Tom Hessert

Truck series driver Cole Custer earns first career ARCA victory at Pocono

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He may have sat out the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race earlier in the day, but after watching Kyle Busch win that event, Truck series semi-regular Cole Custer went out and won the afternoon’s undercard ARCA race event, the ModSpace 125, at Pocono Raceway.

It was the third career ARCA start for Custer, surpassing his previous best finish of fifth earlier this season at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

The 17-year-old Custer, who has one win in five Truck starts this season, captured the 50-lap ARCA event by 4.991 seconds over Grant Enfinger.

“It was just a great race for us today,” Custer, son of Stewart-Haas Racing executive Joe Custer, told Fox Sports 2. “I was just able to bide my time and keep things clean.”

Enfinger finished second, followed by Matt Kurzejewski, Austin Theriault and Josh Williams.

In addition to his first ARCA win, Custer also has four career victories in the K&N Pro East and West Series and two in the Truck series.

He becomes the ninth first-time winner in the ARCA Series this season, joining Blake Jones (Talladea), 15-year-old Todd Gilliland (son of NASCAR driver David Gilliland, at Toledo), Kyle Weatherman (New Jersey), Trevor Bayne (Pocono in June), Ross Kenseth (Michigan), Ryan Reed (Chicagoland), Austin Wayne Self (Winchester) and Travis Braden (Indianapolis).

The race began in rather dubious fashion as, coming off the Tunnel Turn on Lap 1, Kyle Weatherman got loose, piled into the car of Frank Kimmel, and then a number of other cars were collected as a result.

The biggest victim of the incident was Tom Hessert, who suffered heavy damage to his car, ultimately finishing 25th in the 30-car field.

But Hessert suffered even greater damage in the ARCA point standings. He entered Saturday’s race 70 points behind series leader Enfinger.

Hessert leaves Pocono now tied for third place with Austin Wayne Self, both drivers 185 points behind Enfinger.

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Like father, like son: Ross Kenseth, Matt’s son, wins at Michigan in 3rd career ARCA start

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Ross Kenseth gave father Matt — as in former Sprint Cup champion Matt Kenseth — an early Father’s Day present on Friday at Michigan International Speedway.

Piloting a Chevrolet owned by veteran racer Ken Schrader, the younger Kenseth earned his first career win in only his third start in the ARCA series, capturing the Corrigan Oil 200.

“Hats off to these guys,” Kenseth said on Fox Sports 2. “It was a lot of fun today. I felt we were alright (on fuel). I’m just real happy to be here.

“This is about a year and a half since my last win in anything. … I’m happy to do my job for them.”

The 22-year-old Kenseth drove the final 62 laps on the same tank of fuel, while others in the 27-driver field such as Grant Enfinger had to pit late in the race to reach the finish line.

As it turned out, Kenseth was able to conserve enough fuel to not only cross the start-finish line, but to also do a celebratory burnout and make it all the way to victory lane.

“It was pretty cool, I’m glad he won it,” proud father Matt said of his son. “He did a great job. Ross has been working particularly hard to get some opportunities.”

In Ross Kenseth’s other two career ARCA starts, he finished third (2014, Kansas) and sixth (2013, Madison).

Coming on the heels of his first ARCA win, Ross Kenseth will make his first Xfinity Series career start next weekend at Chicagoland Speedway during an off-weekend for the Sprint Cup Series.

“This is a great weekend for me here and I look forward to spending next weekend with him in Chicago,” Matt Kenseth said.

Ross and Matt are now the fifth father-son pairing to ever win a race at MIS. Others are Dale and Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rusty and Steven Wallace, Bobby and Davey Allison and Bob and Brad Keselowski.

Series veteran Frank Kimmel finished second (2.123 seconds behind Kenseth), followed by Austin Wayne Self, Tom Hessert and Matt Kurzejewski.

Sixth through 10th were Josh Williams, David Levine, Grant Enfinger, Sarah Cornett-Ching and Bo Lemastus.

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