Posted: Thursday, June 12th 2014 at 2:00pm
Jones scores Howie Lettow win at the Milwaukee Mile
By Kari Shear-Carlson
Erik Jones (center) outdistanced Griffin McGrath (right) and Chad Finley (left) for the win in Sunday's Howie Lettow Memorial 150 at the Milwaukee Mile. / Photo: FastLapPhoto.com/Courtesy ARCA Midwest Tour
WEST ALLIS, WI Ė Erik Jones held off all comers Sunday afternoon to score the ARCA Midwest Tour victory in the Howie Lettow Memorial 150 at the Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, WI.
ďThis race has been a race Iíve been eyeing for the past three years. Itís pretty high up and itís got so much history. To add my name to the list is pretty awesome,Ē said a very happy Jones.
Jeremy Miller and Mark Kraus led the 36-car field to the green flag. Behind Miller, Chad Finley and Chris Weinkauf engaged in battle for second as Johnny Sauter slid into the top five. As the top four prepared to sort out their positions, the caution flew on lap 18 as Will Gallaher tagged the outside retaining wall in turn one.
The ensuing restart saw Miller and Finley in the front row, with Chris Weinkauf and Sauter in the second row with Griffin McGrath and Jones in the third row.
On the restart, Weinkauf made a daring pass to the inside to steal the lead from Miller and Finley. The gamble paid off and Weinkauf took the lead on lap 24.
For the next two laps Weinkauf built up his lead over Finley. Jones moved to third. Fast qualifier Anderson Bowen of Suwanee, GA was fourth and Miller fell back to fifth.
Weinkauf was contested once on lap 36 by Jones but held on until the competition yellow on lap 37. Several drivers took advantage of the competition caution, sacrificing top ten spots, including Sauter, Miller and Nemechek. They would end up restarting outside of the top 15.
For the restart on lap 38, Weinkauf once again got away in the lead of the pack leaving Jones and Bowen to dispute the second spot. Although they had given up track position, Sauter and Nemechek closed in on the top 10 by lap 40.
The field settled in for the next 20 laps behind Weinkauf, Bowen, and Jones. Caution fell on lap 62 for a spin by Nathan Matz closing up the field, allowing Finley, Griffin McGrath, and Ross Kenseth to close the gap on the top three.
On the restart Weinkauf once again got away from Jones as Bowen and Finely scrapped for the third spot. The field would make it to lap 72 before the yellow came out due to the stalled machine of Pauly Schafer, Jr. in turn four.
Because this was within 10 laps of the scheduled half way point, it was deemed the competition caution and all lead lap cars came to the pits for the attention of their crews.
The green flag came out again on lap 73 and Weinkauf was able to jump away from Jones once again. It would be short-lived however as Joel Theisen hit the wall in turn one bringing out the caution. Once again Weinkauf got away on the restart, however this time he was followed by Finley who trailed him on the outside line passed Bowen.
Weinkauf continued to show the way as Jones slide into the second spot and began to close the gap on the leader. As he closed in, Sauter moved into third and started to put pressure on Jones. Just as he reached the back bumper, Jones dived to the inside and stole the lead from Weinkauf on lap 92.
Weinkauf slid back outside of the top five as it was clear that there were issues with his machine, allowing Sauter to move in and try to track down Jones.
Just after lap 100, Sauter closed the gap and looked as though he was ready to challenge Jones, until lap 106 when Sauter fell off the pace and was forced to come onto pit road.
A series of called back restarts and yellow flags slowed the battle between Jones and Griffin in the front row. One of those cautions was an unfortunate end of the day for Nathan Haseleu who hit the outside retaining wall gathering up Johnny VanDoorn.
On the lap 127 restart, McGrath held even with Jones through turns one and two but eventually Jones proved to be too strong on the outside and got away from McGrath to extend his lead.
The final caution came out on lap 138 when Eilen slowed because he ran out of fuel setting up a final showdown between Jones and McGrath. Again McGrath provided a challenge for the restart, but once again Jones proved to be too strong as he sailed away to victory in the Howie Lettow Memorial.
McGrath was second while Finley held off a late charge from Nemechek. Tim Sauter rounded out the top five, with Anderson Bowen in sixth.
ARCA Midwest Tour
Milwaukee Mile - West Allis, WI
Howie Lettow Memorial 150 - June 8, 2014
1. 51 Erik Jones
2. 64 Griffin McGrath
3. 42 Chad Finley
4. 8N John Hunter Nemechek
5. 99 Tim Sauter
6. 29B Anderson Bowen
7. 77K Ross Kenseth
8. 12M Nick Murgic
9. 66 Stephen Wallace
10. 58 Cardell Potter
11. 97 James Swan
12. 2 Joey Mucciacciaro
13. 9 Mark Kraus
14. 29N Stephen Nasse
15. 63 Gary LaMonte
16. 5G Will Gallaher
17. 5M Jeremy Miller
18. 77E Jonathan Eilen
19. 14 Austin Nason
20. 8K Brent Kirchner
21. 8V Johnny VanDoorn
22. 87 Nathan Haseleu
23. 5W Spencer Wauters
24. 43 Matt Kocourek
25. 5J Johnny Sauter
26. 76W Jason Weinkauf
27. 5T Travis Sauter
28. 75W Chris Weinkauf
29. 75T Joel Theisen
30. 91 Ty Majeski
31. 36S Kyle Shear
32. 7 Paul Shafer, Jr.
33. 82 Nathan Matz
34. 39 Andrew Morrissey
35. 76J Jerick Johnson
36. 22 Chris Eggleston
DNS: 27 Travis Rodewald
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