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Posted: Saturday, February 15th 2014 at 8:22pm

Enfinger holds off Kimmel to score ARCA Daytona victory

By Staff
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Grant Enfinger took the lead with 28 laps to go, and would hold the top spot the rest of the way to win Saturday's season opener for the ARCA Racing Series at Daytona International Speedway. / Photo: ARCA Media
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - Grant Enfinger beat the field to the checkered flag Saturday afternoon, winning the Lucas Oil 200 presented by MAVTV American Real at Daytona International Speedway Saturday. It was his third victory in the last 21 ARCA Racing Series races.

Enfinger, from Fairhope, AL, took the lead from polesitter Dylan Kwasniewski on lap 52 and stayed there to put his the Team BCR Motor Honey-Casite-Advance Auto Parts Ford in victory lane.

“Good track position won us this race,” he said. “We had the track position at the end.”

Frank Kimmel finished second with Clay Campbell third. Tyler Reddick, 18, finished fifth in his first Daytona start, one spot behind teammate Tom Hessert. Reddick was the highest-finishing rookie and was named the SCOTT Rookie Challenge rookie of the race.

The rest of the top 10 included Bobby Gerhart, Mason Mitchell, Terry Jones, Chase Elliott and Sean Corr. John Wes Townley was 11th with Brian Silas 12th, Derrick Lancaster 13th, Kwasniewski 14th and Brian Rose 15th.

Enfinger, who won at Mobile and Iowa last year, started second and swapped places with Kwasniewski several times. At one point, he said, he was content with running behind Kwasniewski as he learned more about his own car. Then, he said, he tried a pass.

“I wanted to see what would happen for later in the race,” he said. “Then, I drove by him. It kind of surprised me.

“The 4 (Kwasniewski) and 9 (Elliott) were good cars. I knew that anything could happen, but track position was in our favor the whole day.”

A crash on lap 13 took several cars out of the race. The yellow flag came out again with 14 laps to go with Enfinger in the lead. The ARCA Racing Series has a new rule this year with its double file restarts, meaning the field came to the green, double-file. Enfinger chose the inside lane with Frank Kimmel behind him and Elliott on the outside.

“I’ve worked with Frank in the past and never had any issues,” Enfinger said. “I had a lot of confidence.”

Kimmel said his runner-up finish was a good start as he tries to defend his series championship. He said he didn’t think he was going to get by Enfinger when the two were single-file coming down to the white and checkered flag.

“I think it ended the way it probably would end no matter what we did,” Kimmel said. “It’s great for Win-Tron Racing to start the year with a second-place finish.”

Campbell, who is the president of Martinsville Speedway, had his best-ever ARCA finish. He’s making two starts this season for Ken Schrader Racing, which will have a car at all 20 races on the series schedule.

“It was a blast,” Campbell said. “I think I need a couple of months before I can do this again.”

Campbell said he planned to follow Kimmel, whether or not he went to the outside and tried to pass Enfinger or if he stayed behind him.

“Kenny Schrader Racing gave me a great car,” he said. “You can do all sorts of things here, but first and foremost you’ve got to have a great car.”

Kwasniewski, planning to run the full season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, took turns leading the race during the first 50 laps, but lost the draft and several positions.

“We were trying to get up there,” Kwasniewski said. “We tried. Turner Scott Motorsports gave me a great car, obviously. We kind of got hung out to dry. I learned a ton today.”

Elliott, 18, has one career ARCA win. He had a top five car most of the day but dropped back slightly toward the end.

“I thought we had a really good finish to get the win in the last re-start, but we didn’t have any help right there,” Elliott said.

Enfinger is hoping to run a full season with Team BCR and is hoping a victory at the “World Center of Racing” will help push that cause.

“I am very, very blessed to do what I love to do for a living,” he said. “Having a moment like this is pretty incredible. This race means everything. Everybody knows this race. It’s just great for me and Team BCR. This is just incredible.”

The 51st ARCA race at Daytona had three cautions for 25 laps. Other than Enfinger (42) and Kwasniewski (34), Maryeve Dufault led four laps and was in the top five for the first third of the race. Gerhart started with a provisional after a technical inspection disallowed his qualifying lap. Then, early in the race, his car scraped the wall. But in the end, he was back into the top 10 and battling for a top five position.

Chris Bailey Jr. was the final car on the lead lap, finishing 16th.
The next event on the ARCA Racing Series schedule is March 22 at Mobile International Speedway in Mobile, AL.

