Ponoco II: Eddie Sharp Racing race report

Lofton leads Team ESR to second straight win; Goess gets career-best at Pocono Eddie Sharp Racing's Justin Lofton pulled off his goal of taking back-to-back wins in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, by following up his win on the Berlin short track with a...

Lofton leads Team ESR to second straight win; Goess gets career-best at Pocono

Eddie Sharp Racing's Justin Lofton pulled off his goal of taking back-to-back wins in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, by following up his win on the Berlin short track with a win on the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway on Saturday. The win also led him back to the top of the point standings.

"I love racing here. This is such a neat racetrack and I'm so proud of all of my guys today. I'm glad we're leaving Pocono with the lead," Lofton said.

Lofton equaled his performance from one week ago by starting the race from the pole, leading the most laps and winning the Pennsylvania ARCA 200. Lofton's ESR teammate Craig Goess, Jr. also had a stellar day, securing his career-best finish to date. Also under the Team ESR umbrella, Tim George Jr. finished 19th.

Lofton led a race high 65 laps of the possible 82. The race was extended by two laps following a green-white-checkered flag finish following a caution flag in the closing laps.

Lofton's No. 6 Lofton Cattle Toyota battled early with point leader entering the event, Parker Kligerman. Lofton muscled his Toyota away from Kligerman's attempts numerous times before slipping as the field reached the end of its fuel run. With old tires showing their wear, Lofton dropped his No. 6 Toyota to pitroad just as the race reached the halfway mark.

During the exchange of stops, teammate Craig Goess cycled his way into the lead before making his way down pitroad on lap 47 under a caution flag.

With the field cycling through their stops, Lofton was back in front as the restart fell on lap 48. He led through the remainder of the race.

Late in the running, Lofton received heavy pressure from the second place car of Steve Arpin. A caution flag waved with less than seven laps remaining, putting Arpin on Lofton's bumper. He jumped out to a stealthy lead however and Arpin and Kligerman made contact while feverishly battling for the second spot. The two got together just two laps from the checkered, forcing another yellow. Since ARCA does not end events under a yellow flag condition, the race was extended, giving the field another shot at Lofton on the restart.

Despite a new second place contender by the way of Matt Merrell, just as was the case in Berlin, Lofton drove off to the win.

Goess capped off his day behind the wheel of the No. 81 Greenville Toyota of N.C. Toyota with his career-best effort to date in third.

"Everyone did a good job. Overall, it was a good day. I think everybody feels pretty good about the finish and hopefully we can start to contend for a win before the season is finished," he said.

George Jr. equaled his finish from the June event, finishing solidly within the top 20 by sliding into 19th.

Lofton reclaimed the points lead with the win, now leading Kligerman by five points. Goess is fourth and George Jr. is 10th.

-credit: esr

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Series ARCA
Drivers Justin Lofton , Tim George Jr. , Steve Arpin , Parker Kligerman , Craig Goess , Matt Merrell