SORENSON WINS IN JUST SECOND ARCA START By Don Radebaugh
Former ASA Rookie Of The Year Dominates Race
race-ready, earned the Gladiator GarageWorks Gladiator of the Race award. McCumbee, who was making his career-first series start, received the Landrum Spring Hard Luck honors.
The ARCA RE/MAX Series returns to short-track action next at South Boston Speedway Saturday night, June 26 LIVE on SPEED Channel at 8 pm eastern followed up by a trip back to Berlin Raceway Saturday night, July 3 for the GFS Marketplace 200.
Last year’s ARCA Rookie of the Year Bill Eversole finished a career-best sixth in the Gene DeRossett for Congress Chevrolet. Mark Gibson was seventh in the Williams Bros Lumber Chevrolet in front of Bobby Gerhart, who finished eighth in the Lucas Oil Chevrolet. Phil Bozell finished a career-best ninth in The Dyckman Restaurant-Harding’s Markets Pontiac. Kimmel, despite losing a lap, finished tenth in the Advance Auto Parts-Pork Ford.
Hagans was credited with the Bennigan’s Halfway Lap Leader award. Jack Bowsher & Associates, whose team went the extra mile to get Todd Bowsher’s #21 Ford Taurus
When it was all said and done, eighteen-year-old ARCA RE/MAX Series rookie Reed Sorenson, in only his second series start, had nary a challenger on his way to victory lane Saturday afternoon in the Flagstar 200 at Michigan International Speedway.
Sorenson, in Chip Ganassi’s Sherwin Williams-Target Dodge, finished more than six seconds ahead of second place finisher Matt Hagans.
The ARCA cars raced in front of a large crowd at Michigan International Speedway Saturday. (ARCA Photo)
over the top-spot to red-hot rookie Ryan Hemphill, who showed the way through lap 38 until his first pit stop for service. Hagans, in his own Eagle Creek Aviation-TECI Dodge, was next in line to lead and held on for 14 laps before he too came down pit road for service. Then series point leader Frank Kimmel and Mike Harmon each led a few laps before Sorenson, who quickly sliced his way back through the pack, took over for good on lap 59 of the 100-lap race.
“It feels good,” said Sorenson. “These guys (the crew) make it a lot easier on me, because it’s such a good car. I haven’t won a race in about a year, so it felt good to get back in victory lane. The car was good all day; it was just a matter of letting things play out.”
And there was plenty to play out throughout the 200-miler including six cautions for a variety of spills and thrills, and even one red flag for rookie Chad McCumbee, who after tangling with CW Smith, barrel-rolled down the backstretch seven times. Miraculously, he was not injured.
There was also an early caution for Pork polesitter and new track record holder Justin Hobgood who cut down a tire and collected Jason Jarrett in turn one, which eliminated both cars from competition. Neither driver was injured.
Hobgood, who did not get through tech in time, had to start from the tail-end as a result; but it did not take him long to get through the pack. Hobgood, in the Arnold Motorsports Dodge, was already working on Jarrett for tenth on lap 15 when the accident occurred.
Sorenson jumped out into the lead at the onset and led for 17 laps before giving it up in favor of a pit stop under caution. That handed
Hemphill, who had won three superspeedway races already this year, was headed toward the front when he spun and made contact with the wall in turns three and four. In addition, Kimmel lost a lap late in the race when the five-time series champion had to make an unscheduled pit stop for tires. Rookie David Ragan raced in the top-five all the way until his engine expired 33 laps shy of the finish. Former NFL head coach Jerry Glanville, in his first appearance since last year’s crash at Kentucky Speedway that left him with third-degree burns, was running seventh inside of ten laps to go before an overly assertive Michael Simko punted Glanville off turn two. Both drivers were forced to make pit stops under green; Glanville for tires, and Simko to repair his caved-in, right-front corner.
Hagans’s runner-up finish was a career-best for the Indianapolis, Indiana driver. AJ Henriksen, in the Engineered Components Ford, finished third, his second consecutive third place finish.
Brent Sherman finished fourth in the Serta Mattress-Hickory Farms Ford in front of Christi Passmore, who tied her career-best finish in fifth in the GAP Roofing-Asphalt & Fuel Ford.
Ryan Hemphill saw his bid for four straight superspeedway race wins end after an accident.
Reed Sorenson took his Target / Ganassi Dodge to the ARCA win in a big way Saturday at Michigan. (Michigan Speedway Photo)