In his first ARCA Racing Series race of the 2013 season, Brennan Poole drove the Venturini Motorsports No. 15 Toyota to Michigan International Speedway's victory lane in the Patriot Pumps 200 by holding off the dominant car of Friday which was driven by Ryan Blaney. The win was the fourth of Poole's ARCA career and it also was the 28th win for Venturini Motorsports.
"It was a hard fought day," Poole said. "But it was a fun day. Michigan is so fun, and so fast."
The 22-year old Poole took the lead on lap 88 of 100 when the fourth caution came out when Justin Boston spun off Turn 2 while leading. Boston was trying to hold off his teammate Poole when Poole got a little loose. When Poole corrected he moved up the track and his car was so close to the left-rear of Boston's car that it got the No. 25 Toyota loose and Boston spun.
The race restarted with eight laps to go and Ryan Blaney, who led 64 of the 100 laps in the race, was back up to third. He made quick work of Frank Kimmel to move into second but he could not find his way around Poole over the final laps.
"I knew he (Blaney) was coming," Poole said. "He had a good race car all day. My heart was pounding when he was coming. I was giving it all I could to the finish. It's probably the biggest win of my career. It's a special place."
Blaney started from the pole in his third career start driving the No. 22 Dodge for Cunningham Motorsports. He dominated early and led up to the lap 24 caution when Mason Mitchell hit the wall after blowing a right-front tire while running in fifth. He would finish in 19th.
Josh Williams stayed out under the caution and was the leader on the restart. Poole dropped from second to tenth after a slow pit stop. On the lap 31 restart Blaney went right past Williams in Turn 1.
He would lead up to the second caution on lap 41 when Tom Hessert blew a right-front tire and slammed the wall while running 11th. He would finish 21st. Josh Williams pitted under this caution from fifth and restarted in eighth on lap 47. Something broke on his No. 02 Ford on the restart and he lost 26 laps and finished 16th.
On lap 68 Blaney was still dominating when he made a green flag pit stop. During the stop he rolled off the jack before the left-rear tire changer was completely done tightening all five lug nuts but they were all on the tire so there was no penalty.
The third caution would come out on lap 72 with Justin Boston leading and Blaney as the first driver one lap down and the free pass recipient. Spencer Gallagher blew a right-front tire and hit the wall hard while running in fourth. He finished in 17th.
Grant Enfinger got off pit road first with a two-tire change. Boston was second, Kimmel third, and Poole fourth. Blaney was supposed to line up behind the lap cars in seventh as the free pass driver but did not do that. When the race went green on lap 78 he then had to fall back behind Buster Graham before he was allowed to start passing again. This put Blaney seven seconds behind Boston with 18 laps to go.
When Boston spun to bring the caution out with 12 laps left Blaney was up to fourth and only about three seconds back. He was able to restart third and had a chance to win again. Poole did a great job to hold off Blaney in the closing laps.
The next race up for the ARCA Racing Series is the Scott 160 at Road America on Saturday, June 22.
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