ARCA: Haley Survives One-Lap Dash for Talladega Victory

Kyle Magda ARCA, Featured, Southeast, Stock Cars 0 Comments

Justin Haley celebrates after winning Saturday’s General Tire 200 at Talladega (ARCA photo).

TALLADEGA, Ala. — With one lap to go in Saturday’s ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards race at Talladega, Munford native Bret Holmes went for a wild ride while Brandon Lynn led the event.

With Justin Haley’s drafting partner Shane Lee mired in the back-half of the top-10, things began to unravel up front.

ARCA races never end under caution setting up a one-lap dash in the General Tire 200. Haley assumed the lead when Lynn ran out of gas during the yellow and held off NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champ Andy Seuss in the final turns for the victory.

“We had to work our way from the back and then we had some ignition issues there about halfway through the race,” Haley said. “We had to race back through it but I can’t say enough about these MDM Motorsports guys. I’ve always wanted to run ‘Dega and this is new crew chief Kevin Bellicourt so hopefully we can carry this momentum next week to Kansas in the Trucks.”

Haley rolled off from 23rd after qualifying got rained out and lineup set by last year’s owner points. The defending K&N East champ learned a lot from spotter Kevin Hamlin, who typically serves as the eyes from above for Cup driver Kasey Kahne.

“He was talking me through all of it. I obviously didn’t know what I was doing. He was great, he helped me quite a bit to try to make runs and stuff like that. First superspeedway start couldn’t came any better.”

Saturday marked the first time Haley ran a restrictor-plate race as his superspeedway debut came last June at Pocono driving a car for uncle Todd Braun. Andy Seuss also made some previous starts in ARCA starting all the way back in 33rd at Talladega. Seuss stayed patient throughout the 200-mile event and brought home a runner-up finish for Our Motorsports team.

“Just a long race, we got caught up on the frontstretch there coming up through and I said I was going to work the outside and we did,” Seuss said. “Just happy to be here. Chris Our and the Robert Our company, candle paving. They do a lot to make this happen. We got this car four weeks ago and put it together in my two-bay boat shop so to be running against the Joe Gibbs Racing teams, the Ken Schrader Racing teams, all the superteams in ARCA is pretty amazing. I really want to thank everyone that’s gotten me here. This is a very small team so it’s cool to be here.”

The only big wreck of the day came near the half-way mark when Noah Gragson dove below Kyle Weatherman and pinched the 78 car into Will Kimmel’s machine, triggering a five-car crash which also involved points leader and Salem winner Dalton Sargeant.

“All I know is that the 55 got underneath me and after that I just didn’t know what happened,” Weatherman said. “We were in the wall by then. I know I drifted up a little bit just to side-draft the other car that was above us and the 55 was underneath us right there. Looks like we got into Will a little bit and then just got collected there. It was unfortunate, a lot of fast race cars got tore up there with 39 laps to go still long race to go.”

Noah Gragson led the first lap until Daytona winner Austin Theriault grabbed the lead and held it for 30 circuits. The race was postponed a day due to rain Friday which also affected practices for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Next up for ARCA is a trip back home as the series races at the half-mile Toledo Speedway in Ohio on Sunday, May 21.

RESULTS: ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards; General Tire 200; Talladega Superspeedway; May 6, 2017

  1. Justin Haley
  2. Andy Seuss
  3. Spencer Davis
  4. Austin Theriault
  5. Shane Lee
  6. Gus Dean
  7. Bobby Gerhart
  8. Riley Herbst
  9. Tom Hessert
  10. Bo LeMastus
  11. A.J. Fike
  12. Thomas Praytor
  13. Ray Ciccarelli
  14. Codie Rohrbaugh
  15. Sean Corr
  16. Willie Mullins
  17. Brad Smith
  18. Brandon Lynn
  19. Cody Lane
  20. Don Thompson
  21. Con Nicolopoulos
  22. Bret Holmes
  23. Bryan Dauzat
  24. Ed Pompa
  25. Caesar Bacarella
  26. Benny Chastain
  27. Dalton Sargeant
  28. Leilani Munter
  29. Ricky Sanders
  30. Noah Gragson
  31. Mark Thompson
  32. Kyle Weatherman
  33. Will Kimmel
  34. David LeBeau
  35. Eric Caudell
  36. Terry Jones

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