Tim Viens

John Wes Townley wins ARCA Lucas Oil 200 at Daytona

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Three years after his lone ARCA Racing Series win, John Wes Townley followed up the effort by leading the final 30 laps and winning the season-opening Lucas Oil 200 at Daytona International Speedway.

A regular in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Townley started fifth in the race and took command when pit strategy left pole-sitter Cole Custer back in the pack after leading 42 laps.

“We had it planned out from the beginning and very rarely at these race tracks does it work out like you planned and tonight it did,” Townley told Fox Sports 1. “I was a little worried there at the beginning that if I pulled down (to the inside lane) they were going to surge forward. It ended up working out. Once I got (to the front) they couldn’t quite get to me, which was kind of familiar to me because when I was behind some other guys, I had the same problem.”

Custer, a rookie in the Camping World Truck Series, started from the pole in his fourth ARCA race and his first race ever at Daytona. He finished 10th.

Rounding out the top five was William ByronKyle Weatherman, Chase Briscoe and 10-time champion Frank Kimmel

The race was red flagged after a Lap 2 crash in the tri-oval that involved nine cars: Bobby Gerhart, Kevin Thomas, Terry Jones, Shane Lee, Austin Wayne Self, Jairo Avila, Mark Thompson, Cole Powell and Gus Dean. The red flag was out for 10 minute and 58 seconds.

The race restarted on Lap 8. Ten laps later, the second caution waved for a four-car incident in Turn 2 with Mark Thompson, Derrick Lancaster, Matt Kurzejewski and Dylan Lupton. Lupton, a NASCAR Next driver, was able to continue on while the rest came to a stop stuck together against the outside wall on the backstretch.

Lupton would stay in the lead draft until suffering mechanical problems with two laps left in the race.

The third caution came four laps passed the halfway point when Tom Hessert blew a tire entering Turn 3 and spun out, avoiding making contact with the outside wall.

The pit strategy during the third caution sent Custer, who led 42 laps, back to the rear. That left Townley to jockey for the win with Byron for the final 30 laps. Townley, the 2013 winner at Daytona, kept the point position until the checkered flag waved.

Results

  1. John Wes Townley
  2. William Byron
  3. Kyle Weatherman
  4. Chase Briscoe
  5. Frank Kimmel
  6. Bo LeMastus
  7. Kevin Thomas
  8. Willie Mullins
  9. Grau Gaulding
  10. Cole Custer
  11. Sara Cornett-Ching
  12. Tyler Audie
  13. Brett Hudson
  14. Thomas Praytor
  15. Bryan Dauzat
  16. Brandon Lynn
  17. Ed Pompa
  18. Will Kimmel
  19. Josh Williams
  20. Steve Fox
  21. Gene Paul
  22. John Ferrier
  23. Cory Howard
  24. Dylan Lupton
  25. Dale Shearer
  26. Tim Viens
  27. Sean Corr
  28. Tom Hessert
  29. Matt Kurzejewski
  30. Dick Doheny
  31. Derrick Lancaster
  32. Brad Smith
  33. Mark Thompson
  34. Cole Powell
  35. Gus Dean
  36. Austin Wayne Self
  37. Bobby Gerhart
  38. Shane Lee
  39. Jairo Avila
  40. Terry Jones

 

Kyle Larson wins Xfinity finale as Chris Buescher claims series title

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Kyle Larson is known for riding the outside wall.

Austin Dillon is not.

The difference showed with five laps left in the Ford EcoBoost 300 as Dillon, who had led since Lap 180, hit the wall in Turn 4.

Larson took advantage of the miscue by Dillon to win his third career Xfinity Series race.

“I walked up to him in victory lane, and I said, ‘Teach me how to get around the top,’ ” Dillon said. “Obviously I need to change my line around, so maybe I can talk to him and figure something out. He’s very good at finding that edge up there.”

Chris Buescher finished 11th to clinch the Xfinity Series championship for his first NASCAR title. It is Roush Fenway Racing’s first Xfinity title since 2012.

MORE: final points standings

MORE: race results

WHY KYLE LARSON WON: Larson overtook Austin Dillon after he made contact with the wall in Turn 4 with five laps to go and kept Dillon behind.

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Chris Buescher, the 2015 Xfinity Series champion ran a steady race and did what he had to win the crown … Austin Dillon started third but didn’t lead until the final 25 laps. Then he settled for second after hitting the wall as he fended off Larson … Daniel Suarez was penalized for an uncontrolled tire during the first round of green flag stops. The Joe Gibbs Racing rookie bounced back to finish sixth to secure rookie of the year honors.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: The No. 74 of Tim Viens brought out the first caution of the day when he spun after skimming off the No. 42 of Kyle Larson. Viens, in his first Xfinity start, wouldn’t finish the race. Team owner Mike Harmon would replace him and finish 33rd … JR Motorsports’ Ben Rhodes had to pit just after Lap 65 after he hit the wall and cut a tire. Rhodes finished 20th, two laps down in his final race with JRM … Kyle Busch was having a good day until an uncontrolled tire penalty with less than 25 laps left sent him to the back of the field where he crashed while avoiding a car on a Lap 21 restart.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “This is Championship week. It’s all about the champions.” – Kyle Larson on why he didn’t do a burnout to celebrate his win.

NOTABLE: Team Penske won the owner’s championship for the third year in a row …  Daniel Suarez won rookie of the year honors … At one point there were only four cars on the lead lap … None of Kyle Larson’s four NASCAR wins have been in races in which Larson was eligible for points.