Lagasse Holds off Stenhouse, Speed at Chicagoland JOLIET IL (9-6-08)--Scott Lagasse, Jr., in the no. 25 Venturini Motorsports-prepared Nicholson Group-Hamptons Luxury Homes Chevrolet, held off ARCA RE/MAX Series championship contenders Ricky...
Lagasse Holds off Stenhouse, Speed at Chicagoland
JOLIET IL (9-6-08)--Scott Lagasse, Jr., in the no. 25 Venturini Motorsports-prepared Nicholson Group-Hamptons Luxury Homes Chevrolet, held off ARCA RE/MAX Series championship contenders Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Scott Speed in a two-lap shoot-out to win the Chicagoland ARCA 200 Saturday night at Chicagoland Speedway.
"I knew we had one shot," said Lagasse when asked about leading Stenhouse to the line on the final restart. "I knew that if he broke free I would have to catch him and run him down. I was a little concerned because I didn't want to give up the track position. For four days of work on the Venturini's part, I am very impressed. It's neat for me to come here and win; and for them, it's special because it's their hometown."
Lagasse's crew chief Billy Venturini earned the Cometic Crew Chief of the Race Award, especially gratifying for the entire Venturini family, who are natives of the Chicago area.
Despite dominating much of the race leading 67 of 136 laps, Stenhouse settled for second in the No. 99 Aflac Ford one length away, earning the Aaron's Lap Leader Award. He was also the SunTrust Highest Finishing Rookie.
"Our cars tend to be really good on long runs and I just bobbled there on the restarts and let him get by me a little bit," said Stenhouse. "We were a little bit tight on that last run and I just couldn't recover. I spun the tires and that was about it. I thought we were going to get him there on that last restart. He was trying to protect his line and we just didn't get it."
Speed, after a side-by-side battle with Justin Allgaier on the last lap, finished third in the Red Bull Toyota. Speed also earned the Klotz Halfway Leader honors and the Accel Fastest Lap of the Race Award.
"It was a tough race," said Speed. "The car was okay for five laps and then would get really unstable so we did the best we could with what we had today. We have four races left and we just need to focus on bringing the best cars to the track."
Allgaier, in the Hoosier Midwest-AG Tech-Auto Xpress Chevrolet, settled for fourth with Jesse Smith trailing in fifth in the Lloyd's BBQ-Spam-Hormel-Jones Group Dodge.
Stenhouse, who earned the SIM Factory Pole with a new one-lap track record of 180.030 mph, swapped the lead five times with Speed throughout the race while Lagasse, who started second, fell back with an ill-handling car. But after several pit stops, the first of which was unscheduled, the Venturini crew breathed new life in the car, which positioned Lagasse among the leaders just in time to challenge for the win late in the race.
Bryan Silas battled from one lap down to finish sixth in the Nortrax-Shell Rotella T Chevrolet, the last car on the lead lap. Silas, who started 28th, also earned the Casite Hard Charger Award as a result.
Rookie Ben Stancill finished a career-best seventh in the TRG Motorsports-Dolce Vita Chevrolet. Justin Lofton was eighth in the Lofton Cattle Dodge. Jeremy Clements and Ken Butler III finished ninth and 10th respectively.
The ARCA RE/MAX Series, widely regarded for a diverse season schedule, will switch gears from speedway racing to short track racing next weekend when the series heads to the Salem Speedway short-track in Southern Indiana for the Eddie Gilstrap Motors 200 by Advance Auto Parts. The 200-lap race is set to roll off at 7:15 p.m. Local Time on Saturday, September 13th. For tickets, call (888) 246-7223.
Top-10 ARCA RE/MAX Series Points After The Chicagoland ARCA 200 at Chicagoland Speedway (9-6-08); 1) Scott Speed 4125; 2) Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 4075; 3) Matt Carter 3965; 4) Frank Kimmel 3880; 5) Justin Allgaier 3860; 6) Tom Hessert III 3385; 7) Ken Butler III 3350; 8) Tayler Malsam 3330; 9) John Wes Townley 3310; 9) Patrick Sheltra 3310.