TOLEDO OH (7-6-03) By Don Radebaugh - Defending ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series champion and current point leader Chad Guinn passed Tully Esterline in the final corner of the last lap, after passing him twice before, to win the thrilling ...
TOLEDO OH (7-6-03) By Don Radebaugh - Defending ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series champion and current point leader Chad Guinn passed Tully Esterline in the final corner of the last lap, after passing him twice before, to win the thrilling Livernois Motorsports 50 Sunday evening at Toledo Speedway. Guinn, in the BFI-Northland Collision-M&M Heating Ford Ranger, used lapped traffic and a lead foot to earn his 17th career Lincoln Welders Truck Series triumph.
"I have to thank Tully (Esterline) for giving me a lane to race there at the end," said Guinn. "He could have shoved me way up the track if he wanted to. Outside of that, I'm really surprised we won the thing. The truck lost fuel pressure on that one restart; the gauge went down to zero, but after it blubbered for a lap, it picked back up -- just in time too. It's great to win in front of the hometown crowd."
Guinn, who fought off fuel pick-up problems during the race, caught Esterline in turn three on the last lap as both came upon the lapped truck of Kevin Reeb. While Esterline followed Reeb into the corner on the bottom, Guinn immediately went to work on the high-side. By the time Esterline made his move up high to clear the lapped truck, Guinn had already driven by both machines as the leaders raced off turn four headed towards the checkered flag.
Esterline, after leading 42 of 50 laps in his family-owned Rupp Seeds Chevrolet S-10, had to settle for second a length away. "I didn't want to run him (Guinn) up the track," said Esterline. "We're here to have fun; that's all there is to it. Congratulations to Chad; he worked me hard and fair for it. All in all, we had a great night."
Esterline, whose day job is working as a shock engineer for David Green in the NASCAR Busch Series, started out strong winning the Old Milwaukee Pole award in his first ARCA Truck start of the 2003 season but his truck got looser and looser as the race wore on.
At the onset, Esterline, debuting a new V-6 engine, led from the pole and built up a half-straightaway advantage over Guinn, who had worked his way into second from the third starting position. And as soon as Guinn cleared outside polesitter John VanHorn for second, the Erie, Michigan driver chewed hard on Esterline's lead. By lap 20, Guinn caught Esterline and raced inches off the leader's back bumper for several laps before making the pass just in time to earn the Cloyes Gear Halfway Leader award on lap 25. Guinn then began to pull away from Esterline until the caution flag appeared for a spin on lap 31.
But on the restart, Guinn's truck fell back suddenly while Esterline, along with a host of other lead lap machines, drove underneath the former leader. After falling back five positions, Guinn's engine suddenly regained its proper fuel supply and picked up the pace noticeably. From there, Guinn passed lead-lap trucks one by one and again found himself staring at Esterline's back bumper for the lead. And for the second time, Guinn maneuvered inside of Esterline and took the lead just before a multi-truck accident in turn one blocked the track and brought out the red flag five laps from the finish. Before racing resumed, and under ARCA Truck rules, the field was realigned according to the last recorded lap putting Esterline back in front of Guinn for the restart. With the stage set for a five-lap dash to the finish, Esterline got a much better restart than Guinn and pulled away by five lengths. Guinn, undaunted, reeled in Esterline again and with two laps remaining began working him over before making his winning move and third pass of the former leader just in time for the checkered flag.
Paul Hahn, in his own Hahn's Collision-Fox Auto Parts Chevy, finished third a few lengths back ahead of Joe Wormcastle, who finished fourth in the Witwer Construction Chevy. Two-time ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series champion Robbin Slaughter finished fifth in his own Carmensvacuum.com Ford.
Local Toledo favorite John Kasmierski, who was caught up in the aforementioned multi-truck wreck, finished up solid in sixth in the Carpenters Local 1138 Ford with Barboursville, West Virginia driver Brian Rowe trailing in seventh in the Pate Manufacturing Ford, the last truck on the lead lap. Reeb finished eighth in front of 17-year-old Brandon Knupp who earned the Ed & Company Hard Charger award for his ninth place finish after starting 22nd. Veteran SPEED TV pit reporter Steve Cox, in his first ARCA Truck appearance, completed the top-ten finishers.