TOLEDO, Ohio — Recap by Race Chaser Online Mid-Atlantic Correspondent Marshall Gabell — ARCA photo —
Talk about a dream debut.
Late model standout Myatt Snider, the son of NBC Sports personality Marty Snider, utilized a late-race restart in his first career ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards start at Toledo Speedway to capture the checkers in Sunday afternoon’s Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care.
Along with it being his first win, Snider’s triumph also marked the fourth different winner and third first-time winner in five ARCA races this season.
“Are you kidding me? No,” Snider said when asked if he thought it was possible to win in his debut race. Seriously though, these General Tires held up fantastically throughout the whole race and I didn’t know what to think coming into this.”
“Kerry Scherer and Briggs Cunningham put together a great team. Paul Andrews and Jeff Caudill leading this thing, there’s nobody better in the business. I couldn’t be happier, especially with Louisiana Hot Sauce coming on here just makes for a great day. I’m going to sit down now.”
Snider made it look simple too, using a veteran move on the green flag with 30 laps remaining to ultimately capture the top spot two laps later, leading the final 28 of 200 laps en route to the victory.
“I’ve learned how to race everybody hard in late models and I guess some of the knowledge came in here, so I tried to get all I could on that restart and it worked,” Snider expressed. “I can’t believe it did, but it worked.”
“I thought I had Chase [Briscoe] on one of those runs, I got to his outside then the car just got real loose coming off of [Turn] 4, so I kind of backed off and just saved my tires for the end and went after it there on the last restart and I got there.”
From the start of the day, Snider’s teammate and pole-sitter Chase Briscoe dropped the hammer, setting the pace for the entire field in his No. 77 Big Tine Ford during the early circuits.
By the time the first caution fell 16 laps into the event, Sheldon Creed and Talladega winner Gus Dean connected and spun around while Briscoe’s lead had extended to almost a second.
During the caution period, outside-polesitter Kyle Weatherman forfeited his top-five running position to come to pit road for a flat left-front tire. While he rejoined the tail-end of the field, the race resumed and again, Briscoe maintained the top spot.
This time, however, Briscoe was not able to build a comfortable lead. Brian Keselowski, the brother of 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski, kept him within striking distance — the lead remaining under half a second for more than 50 laps until the next caution struck.
On this caution — which was drawn when Brian Finney clipped Thomas Praytor’s No. 9 DK-LOK Ford, sending them both spinning on the frontstretch — the frontrunners brought their cars to the attention of their pit crews for fuel and tires.
Briscoe was the first car off the pit lane, keeping him in the lead, while his main challenger Keselowski dropped to fourth. Snider was the second car out and became the next driver to try and halt Briscoe’s torrent pace.
Again though, Briscoe pulled ahead on the restart, keeping the lead at a half of a second over Snider until the crossed flags flew at halfway — and then the competition picked up.
With less than 90 laps remaining, the event became a three car battle between three eager rookie drivers: Briscoe, Snider, and Venturini Motorsports hotshoe Dalton Sargeant.
Those three remained within half of a second between each other, battling patiently until 84 laps to go flashed across the scoreboard when Frank Jovani’s No. 2 Hixson Construction Chevrolet spun around, connecting with the inside wall on the frontstretch and drawing the third caution on the afternoon.
This go-around, the leaders remained on the racetrack — and again on the restart, Briscoe maintained his lead, holding a perfect record of leading every lap to date.
Briscoe was not able to get a large distance on his fellow rookies though. Snider and Sargeant kept him honest. In fact, Snider led two circuits during the run — ruining Briscoe’s chances of a wire-to-wire win — but was soon punted back to second again.
With 55 laps remaining, Briscoe put on the boost, extending his lead to over a second as Sargeant and Snider duked it out for the runner-up position.
As the race approached the closing stages, with 44 laps to go, the caution flew for the fourth time as debris fell from underneath Praytor’s machine. Under the stoppage, Bo LeMastus and Dean remained on the racetrack after pitting during the last caution, handing those two the front row for the restart.
Briscoe came off the pit road third, forcing him to start sixth — his first time in traffic all race long.
On the restart, Weatherman took it three wide into the first corner and zoomed to the race lead. A few laps later, however, Snider came to the surface at 28 to go and took over the top spot.
As the laps continued to clock down, with 20 laps to go, Snider’s lead extended to almost two seconds over the rest of the field. Meanwhile, Briscoe, the dominator of the race, rode in fourth, unable to make any gains.
From there, the battle was uncontested as Snider cruised to the checkered flag, scoring the win by almost a full second and adding a Polish Victory Lap after the race — in honor of his crew chief Paul Andrews’ late Cup driver, Alan Kulwicki.
“It was awesome to be able to do. I can’t believe it, especially with Tom Roberts and Paul Andrews being involved with Alan Kulwicki back in the day — he invented that thing, so it’s kind of nostalgic for them I guess. It’s just a great day.”
Sargeant, piloting the No. 55 Toyota Racing Development Toyota for Venturini Motorsports, rallied in the final laps, charging to finish second — marking his career-best finish in three ARCA Racing Series appearances.
Wentzville, Missouri native Weatherman delivered a third place finish for Lira Motorsports to round out the podium. Briscoe, who led over 150 laps of the event, and Matt Kurzejewski completed the top five positions.
Josh Williams, Dean, Tom Hessert, Keselowski and LeMastus closed the top ten spots.
The ARCA Racing Series returns to action on May 28 for the ARCA 150 by Unique Pretzel, a Memorial Day-weekend stop at the New Jersey Motorsports Park. The event will be the series’ first trip to a road course this season, and Weatherman is the defending winner.
RESULTS: ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards; Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care; Toledo Speedway; May 22, 2016
- Myatt Snider
- Dalton Sargeant
- Kyle Weatherman
- Chase Briscoe
- Matt Kurzejewski
- Josh Williams
- Gus Dean
- Tom Hessert
- Brian Keselowski
- Bo LeMastus
- Scott Reeves
- Michael Lira
- Sheldon Creed
- Thomas Praytor
- Austin Nemire
- Cole Williams
- Brian Finney
- Dustin Knowles
- Mike Basham
- Frank Jiovani
- A.J. Fike
- Jake Francis
- Brad Smith
- Con Nicolopoulos
- Matt Vainner
- Jeff MacZink
- Wayne Peterson
- Chase Storch
- Richard Hauck
About the Writer
Marshall Gabell is the Mid-Atlantic Correspondent for Race Chaser Online, and was also formerly the public relations director for NASCAR Next member Austin Hill. Gabell is currently attending Stephen Decatur High School in Ocean City, Maryland, completing his sophomore year. He is just 15 years old.
Email Marshall at: [email protected]
Follow on Twitter: @MarshallGabell
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