 Frank Kimmel Street Stock Nationals. Tickets are available by calling the 910.205.8800 or by visiting www.rockinghamspeedway.com. Four-for-$44 family four packs of tickets, Cheerwines and hot dogs are available for advanced purchase.
-source: rockingham speedway