Toledo II: Jason Lofton race report

Lofton scores win number five, extends point lead at Toledo If ever a track owed Justin Lofton, it might have been Toledo Speedway. Lofton's been successful on the Ohio short track, setting the track record in 2008. He also led a race high 93...

Lofton scores win number five, extends point lead at Toledo

If ever a track owed Justin Lofton, it might have been Toledo Speedway. Lofton's been successful on the Ohio short track, setting the track record in 2008. He also led a race high 93 laps in the spring event earlier this season, but finished second. For some reason, a win at Toledo was just out of the California native's reach.

Until Friday night.

Lofton, piloting the No. 6 Valvoline Instant Oil Change Toyota for Eddie Sharp Racing, qualified second, led twice for over 50 laps and drove home to his fifth race win this season, taking the checkered flag in the ARCA RE/MAX 200 presented by Belle Tire.

"It was absolutely awesome. The win here has eluded me for the last three races now and I had to pull one off. Especially since it was the last time we're coming here. I'm excited, to win at Toledo, ARCA's home track. It means a lot to me," Lofton exclaimed for victory lane.

Lofton narrowly missed his sixth pole of the season on Friday afternoon but lined up in the second position for the start of the 200-lap, 100-mile event.

Once the green flag dropped, he settled into the third slot for the early portion of the race before cycling into the lead on lap 68 while other leaders opted to pit. Lofton's No. 6 led the way for a stealthy 35 laps before making his one and only pitstop, just beyond the halfway mark of the race, on lap 103 under a caution flag.

For the restart just laps later, Lofton lined up 13th, behind all of the cars that pit under an earlier sequence. Within 10 laps, he had worked his way back into the top 10.

Lofton continued to work his magic as the laps waned, picking up positions and with just over 50 laps remaining, made the pass for the second position.

10 laps later, yet another caution flag waved and while riding in the second spot, Lofton cued his radio, telling his Mark Rette-led crew, "We're right where we want to be. It's good, fun racing with these guys."

Following another caution flag on lap 175, a hungry Lofton lined up for the restart with 20 laps left to run and took advantage once the leader, pole-sitter Joey Coulter, led the field up to speed. Lofton dropped his Toyota to the inside and claimed the top spot through turn 3 and 4.

Despite another caution flag, Lofton was able to hold his position and drive off to his second straight win.

The win padded his lead in the point standings over the second place entry of Parker Kligerman. Entering the dirt race at DuQuoin State Fair on Monday, Lofton has a 65-point advantage courtesy of his five race wins, series leading 14 top-10 and 12 top-five finishes.

"I really want to thank Valvoline Instant Oil Change. I'm sad this is our last race together but I'm glad we brought it home," added Lofton.

Of Lofton's five race wins this season, four have fallen over the last five races. Valvoline Instant Oil Change joined Lofton as the primary sponsor for two of those events with Lofton wheeling his Toyota to victory twice during that stretch, taking the franchise to victory lane at Berlin and Toledo.

Lofton will look to make it win number six of the season on Labor Day, running the ARCA RE/MAX Series Southern Illinois 100.

-credit: esr

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Justin Lofton , Parker Kligerman , Joey Coulter