One First-Time ARCA Winner... One 15th-Time ARCA Winner
Clauson Wins At Gatway... Three Days Later, Schrader Wins At DuQuoin
"This is awesome," said Clauson. "We've ran five or six of these things and we've been so close so many times and we've fallen short, mostly due to driver error. It feels good to finally get these guys into victory lane. They've come in each week and given me great cars and good pit stops. It feels good to finally close the deal. I can't be prouder of the Memorex Dodge team. We weren't really sure how we were going to be there. We thought we had a good car but we made a few changes. The car drove great all night and we went far enough this week, last week we didn't really go."
Wise, who won the SIM Factory Pole Award, finished second in the ESR Development-NAPA Toyota, about 10 lengths behind the winner.
"It got rough there for awhile," said Wise. "We were fortunate to qualify on the pole there and we were smooth sailing for awhile and then we came in for a pit stop and it put us right in the mix of everything for awhile and it kind of got us caught up in an accident. It was tough but it was fun to try and hang it out and run with everyone. I had fun racing with Michael McDowell, my teammate, and my new crew chief, Wayne Carroll."
McDowell, who led the most laps (38), finished third in the Z Line-Make a Wish-Beck Dodge.
"We got a little bit off sequence with the strategy and that was a move for us just to stay out of trouble and to stay out front," said McDowell. "We had a really good car there at the end we just didn't have the track position and then we broke fourth gear there with about seven laps to go. The No. 2 guys did a great job again and this gives us the momentum we need for the last couple of races to try and catch Frank (Kimmel)."
Bryan Clauson took his first-career win in ARCA at Gateway. (ARCA Photos)
Bryan Clauson, in Chip Ganassi's Memorex Dodge, drove away from Eddie Sharp Racing teammates' Josh Wise and Michael McDowell to earn his career first ARCA RE/MAX Series victory Friday night at Gateway Int'l Raceway.
Justin Allgaier finished fourth in the Schluckebier Farms-AG Tech Chevrolet ahead of Dominick Casola, who finished a career-best fifth in the A. Casola Farms Ford.
Polesitter Wise led the first 35 laps before Casola took the lead on lap 36. Casola led the next 11 laps before McDowell, after pitting early out of sequence with the leaders, took control of the top-spot on lap 47. McDowell showed the way up through lap 84 before giving up the lead to Clauson after McDowell made his final pit stop for fuel and tires. Clauson led the next six laps before Allgaier raced his way into the lead on lap 91. Allgaier held onto the lead for 12 laps before Clauson regained the top-spot on lap 103 of the 120-lap, 150-mile race. Wise and McDowell eventually cleared Allgaier and got within five lengths of the eventual winner before falling back in the closing laps.
Michael Annett came from a lap down to finish sixth in the TMC Trucking Dodge. Andy Lally finished a career-best seventh in the TRG-Johnson Realty Chevrolet. Justin Marks was eighth in the Crocs Dodge. Colin Braun, in his debut for Roush Fenway Racing, finished ninth. Carl Long, making his series return, finished 10th in the FreeFeds.org Dodge.
Six cautions slowed the race for 41 laps. The race was also red flagged on lap 62 for a frightening incident on the backstretch when Surrey, British Columbia driver Ryan Fischer tumbled several times. Fischer was not injured.
Clauson posted the fastest lap of the race on lap 113 and also earned Hoosier Tire Hard Charger honors for advancing the most positions. McDowell was the highest finishing rookie.
Clauson takes the checkers at Gateway.
SCHRADER WINS ON THE DIRT
Defending race winner Ken Schrader, in the Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet, earned his 15th career ARCA RE/MAX Series victory Monday at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds, winning the 55th Southern Illinois 100 in front of 8,000 fans.
Schrader, after chasing Josh Wise for 20 laps, slid underneath the former leader on the 85th lap of the 100-lap race and kept the field at bay to earn his second consecutive victory at the historic fairgrounds oval.
"I just love coming here but boy I hate what we put our boys through in the shop," said Schrader in victory lane. "They put together three cars for this race, and they all ran good."
"I got to thank them and Federated for sticking with us. I was really worried about the track early, not early in the race but early in the day. I didn't think it was going to widen out at all. And I should be kicked for doubting Bob Sargent (track promoter). Once the modifieds ran, the track was awesome. There was no dust and side-by-side racing; you just couldn't ask for any more."
Wise, in the ESR Development-NAPA Dodge, led 19 laps before giving up the top-spot 15 laps shy of the checkered flag. Nonetheless, the Riverside, California driver scored his second consecutive runner-up finish in RE/MAX Series competition.
Ken Scrader (#52) works his way past Josh Richards (#20).
"Man it just sucks to come up short," said Wise. "But the guys did a great job. We weren't that good out of the trailer but the guys worked on it and got it to where it needs to be. I got to thank Wayne Carroll and Eddie Sharp all of the guys at Michael Waltrip Racing for doing what they are doing for me. You use some of the car control stuff that you learn with the open wheel stuff but these cars are a lot heavier and you just drive them different in a lot of ways. It's fun to come and try new stuff."
Josh Richards, with his boss Tony Stewart spotting, finished third in the Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet in his RE/MAX Series debut.
"It was definitely exciting," said Richards. "I'd like to thank Tony Stewart for bringing this deal together for me. It's a great opportunity and I was a little nervous getting here but once we got through practice, I was used to the dirt feel so it was pretty good. And then at the end we were a little tight from the center out and I had to be careful. It was a great run for us and I'm glad with all the guys on the team for helping me out. It was good to get a top-three finish the first time out. These cars are a lot slower than what I'm used to-you know, reacting and everything. I just had to get used to slowing myself down and it took a few laps to do that."
AJ Fike had a big day, earning the SIM Factory Pole Award followed by a solid fourth place finish, despite spinning early in the race after leading the first 19 laps.
Eight-time series champion Frank Kimmel, who led 17 circuits, finished fifth, after pitting twice in the Pork Ford. Kimmel also stretched his point advantage to 200 points over rookie Michael McDowell, who crashed on lap 57, which relegated the Phoenix, Arizona driver to 36th in the final running order. He was not injured.
Schrader's strategy included just one stop for fuel and tires on lap 20. From there, the Fenton, Missouri favorite bided his time as he maneuvered his way forward.
Justin Allgaier was challenging Wise for second on the last lap and spun off turn four coming to the checkered flag. By the time the Springfield, Illinois driver re-fired his Chevy Monte Carlo, the entire field passed him by, relegating him to 22nd in the final running order, the last car on the lead lap.
Patrick Sheltra finished sixth in the CP Products-US Construction Chevrolet earning the Highest Finishing Rookie of the Race honors. Justin Marks brought the Crocs
Schrader and his team in Victory Lane.
Dodge home in seventh after leading six laps. Billy Venturini's RE/MAX Series return was noteworthy after an eighth place finish. Joey Miller, also making his return to competition, finished ninth in the Mercedes Homes-Red Line Oil Dodge. Justin South, in the HD Supply Dodge, finished 10th.
Josh Krug, who finished 12th from the 24th starting position, earned the Hoosier Tire Hard Charger award for advancing the most positions.
The ARCA RE/MAX Series steers north next to Chicagoland Speedway for the Chicagoland ARCA 200 Saturday, September 8, LIVE on SPEED at 2:00 pm Eastern.