Rookie Matt Carter Takes Hantz Group 200 at Toledo TOLEDO OH (5-18-08) -- SunTrust Rookie of the Year leader Matt Carter looked more like an ARCA RE/MAX Series championship contender Sunday afternoon at Toledo Speedway. Carter, in Larry ...
Rookie Matt Carter Takes Hantz Group 200 at Toledo
TOLEDO OH (5-18-08) -- SunTrust Rookie of the Year leader Matt Carter looked more like an ARCA RE/MAX Series championship contender Sunday afternoon at Toledo Speedway.
Carter, in Larry Clement's no. 46 Hantz Group-NuSouth Lemonade-Stine Seed Ford, survived several late-race restarts including a one-lap dash to the checkered flag to win the grueling Hantz Group 200 by Federated Car Care, becoming the seventh different winner in as many races this season.
"What a great day all around for this team," said Carter. "We were absolutely horrible yesterday in practice and qualifying, but the team dug down and fixed up a really good handling car for the race today. All the guys that raced me for the lead raced me really clean, and it certainly could have gone the other way considering all those restarts that close to the end. Just want to thank my dad (Travis Carter), my sponsors and my car owner Larry Clement for the opportunity."
After Carter fought off Dexter Bean over the course of six restarts inside of 50 laps from the finish, Carter refused a last-lap challenge from Patrick Sheltra to earn his career-first series victory in only his seventh start.
Sheltra, in the no. 60 Ferguson Pipe-FloraGanics Chevrolet, had a fender inside of Carter coming to the checkered flag and fell short by less than a length to finish a career-best second.
"I tried to race everybody clean and I think I did," said Sheltra. "If I was in that same situation, I would hope that they would race me the same way. I went over and congratulated everyone that raced me clean. It's fun to be a part of the ARCA RE/MAX Series and I am thankful to all of my sponsors, friends and family for their enormous support. I am so proud of everyone on this operation."
Bean, after leading 37 laps in the no. 37 Glock Chevrolet, finished third on the heels of Sheltra. Bean, who started 21st, also earned the Casite Hard Charger Award and the Klotz Halfway Leader Award.
"We were doing a rain dance there for a while," said Bean, who was leading the race on lap 106 when it was red-flagged for rain showers. "Later, we had a really good car on the restarts. I think we were getting through the gears a little bit better than the 46 but being pinched up on the corners there ate our tires away. It's disappointing but we'll take this finish for the Glock Chevrolet."
Justin Allgaier battled back from two laps down to finish fourth in the no. 16 Hoosier Tire Midwest-AG Tech Chevrolet.
"We got down two laps so I'm just glad that we were able to recover from that," said Allgaier. "The best part of this finish is breaking the bad luck streak that we have been having these last couple of weeks."
David Ragan, an ARCA RE/MAX Series veteran who traveled to Toledo Speedway after racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on Saturday night, finished fifth in the no. 39 Roulo Brothers BeavEx-Reliance Tools Ford.
"Our car was pretty fast all day long," said Ragan. "We needed some more green flag racing there at the end and I think that if that weather wouldn't have come along it would have been different. The best car didn't win today but that's why there's another race sometime down the road. I'm disappointed but I really can't complain. Anytime that you can finish a race fifth with all four fenders on the car, you have to be happy. I need to thank everyone on this BeavEx-Reliance Tools Roulo Brothers Ford."
The race, during which six drivers exchanged the lead 11 times, was extended by four laps to accommodate the ARCA-mandated green flag finish. Few cars left unscathed as 18 cautions waved for 114 laps, some of which were run to help dry off the track from persistent rain showers that plagued the race most of the way. The race was also red flagged for nearly two hours because heavy downpours.
In all, Carter led the most laps (68) earning the Aaron's Lap Leader Award as well as the SunTrust Rookie of the Race honors.
Andy Hanson, in his career-first series start, earned the SIM Factory Pole Award with a new one-lap track record averaging 113.272 mph. The Ramsey Minnesota driver, who finished eighth in the race, also posted the quickest lap during the race earning the Accel Fastest Lap Award. Hanson's crew chief Mike Chaffee earned the Cometic Crew Chief of the Race Award.
Scott Speed finished sixth in the No. 2 Red Bull Toyota, followed by Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Hanson, Ken Schrader and Tom Hessert III.
Top-10 ARCA RE/MAX Series Points After the Hantz Group 200 presented by Federated Car Care at Toledo Speedway (5-18-08); 1) Ricky Stenhouse Jr 1560; 2) Matt Carter 1550; 3) Frank Kimmel 1530; 4) Tom Hessert III 1475; 5) John Wes Townley 1470; 6) Scott Speed 1445; 7) Justin Allgaier 1440; 8) Patrick Sheltra 1435; 9) Tayler Malsam 1305; 10) Ken Butler III 1270.
Next up for the ARCA RE/MAX Series: Pocono Raceway