Chad McCumbee Earns First Career ARCA Victory in Nashville
New Tires at the End Help to Seal the Deal
McCumbee's #62. (51 Photos)
Chad McCumbee knew he had a good car and proved it in the end to win the ARCA RE/MAX Series 150 Saturday afternoon at Nashville Superspeedway.
"I told my crew early on that we had a really good racecar," said McCumbee. "If we take care of this thing, we can win this race."
McCumbee, in Jennifer Belmont's Nortrax-Holland Pump Chevrolet, powered inside of Cale Gale on the final restart with three laps remaining and held on for his career-first RE/MAX Series victory in his 31st career attempt.
"I think we took the green with three or four to go. I don't know if he (Gale) spun his tires a little bit or what. I knew we were good on restarts but I knew he was a lot better on extremely long runs. I really don't know. Either I did something that I hadn't been doing before and got an extremely good restart, which I really don't think happened, or he spun his tires a little bit on the restart."
McCumbee, who pitted during the final caution with less then 10 laps remaining while Gale stayed out, also had the advantage of having four fresh tires to work with.
Gale, who won the ARCA Pole Award on Friday, dominated the race in Kevin Harvick's Chevrolet, leading 87 of 113 laps in the 150-mile event, but had to settle for second one length away from the winner. Gale then quickly hopped from his RE/MAX Series machine into his Busch Series car for the forthcoming Pepsi 300.
Erin Crocker, in Ray Evernham's Dodge Charger, finished third. "We'll take a third-place finish any day," said Crocker. "It lets us know that we're in contention and waiting for a win. I'm really proud of the guys. We have 14 ARCA races scheduled for this year. We raced Daytona and then today at Nashville and so now we'll do 12 additional races after today."
Scott Lagasse finished fourth in the Juicy Fruit Dodge in front of Chad Blount, who finished fifth in the Jones Group Dodge.
McCumbee led three times for 25 laps and proved to be Gale's biggest threat in the race. Only Tim Andrews, who finished sixth in the Dodge Motorsports Dodge, led (one lap) during the race.
Justin South finished seventh in the HD Supply Lumber & Building Materials Dodge. Marc Mitchell, the last car on the lead lap, finished eighth in the Ergon Chevrolet. Dexter Bean and Frank Kimmel finished ninth and tenth respectively.
The ARCA RE/MAX Series returns to short-track racing next with the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 presented by Federated Auto Parts at Salem Speedway Sunday afternoon, April 22.
McCumbee gives a big thumbs up in victory lane.