Lagasse Finishes First Among the Driver Development Battle at Kansas
Point Leader Allgaier Tops Among ARCAville Regulars With Eighth Place Run
Scott Lagasse (#4) and Erik Darnell battle for the top spot late in the race at Kansas. (ARCA Photos)
Neither fire nor rain could stop Scott Lagasse, Jr. Friday afternoon at Kansas Speedway. Lagasse, in the Cunningham Motorsports-Wayside Waifs Dodge, chased down Erik Darnell’s Roush Racing Ford in the closing laps to win the rain-delayed ARCA RE/MAX Series Kansas Lottery $150 Grand.
“It’s been an up and down day I guess you could say,” said Lagasse. “We had a little electrical fire during practice. The team fixed that; I don’t know how they fixed that so fast. The car was the best it has ever been during the race.
“I just want to thank Erik (Darnell) for racing me so clean at the end. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.”
Lagasse erased Darnell’s 10-length lead with five laps remaining and raced side-by-side with Darnell for two complete laps before making the winning pass off turn two on the 97th circuit of the 100-lap, 150-mile race. Once clearing Darnell, Lagasse sailed away to a five-length lead at the checkered flag. It was his career-first RE/MAX Series victory in his 12th series attempt.
Darnell, in the Simply Wow Ford, finished second after starting the race last as a result of a procedural rule infraction.
“We shot ourselves in the foot when we didn’t make it to the tech line in time to go qualifying,” said Darnell. “Because of that we didn’t get to qualify and I think we could have earned the pole. Instead, we had to take a provisional. Scott (Lagasse) had a really good car and he raced me clean.”
Blake Feese, in the ScottishRite.com-PocketExpress.com Dodge, finished third.
“It was an exciting race,” said Feese. “I had a really good car. I started third on that last restart. I feel good about the team. They’re a good bunch of guys--a small team out of Nashville. It’s good to be with a team that’s 100 percent behind you. They know that you will have good days and bad days in racing.”
Mario Gosselin, in the DGM Racing Chevrolet, finished fourth with Josh Wise, in the ESR Development Team-NAPA Toyota, trailing in fifth. Wise, who started 26th, also earned the Hoosier Tire Hard Charger Award. Wise’s finish also marked the highest finish for Toyota thus far in RE/MAX Series competition.
The race was delayed by two hours due to heavy afternoon rain showers throughout the Kansas City area. The first 15 laps of the event were run under caution to help get the track race-ready; but when the race finally went green, only two additional cautions for 12 laps would slow the race from there. Through it all, there were 11 lead changes among eight drivers keeping it interesting during the long, green flag runs. Lagasse led the most laps with 35 laps-led.
Justin Marks, who led 21 laps, finished sixth in the Crocs Dodge. Marks also earned the SIM Factory Pole Award with a new ARCA RE/MAX Series track record of 31.323 seconds, an average speed of 172.397 mph, which eclipsed the old mark of 171.162 mph set by Ryan Newman back in 2001.
McCumbee gives a big thumbs up in victory lane.
Erin Crocker, in the Mac Tools-Mac Card Dodge, finished seventh in front of Justin Allgaier, who finished eighth in the AG Tech-Trashman-Hoosier Midwest-USAF Chevrolet. Allgaier also increased his point lead over Frank Kimmel, who finished one lap down in 15th.
Bobby Gerhart, in the Lucas Oil Chevrolet, finished ninth, the last car on the lead lap. Dexter Bean, in the Five Star Telecom Chevrolet, finished 10th. Michael McDowell finished 11th and was the Highest Finishing Rookie.
The next event for the ARCA RE/MAX Series is the Winchester ARCA 200 at Winchester Speedway in Indiana on Sunday, May 6. Tickets are available (765) 584-9701.
Lagasse leads the field before pulling into victory lane for the first time in ARCA. (Robert Costanzo Photos)