The ARCA Menards Series was back in action this past weekend at Daytona International Speedway and it was a solid race for the most part. There were a lot of new faces in the ARCA field at Daytona trying to make their first start at the most historic place in racing.
Some new, some old, but they all had the same mindset. Go out there and win, or in some cases, bring the car home in one piece and be satisfied with a top-five finish when others expected you not to finish there. Either way, the 2020 Lucas Oil 200 was a new era for the ARCA Menards Series officially falling under the NASCAR banner. Despite falling under the new banner, you didn’t really notice any major difference, unless you looked hard enough.
With that out of the way, here are the four takeaways from the Lucas Oil 200 event.
- Venturini back in victory lane – Whenever it comes to an ARCA race, you can almost always expect a Venturini car winning the race, or coming up short. Many wondered if the organization could follow up their impressive 2019 season by winning half the races, the Owners Championship, and of course, the prize everyone is chasing, the ARCA Menards Series title. Well, those questions were answered on Saturday when returning driver Michael Self claimed his first-ever Daytona pole. Having a fast car, Self was hoping to do a repeat performance from two years ago in 2018 by winning that race. It was a wreck-fest of a race, but the Venturini driver avoided all of them and found himself in contention to win at the end. Self wound up leading 61 of the scheduled 80 laps en route to victory. Not a bad first step in 2020 in hopes of getting back to the championship after falling short last year.
- Wreck-Fest Extravaganza – When it comes to Daytona, you never know what to expect until the race begins. In some races, the race goes the complete distance without a yellow, while others can be a wreck-filled race. Saturday’s race was a wreck-fest with 33.8 % of the race running under yellow. The pace was slowed by six cautions for 27 laps. Just 17 out of the 33 cars were running at the finish. A wild way to open up the 2020 ARCA Menards Series season.
- Deegan shines in first outing at Daytona – It wasn’t easy for her, but NASCAR superstar Hailie Deegan had a decent performance at Daytona. The DGR-Crosley driver qualified seventh and finished second after all the chaos especially after being caught up in an incident of her own. Toward the end of the race on Lap 51, Deegan caught the No. 11 machine the wrong way off Turn 2 and sent Chuck Hiers into the wall. While most certainly Deegan did not mean to do so, the Fast Track Racing team might make it tough on her in the races to come whenever she tries to pass them.
- Sean Corr continues to impress – Sean Corr is a name many people might not hear all that much, but he is always there at the finish, at least in the Superspeedway races. In 2013, Corr notched his first top-five finish at Daytona by finishing fifth. He followed that up again a couple of years later at Talladega by finishing fifth again. The Goshen, New York native also did the same in last year’s Daytona race. Coming into 2020, Corr was hoping to do the same. The No. 8 NESCO Chevrolet qualified 20th and ran solidly throughout the event. When it came down to it, Corr found himself again in the same position and was able to capitalize. In fact, he scored his best career finish to date in the ARCA Menards Series by finishing fourth.