Salem: Series race report
Arpin Wins Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA 200 at Salem SALEM, Ind. (4-11-10)-Steve Arpin earned his first career ARCA Racing Series victory Sunday afternoon, winning the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 presented by ApplianceZone.com at Salem (Ind.) ...
Arpin Wins Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA 200 at Salem
SALEM, Ind. (4-11-10)-Steve Arpin earned his first career ARCA Racing Series victory Sunday afternoon, winning the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 presented by ApplianceZone.com at Salem (Ind.) Speedway.
Arpin, driving the No. 55 Tag Heuer Chevrolet from the Venturini Motorsports stables, powered around the outside of Joey Coulter on lap 142 and outran a hungry field to claim the win, leading the final 57 laps. For Arpin, the Salem win was special, as it also marked the scene of owner Billy Venturini's only career win as a driver.
"Our day was pretty good!" Arpin, the Aaron's lap leader, exclaimed. "This is the place I wanted to win the most. It's just wild...the fans are right on top of you...it's just a rush driving around this place! Billy won here, and now I've won here!"
Venturini reflected on the win, "This is where I got my first win, and it was so special. Steve is like a brother. I just love him. He has been an awesome addition to this team. I thank God every day that he is a part of this program and to give him his first win was almost as emotional as my first win here."
Craig Goess, the CGS Imaging Hard Charger of the race, also posted his career best finish in the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards, earning runner-up honors. "Johnny made the adjustment to try to make the car driveable, and I think considering everything, it was a good finish for us," Goess commented. "I think that we could have had the win without that happening, but we will take second. Only one more spot to get, and I'm looking forward to Texas."
Point leader Justin Marks finished third, with defending race winner Patrick Sheltra fourth and Tom Hessert fifth. Coulter, who was completive all day, didn't have a finish that reflected his car. "The car was awesome. The guys gave me an awesome car, and anyone who watched the race saw that. Anytime I wanted to, I could just zip up to the front," Coulter commented.
As usual, the action was fast and furious on the .555 high-banked Salem oval, and the event was slowed 11 times for caution, none of them serious. The slam-bang action at the high banked Salem oval started early, as the field bunched up with an accordion-effect on lap one, causing a caution for debris.
Another yellow flag was waved on lap 15, when Brent Brevak spun in turn 3. The No. 3 Brevak Racing Dodge obtained significant front end damage. As the field went green again, Menards pole-sitter and ARCA rookie Max Gresham fell back to third, with Arpin and Coulter in the first two spots. Arpin and Coulter battled hard until lap 50, when two cars got together on the backstretch. Sixteen cars took advantage of the caution and pit for fuel and tires, while ten cars, including Arpin and Coulter, stayed out.
On lap 78, the No. 6 ApplianceZone.com Toyota of Brandon McReynolds, making his ARCA debut this weekend, pulled off the race track due to a engine problem. Lap 79 brought on another caution, as the No. 36 Orchard Chrysler Dodge Jeep Dodge and No. 89 Lafferty Performance Chevy made contact in turns 1 and 2. Robb Brent's No. 36 Dodge had major front damage. Arpin and Coulter took this opportunity to make pit stops, with eight other lead lap cars.
As the field went green on lap 86, Patrick Sheltra led the field in his No. 60 Buffalo Wings and Rings Dodge. As halfway approached, Coulter got into Nick Igdalsky in turn 3. Igdalsky's No 1 ModSpace Ford slammed into the outside wall, resulting in significant damage to the right front. Coulter was on a hard charge when the green flag dropped on lap 103, picking up six spots in six laps and taking the lead in 13 laps. The bad day continued for Igdalsky, cutting a right front tire, he hit the turn 2 wall. The No. 1 car, again, received damage on the right front. Coulter stayed out, when 13 cars took advantage of the caution for pit stops.
Coulter's lead was challenged again by Arpin, with Arpin taking the lead on lap 142. His lead did not last long under green flag conditions, as his teammate Mikey Kile got into the wall in turn 4. Kile's No.25 Venturini Motorsports Toyota stalled on the frontstretch and had severe damage on the right front. The field once again slowed for a yellow when the No. 14, 48 and 47 got together and spun in turn 3.
As the field went back to green, Arpin got to a good start and a sizeable lead. Working his way back to the front, Coulter and RE/MAX Rookie of the Race Dakoda Armstrong made contact and spun into the turn 3 wall. Coulter's fast racecar received heavy damage to his racecar, and he settled for a disappointing 14th place finish. Four laps later, Alli Owens, Bryan Silas and Chris Buescher got together in turn 2. The last caution of the day occurred on lap 186, as Coulter made contact with the inside wall of the backstretch. As the checkers fell with Arpin in the lead, a battle was heating up for the top-5. Coming out of turn 4, Sheltra got into the turn 4 wall but caught the car to get a fourth place finish.
Seventeen cars survived the 11 cautions and were running at the end - ten were on the lead lap. Of the five drivers making their ARCA Racing Series debut, Gresham finished the highest in sixth place.