ARCA Racing Series
Daytona International Speedway – Daytona Beach, FL
Lucas Oil 200 – Feb. 15, 2014

1. 2 90 Grant Enfinger/Fairhope AL Motor Honey-Casite-Advance Auto Parts Ford 80 Running
2. 16 44 Frank Kimmel/Clarksville IN Ansell-Menards Toyota 80 Running
3. 15 52 Clay Campbell/Martinsville VA Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet 80 Running
4. 7 77 Tom Hessert/Cherry Hill NJ Dodge 80 Running
5. 32 22 Tyler Reddick/Corning CA Broken Bow-Cunningham Motorsports Dodge 80 Running
6. 40 5 Bobby Gerhart/Lebanon PA Lucas Oil-MAV TV American Real Chevrolet 80 Running
7. 6 98 Mason Mitchell/West Des Moines IA Thermal Technology Services Ford 80 Running
8. 10 32 Terry Jones/Amherstburg Ontario Jones Group-JMC Steel Group Toyota 80 Running
9. 5 9 Chase Elliott/Dawsonville GA Brakes Chevrolet 80 Running
10. 14 48 Sean Corr/Goshen NY Ford 80 Running
11. 9 15 John Wes Townley/Watkinsville GA Zaxby's Toyota 80 Running
12. 11 17 Bryan Silas/Stuart FL David Ragan Ford-American Custom Yachts Ford 80 Running
13. 24 56 Derrick Lancaster/Christiansburg VA RGM Erectors-Glad Precision Dodge 80 Running
14. 1 4 Dylan Kwasniewski/Las Vegas NV AccuDoc Solutions Chevrolet 80 Running
15. 13 19 Brian Rose/Louisville KY Battomi-Lawton Insurance-Xstand Dodge 80 Running
16. 29 68 Chris Bailey Jr./South Park PA Promo Specialties-Gary Yeomans Ford 80 Running
17. 25 3 Tom Buzze/Statesville NC Lane Southern Orchards Chevrolet 79 Running
18. 35 46 Maryeve Dufault/Sorel Quebec Tale Alarms Ford 79 Running
19. 38 0 Barry Fitzgerald/Sykesville MD OperationShoeBox-Race Against Drugs Ford 79 Running
20. 27 20 Spencer Gallagher/Las Vegas NV Allegiant Travel Chevrolet 78 Running
21. 30 40 Alx Danielsson/Storvreta Sweden Carter 2 Motorsports Dodge 77 Running
22. 36 97 Tim Viens/Daytona Beach FL Carter 2 Motorsports Dodge 77 Running
23. 22 02 Mario Gosselin/Sainte-Marie Quebec Williams-Gosselin Racing Chevrolet 75 Running
24. 26 86 Bobby Grewohl/Hollister CA 989 On Demand Chevrolet 75 Running
25. 28 33 Kody Weisner/Muskegon MI UNOH-ZLOOP Chevrolet 71 Running
26. 37 06 Ed Pompa/Ballston Spa NY Milton CAT-Double H Ranch Chevrolet 70 Running
27. 19 12 Jared Marks/Napoleon OH UNOH-Vital One Chevrolet 68 Running
28. 33 55 Leilani Munter/Rochester MN GO 100% Renewable Toyota 64 Running
29. 21 13 Jeb Burton/Halifax VA Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff Toyota 53 Running
30. 39 10 Dick Doheny/Ballston Spa NY Fast Track Driving School Chevrolet 31 Battery
31. 34 2 Thomas Praytor/Mobile AL ARCA-Mobile 200/DK-LOK Chevrolet 28 Transmssn
32. 18 54 Matt Kurzejewski/Mansfield PA Costy's Used Truck Parts & Auto Parts Dodge 28 Accident
33. 20 7 Scotty Hubler/Coplay PA Advanced Mobile Power Systems Chevrolet 13 Accident
34. 23 11 Benny Gordon/Dubois PA Ford 13 Accident
35. 3 99 Buster Graham/Lafayette LA Hewes Concrete Polishing-Roulo Brothers Racing Ford 12 Accident
36. 12 88 Justin Allison/Salisbury NC Ford 12 Accident
37. 4 66 Mark Thompson/Cartersville GA Phoenix Air Toyota 12 Accident
38. 8 69 Will Kimmel/Sellersburg IN Messinas-Ingersoll Rand Ford 12 Accident
39. 17 8 Cole Powell/Mt. Brydges Ontario Copps Buildall-Empire Racing Ford 12 Accident
40. 31 25 Justin Boston/Baltimore MD ZLOOP Computer & Electronics Recycling-JACO Toyota 12 Accident
Associated Categories: Sports News, Professional Sports, NASCAR

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