Sargeant Leads The Charge To Win ARCA Race At Iowa

Dalton Sargeant salutes the crowd from Iowa Speedway’s victory lane after winning Saturday night’s ARCA Racing Series event. Photo: ARCA Media

Saturday night’s ARCA Racing Series event at Iowa Speedway came down to a 40 mph drag race down pit road.

Dalton Sargeant beat Austin Theriault to the line by a foot. Both knew it would be for the right to restart in the preferred outside line, and the best opportunity to go to victory lane.

Sargeant, from the top lane, edged ahead of Theriault on the final restart with nine laps remaining, and sailed away, to win the Fans With Benefits 150 at the Newton, Iowa raceway.

“This was a really tough race overall,” said Sargeant. “The biggest thing was my Cunningham Motorsports crew…getting us in and out of pit road in great shape. The car was on the free side in the beginning but it tightened up later in the race. The lane moved up where I thought I was at my best.”

Theriault worked hard for his runner-up run.

“We had a motor issue right before practice and my guys worked so hard and replaced the motor in less than an hour,” said Theriault. “We got behind a little but fought hard all day to get back in it. That last battle with Dalton was pretty intense. We did what we could…he was just a little better. He had a faster car in the end.”

Once Sargeant finally cleared Theriault, the Boca Raton, Florida driver stretched his advantage to a full second-and-a-half over Theriault at the checkered flag.

Sheldon Creed finished a career-best third after leading 11 laps.

“We were tight in the center and loose off,” said Creed. “It was tough racing back in the pack, but once we got into the top-five everybody’s a little racier and we got in a better groove. This track’s a lot of fun to drive. Tight in the beginning and loose in the end worked out pretty good for us tonight.”

Sargeant had a seven second lead late in the going before the final caution came out when Eric Caudell spun on the backstretch.

“The caution was the last thing I wanted to see,” Sargeant said. “It definitely made me nervous, but my guys executed the pit stop perfectly. The General Tires really performed tonight.”

With only five cars left on the lead lap, Sargeant and the rest of the lead lap machines had no choice but to pit for four fresh tires for the final restart. From there it was a drag race down pit road between Sargeant and Theriault, each bouncing off the other to get the edge.

“I think it really did come down to that,” Theriault said. “I felt like the top line was moving a little better, and that would have been our shot to win it. We may have been able to hold him off but he was overall a little better than us.”

Michael Self, who led 33 laps, was a contender all night and finished fourth despite rear-end damage from an earlier spin. Kyle Weatherman also spent time up front, leading six laps before settling for fifth.

Polesitter Shane Lee led the first 58 laps — more than anyone — before first-round pit stops shuffled him back in the order. Lee continued to fade from there, finishing 11th.

Once Sargeant took control on lap 109 of the 150-lap race, he only gave the lead up once, to Theriault, who led the 141st lap.

Vinnie Miller finished a career-best sixth with Dawsonville, Georgia’s Spencer Davis trailing in seventh. Christian Eckes, Bret Holmes, and Gus Dean rounded out the top ten.

The next event for the ARCA Racing Series is the Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200 at Lucas Oil Raceway Friday night, July 21.

ARCA Racing Series
Iowa Speedway – Newton IA
Fans With Benefits 150 – June 8, 2017

1. Dalton Sargeant
2. Austin Theriault
3. Sheldon Creed
4. Michael Self
5. Kyle Weatherman
6. Vinnie Miller
7. Spencer Davis
8. Christian Eckes
9. Bret Holmes
10. Gus Dean
11. Shane Lee
12. Riley Herbst
13. Zane Smith
14. Mason Mitchell
15. A.J. Fike
16. Mike Basham
17. Brad Smith
18. Thomas Praytor
19. Eric Caudell
20. Nick Higdon
21. Kevin Hinckle
22. Con Nicolopoulos
23. Justin Fontaine
24. Zach Ralston
25. Ron Cox
26. Mark Meunier


About Don Radebaugh