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Posted: Saturday, June 7th 2014 at 5:07pm

Larson runs down Mitchell to win Pocono ARCA 200

By Doug Donnelly
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Kyle Larson celebrates after winning Saturday's ARCA Racing Series race at Pocono Raceway. / Photo: Courtesy ARCA Media
LONG POND, PA - Mason Mitchell made Kyle Larson work for his win in Saturday's Pocono ARCA 200, grabbing the lead with fewer than 10 laps to go before the NASCAR Sprint Cup driver could pull away for the win.

"I was nervous for a while there," Larson said after winning his first ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards race. "He was real aggressive and got the lead, then started to pull away."

Larson, 21, however, fought back and regained the lead against Mitchell and won the race at Pocono Raceway. He became the fifth different winner in seven ARCA Racing Series races on the season.

"We had a good car, a dominating car," Larson said. "We definitely wanted to win. I was glad that we had to work for it there in the end. I learned something in all of this. In the end, it was a lot of fun."

Mitchell finished second for the fourth time in his ARCA career. John Wes Townley was third, Will Kimmel fourth and Justin Allison fifth.

The series has a short turnaround as it races Friday at Michigan International Speedway in a race that will be nationally televised by Fox Sports 1.

Mitchell extended his top 10 streak to 15 races. He led lap 71 though lap 77 and moved within 20 points of Grant Enfinger for the ARCA point lead.

Mitchell grabbed the lead on the last re-start of the race, following the third caution of the day.

"I got a great re-start," he said. "I just drove it hard into the corner. It was either take the lead or hit the wall. Fortunately, it stuck and we got the lead."

Mitchell held on for a couple of laps before Larson, who is 10th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings, finally took the lead for good.

"We battled him hard," Mitchell said. "We proved we had a fast car and we can contend for wins. We have a lot of speed. It shows a lot about what this team can do."

Townley had to start at the back of the field because he missed practice and qualifying Friday when he was at Texas Motor Speedway for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. He quickly moved into the top 10, but lost a lap when he had front-end damage after making contact with another car. He got his lap back and rebounded to finish in the top three, his third top five finish in the past four ARCA races.

"We never did really recover," said the driver of the No. 15 Zaxby's Toyota. "By the time we started running well, those guys (Larson and Mitchell) were too far ahead."

Will Kimmel's fourth-place finish was a season high.

"The Messinas/Ingersoll Rand Ford is gaining," Kimmel said. "This team has worked really hard on the car and we're looking forward to going to Michigan next week and racing. I was extremely happy with the car today."

Allison gained his second top 10 of the season and career-best ARCA finish. He was fast all week, from Wednesday's open test through Friday's practice and the race. He had the lead late in the Pocono ARCA 200, but with the car stuck in fourth gear had trouble on the re-starts.

"Just a gear issue," he said. "The car was good all week."

After three consecutive 11th place finishes, Josh Williams was scored in sixth place. Frank Kimmel was seventh, with Enfinger eighth and Cody Coughlin ninth in his superspeedway debut. Karl Weber rounded out the top 10.

Several ARCA regulars had problems during the race. Justin Boston and Matt Tifft crashed, Tom Hessert hit the wall and Spencer Gallagher, who finished 11th, had an issue with another competitor on pit road.

Larson ended up leading 66 of the 80 laps after winning the Menards Pole Award on Saturday.

ARCA Racing Series
Pocono Raceway - Long Pond, PA
Pocono ARCA 200 - June 7, 2014

1 1 4 Kyle Larson/Elk Grove CA Cartwheel by Target Chevrolet 80 Running
2 4 98 Mason Mitchell/West Des Moines IA Musselman's-Wildlife Foundation of Florida-TTS Ford 80 Running
3 2 15 John Wes Townley/Watkinsville FL Zaxby's Toyota 80 Running
4 7 69 Will Kimmel/Sellersburg IN Messinas-Ingersoll Rand Ford 80 Running
5 3 88 Justin Allison/Salisbury NC Ford 80 Running
6 13 6 Josh Williams/Port Charlotte FL Southwest Florida Cable Construction Chevrolet 80 Running
7 6 44 Frank Kimmel/Clarksville IN Ansell-Menards Toyota 80 Running
8 9 90 Grant Enfinger/Fairhope AL Motor Honey-Advance Auto Parts Ford 80 Running
9 10 55 Cody Coughlin/Delaware OH Jeg's Toyota 80 Running
10 28 3 Karl Weber/Ambia IN Silveus Insurance Group Chevrolet 80 Running
11 15 23 Spencer Gallagher/Las Vegas NV Allegiant Travel Chevrolet 80 Running
12 17 5 Bobby Gerhart/Lebanon PA Lucas Oil-MAV TV Chevrolet 79 Running
13 16 2 Thomas Praytor/Mobile AL DK-LOK Fittings & Valves Ford 79 Running
14 14 43 Kyle Martel/Lebanon PA Hanover Cold Storage-Finish Line Express Chevy 78 Running
15 19 10 Ed Pompa/Ballston Spa NY Milwaukee Crusher-Double H Ranch Chevrolet 78 Running
16 12 77 Tom Hessert/Cherry Hill NJ Dodge 77 Running
17 18 66 Tom Berte/New Berlin WI CGS Premier Chevrolet 77 Running
18 11 86 Nick Igdalsky/Stroudsburg PA DBI Services-Nth Degree-Fox Realty Chevrolet 75 Suspnsn
19 8 52 Matt Tifft/Hinckley OH Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet 75 Running
20 20 34 Darrell Basham/Henryville IN Darrell Basham Racing Chevrolet 74 Running
21 21 18 Bill Catania/Westfield NY Stacks Original Wings & BBQ Sauce Chevrolet 73 Running
22 27 25 Justin Boston/Baltimore MD ZLOOP Toyota 65 Accident
23 23 40 Jay Curry/Homosassa FL Carter 2 Motorsports Dodge 56 Engine
24 5 22 Austin Wayne Self/Austin TX AM Technical Solutions Dodge 42 Engine
25 22 7 Brent Cross/Cortland NY Bell Plantations-Northeast Transformer Chevrolet 33 Rear End
26 25 48 Rick Clifton/Circleville OH Ford 31 Engine
27 26 06 Steve Fox/Hazleton PA Universe Towing & Auto Body Center Chevrolet 19 Transmssn
28 24 0 Don Thompson/Carlisle PA Wayne Peterson Racing Ford 19 Handling
29 29 68 Chris Bailey Jr./South Park PA Kimmel Racing Ford 10 Transmssn
30 30 97 Tim Viens/Daytona Beach FL Text MyntCar to 91011 Dodge 6 Suspnsn

Menards Pole Award presented by Ansell: Kyle Larson 53.106 (169.472 mph)
Margin of Victory: 1.153 seconds Cautions: 3 for 17 laps
Time of Race: 1:31:04 Average Speed: 131.772 mph
Lap Leaders: Larson 1-7, 12-61, 65-70, 78-80 (66); Self 8-11 (4); Allison 62-64 (3); Mitchell 71-77 (7)
Associated Categories: Sports News, Professional Sports, NASCAR

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