Posted: Tuesday, July 8th 2014 at 10:00am
Georgia's Brandon Jones wins in ARCA debut at Winchester
By ARCA Media
Brandon Jones smiles in victory lane after scoing the ARCA win in his series debut at the legendary Winchester Speedway. / Photo: Courtesy ARCA Media
WINCHESTER, IN - Veteran Ken Schrader didn't win Sunday's Herr's Chase The Taste 200 presented by Federated Car Care, but he taught Georgia teenager Brandon Jones a thing or two, and the lessons probably helped Jones get to victory lane at Winchester Speedway.
Jones became the second driver of the 2014 ARCA Racing Series season to win in his ARCA debut, passing runner-up Mason Mitchell in turn four of the final lap of the race. Mitchell was leading the race at the white flag and through much of the backstretch when Jones drove hard into the corner, made contact and passed Mitchell, beating him to the checkered flag.
"I drove it in as hard as I could and luckily it stuck," said the 17-year-old Jones, who hails from Atlanta. "I kind of got into him, which I hated to do."
Jones started second behind Menards Pole Award winner Schrader and was in the top five much of the race. During a green flag run that went nearly 100 laps, Jones said Schrader taught him a little bit about the venerable Winchester Speedway.
"I saw him (Schrader) sort of drop back there early in the race," Jones said. "He was saving his tires. I kind of drove the tires off of mine. That really made a difference. After we put on tires, that's what I tried to do."
Jones stayed on the lower end of the top five for a second long green flag run. When a caution flew late in the race, he pitted for more tires and came out second.
"The Turner Scott guys gave me a great pit stop," Jones said. "Once I got out there, I knew we had a car that was capable of winning."
Mitchell was disappointed with second, but called the bump by Jones a racing incident.
"It was the last lap," he said. "He did what he had to do. It's alright. It's okay. We'll go on to the next race and win that one."
Mitchell, in the No. 98 Musselman's-Wildlife Foundation of Florida-TTS Ford, closed the point gap with Grant Enfinger to 10 points. Enfinger finished fifth after getting as high as second.
"When we unloaded we were off," Enfinger said. "But (Crew chief) Kelly Kovski made some great calls and I felt like the car improved. On that long green flag run, we were really good. When we got those late cautions, our car wasn't set up for those short runs."
Justin Boston finished third in the ZLOOP Toyota while Schrader was fourth.
Boston got caught up in an opening lap mishap that took out SCOTT Rookies Kyle Weatherman and Anderson Bowen, but recovered enough to earn the top-five finish, his third of the season.
"I thought we could have had a shot at it in the end," Boston said. "I thought the two of them (Mitchell and Jones) were both going to wreck and we might pick up the win.
"Either way, the Venturini guys gave us a good car. I didn't think it was going to be when we first got here, but (crew chief) Kevin Reed made some changes and really improved the car."
Venturini Motorsports put four cars in the top 10. Besides Boston's third-place car, rookie drivers J.J. Haley was sixth and Cody Coughlin seventh while Watkinsville, GA’s John Wes Townley was eighth in a great showing for the longtime ARCA team.
Schrader led 88 laps throughout the day after picking up his 18th ARCA pole and becoming the oldest driver in series history to win a short track pole. He almost pulled off his 18th series win.
Mitchell led a race-high 90 laps. The race had four cautions for 29 laps. It marked the halfway point of the 2014 ARCA season.
Defending race winner Frank Kimmel got caught up in a late race wreck and finished ninth. Austin Wayne Self was 10th and Karl Weber 11th.
Jones, in the No. 4 Exide Chevrolet, became the second driver of the season to win in a Turner Scott Motorsports car, owned by Steve Turner. He led laps 58 to 78, then lap 200. His biggest fan in the crowd had to be his mother, Becky, who watched her son make the last lap pass to lead the most important lap of the day, then do a burnout on the front stretch in front of the Winchester faithful.
"I know he was saving tires, but when those late cautions came out, I knew it was on," she said. "I'm so happy that he finally got a win. He's been working so hard for a long time. I'm happy for him and this team."
The ARCA Racing Series was making its 25th appearance at the 100-year-old Winchester Speedway and the main event of an event-filled weekend. A new historical marker was dedicated, a sprint car race and top speed modified cars, plus dozens of historical cars were part of the weekend.
"This is just awesome," Jones said. "It's a great track. It's pretty crazy that the track has been around this long. I'm very happy to add my name to the great list of winners here."
The ARCA Racing Series has a week off before returning to the Midwest with the Ansell ActivArmr 150 at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19.
ARCA Racing Series
Winchester Speedway - Winchester, IN
Herr's Chase The Taste 200 - July 6, 2014
FIN STR NO DRIVER/HOMETOWN TEAM & CAR LAPS STATUS
1 2 4 Brandon Jones/Atlanta GA Exide-Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet 200 Running
2 5 98 Mason Mitchell/West Des Moines IA Musselman's-Wildlife Foundation of Florida-TTS Ford 200 Running
3 6 25 Justin Boston/Baltimore MD ZLOOP Toyota 200 Running
4 1 52 Ken Schrader/Fenton MO Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet 200 Running
5 7 90 Grant Enfinger/Fairhope AL Team BCR Ford 200 Running
6 9 66 JJ Haley/Winamac IN Braun Auto Group-Braun Ability Toyota 200 Running
7 11 55 Cody Coughlin/Delaware OH JEGS Toyota 200 Running
8 4 15 John Wes Townley/Watkinsville GA Zaxby's Toyota 200 Running
9 10 44 Frank Kimmel/Clarksville IN Ansell-Menards Toyota 198 Running
10 14 22 Austin Wayne Self/Austin TX AM Technical Solutions Dodge 195 Running
11 13 3 Karl Weber/Ambia IN Silveus Insurance Group Chevrolet 195 Running
12 18 2 Thomas Praytor/Mobile AL DK-LOK Chevrolet 181 Running
13 15 72 Tom Hessert/Cherry Hill NJ Caregard-AxionWarranty.com Dodge 129 Running
14 16 6 Josh Williams/Port Charlotte FL Southwest Florida Cable Construction Ford 100 Accident
15 17 0 James Swanson/Clarksboro NJ Wayne Peterson Racing Ford 70 Rear End
16 21 68 Will Kimmel/Sellersburg IN Messinas Ford 65 Running
17 12 69 Michael Lira/Port Orange FL Gary Yeomans Ford 51 Transmssn
18 20 48 Brad Smith/Shelby Township MI Radon.com Ford 22 Handling
19 19 06 Wayne Peterson/Pulaski TN Wayne Peterson Racing Chevrolet 17 Rear End
20 3 77 Anderson Bowen/Suwanee GA Cunningham Motorsports Dodge 4 Accident
21 8 17 Kyle Weatherman/Wentzville MO Roulo Brothers Racing Ford 1 Accident
40 Jami Weimer/Cumming GA Carter 2 Motorsports Dodge
Menards Pole Award Presented by Ansell: Ken Schrader 15.826 (113.737 mph) *NTR
Margin of Victory: 0.235 seconds Cautions: 4 for 29 laps
Time of Race: 1:15:41 Average Speed: 79.264 mph
Lap Leaders: Schrader 1-21, 90-110, 140-185 (88); Mitchell 22-57, 79-89, 111-139, 186-199 (90);
Jones 58-78, 200 (22)
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