JOLIET IL -- Let it never be said that Ed Berrier did not earn his victory in the inaugural Chicagoland ARCA 200 Saturday afternoon at Chicagoland Speedway. The veteran Winston-Salem, North Carolina driver charged from the 34th starting position...
JOLIET IL -- Let it never be said that Ed Berrier did not earn his victory in the inaugural Chicagoland ARCA 200 Saturday afternoon at Chicagoland Speedway. The veteran Winston-Salem, North Carolina driver charged from the 34th starting position and tracked down Frank Kimmel less than six laps from the finish to record his career-first ARCA RE/MAX Series win in his 28th attempt.
"It's about time we won an ARCA race," said Berrier in victory lane. "Seems like we'd been trying forever. Our car worked great today, and our pit stops were even better. Frank (Kimmel) seemed to have the dominate car for most of the way; I'm not sure what happened to him there at the end, but I know it sure feels great to be here. Lee Leslie (crew chief) had the car perfect and made all the right calls during the race. Just want to thank my car owner Cavin Councilor who always brings first class stuff, Target Saws & Blades for the sponsorship; we're sure glad to give them the win."
Kimmel, who led 85 circuits, was enjoying a ten-length advantage inside of ten laps from the finish when his lead began to dwindle. "Our left rear tire was going down," said Kimmel. "We only had about 12 pounds in it after the race. We thought we had the field covered but I guess it just wasn't to be. Nice to see Ed get a win though; they'd been trying for a long time, but we sure didn't want it to be at our expense." Kimmel, who was credited with the Loctite Halfway Leader award, nursed his ill-handling Advance Auto Parts-Pork Ford home in sixth.
Outside polesitter Jason Jarrett, in Mary Louise Miller's Biomet-Damon RV Chevrolet, finished second five lengths in back of Berrier with Old Milwaukee polesitter Tim Steele, in the HS Die-SofTech Ford, trailing in third. It was Jarrett's ninth top-ten finish of the year. Chicago native Billy Venturini, clearly a fan-favorite, steered his ABC Auto Parts Chevrolet to the final stripe in fourth recording his third top-five finish of the season after 12 attempts. John Metcalf, in the RE/MAX Int'l Chevrolet, finished a solid fifth. It was Metcalf's fourth top-ten finish in only five starts this year.
In all, there were 11 lead changes among six drivers while five cautions, all for minor incidents, slowed the 200-mile race for 24 laps. Mokena, Illinois hometown favorite Bob Strait, who led 20 laps in Mark Thompson's Ford, was reeling in Kimmel for the lead late in the race before the engine expired in his Gas City-sponsored Ford Taurus relegating the 16-time RE/MAX Series winner to 20th in the final running order. Outside of Kimmel and Strait, Berrier and Steele each led 11 laps while Robert Burroughs led four circuits over Jarrett's three.
Lake Zurich, Illinois driver AJ Henriksen stayed in the hunt all afternoon and finished a solid seventh in the Fastenal-Engineered Components Chevrolet over Burroughs, who hustled from the 36th starting position to finish eighth. Bruceton Mills, West Virginia rookie Richard Mitchell racked up his second top-ten run finishing ninth over Andy Belmont, who steered his AOL-Racecakes Ford from the 27th starting position to tenth, the last car on the lead lap.
Leading ARCA Rookie of the Year contender Jarrett took home the ARCA Highest Finishing Rookie award while Berrier walked off with the Hoosier Tire hard Charger honors to go along with his Thermo-Tec Cool Move award. Jarrett also won the Quarter Master Comin' Thru in the Clutch honors.