Kyle Benjamin won the Herr's Live Life With Flavor 200 at Madison International Speedway on Sunday and in doing so made ARCA Racing Series history by becoming the youngest driver ever to win an ARCA Racing Series race. Benjamin did it in dominate fashion beating out teammate Justin Boston by over seven seconds.
“It’s definitely the biggest thing that has ever happened to me,” Benjamin said. “I’m ecstatic right now. I’m not going to sleep tonight. I’m not going to sleep tomorrow night.”
The 15-year-old Benjamin was driving the #15 Toyota for Venturini Motorsports giving that team their third win of the season. Frank Kimmel finished in the third position with Spencer Gallagher coming home fourth and Mason Mingus finished in the fifth position.
Benjamin got the lead with excellent pit strategy by his crew chief Kevin Reed. Reed had Benjamin pit for two tires on lap 50 and when the final caution came out on lap 70, Benjamin inherited the lead. With just 30 laps to go Benjamin held onto the lead. He led the final 131 laps.
"It was a top five car at the beginning we came and made that stop and got those two those tires and the car came to life,” Benjamin said. “From there it was smooth sailing. Kevin Reed is such a good crew chief. I got the best team behind me. Billy Venturini is awesome. I had a great spotter. Everything just came together today. I’m really happy for all of the guys.”
Benjamin, in his sixth series start, broke the old record for being the youngest driver to win an ARCA race by winning at the age of 15 years, and just shy of 10 months. The old record which was set by defending Camping World Truck Series champion James Buescher was two days shy of turning 16 when he won in 2007.
Pole sitter Ross Kenseth finished in the sixth position as the last lead lap car in his first career ARCA race. He led the first 51 laps.
Frank Kimmel is well on his way to his 10th ARCA championship and holds a big points lead over second place points man Mason Mingus. Third in the standings is Justin Boston. Fourth in the standings is Tom Hessert who finished 10th at Madison. Josh Williams is fifth in the standings after his eighth place finish.
The next race on the ARCA Racing Series schedule is at the DuQuion State Fairgrounds and the one mile dirt track on Labor Day, Monday, September 2nd.
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