John Wes Townley wins ARCA Lucas Oil 150 Giving Venturini First Daytona VictoryBy Ashley McCubbin
For 30 years, Venturini Motorsports has been a fixture in the ARCA Racing Series. However, one thing has alluded them – winning at Daytona International Speedway. That all changed in their 31st year at Daytona as John Wes Townley took the victory in the Lucas Oil 150.
“This is just a great day for Venturini Motorsports,” Townley said. “This is priceless. I almost wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. It’s a real honor.”
It also marks the first career victory for Townley.
“I’m exastic,” Townley said in victory lane. “I have no words to say.I just got to thank Zaxby’s and Venturini Motorsports for this opportunity. It’s one thing to win your first race in ARCA, it’s another to win at Daytona.”
Townley was in second place with seven laps to go while Bobby Gerhart led. However, as the field came off turn four, Gerhart slowed immediately, moving to the inside which allowed Townley to get by.
“I don’t know what happened,” Townley said of Gerhart. “At some point, he got out of the throttle.”
Gerhart would stall on the inside of the track a lap later, out of gas. There’d be no caution due to his Chevrolet being out of the way. Townley then held off rookie Kyle Larson to take the checkered flag.
“Well, as far as I know, we just had luck on our side,” Townley said. “At a place like this, that’s just what you need. You just need to bide your time and not do anything stupid.”
Townley had taken a break from racing due to having a season of multiple wrecks in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, however returned to tackle the ARCA schedule this year with Venturini Motorsports.
“Realized at some point, when you quit something you never get any better,” he said. “So I decided to come back out here.”
Venturini Motorsports car owner Billy Venturini says the win is the most meaningful in his family’s entire racing career.
“This is the first time I cried in victory lane,” he said. “This was definitely the highlight of our entire racing career. I think we’ve won at just about every other track we go to except here.”
Meanwhile, young Kyle Larson would finish the race second on the road to getting ready to run the Nationwide Series opener next weekend.
“It wasn’t a bad race,” Larson said. “I had a good time and I’m really looking forward to the NASCAR Nationwide Series race next weekend.”
Larson had tried planning a move with other drivers, but it just wasn’t there.
“The race went pretty smooth,” he said. “But, I couldn’t really make any moves. I was wide open. We’ll take second.”
Coulter Motorsports driver Ricky Ehrgott finished third, followed by Frank Kimmel and Sean Corr. Brennan Newberry finished sixth, followed by Mason Mingus, Mark Thompson, Matt Kurzejewski and Chad Boat.
The 150 mile race saw three cautions, including a big wreck involving eight drivers. On lap 20, Darrell Wallace Jr. would get into the back of of his Venturini Motorsports teammate Justin Boston, causing to go sideways, collecting Steve Kemp, Brett Hudson, Drew Charlson, Mason Mitchell, Caleb Armstrong and Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell.
“I don’t know what to say,” Wallace Jr. said. “I just ran into the back of him. Just disappointing.”
“It’s definitely a tough deal to come down and race and end up with a torn racecar,” Boston said. “It sucks that we have two torn up cars. It’s just disappointing.”
The first caution came out on lap 10 for Julien Jousse blowing a motor while the third caution came out on lap 27 for debris after Will Kimmel blew a motor.
Milka Duno, who started second in her Venturini Motorsports Toyota, led the race early on till the first pit stop at lap 18. She would have transmission problems on lap 27, causing her to go behind the wall for five laps.
Another driver with bad luck was Chris Buescher as he went behind the wall for six laps due to electrical issues.
|2013 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards Event #1|
|Daytona Int’l Speedway, Daytona Beach Florida, 2-16-13|
|Lucas Oil 200 presented by MAVTV American Real|
|FIN||STR||NO||DRIVER/HOMETOWN||TEAM & CAR||LAPS||STATUS|
|1||1||15||John Wes Townley/Watkinsville GA||Zaxby’s Toyota||80||Running|
|2||11||4||Kyle Larson/Elk Grove CA||Cessna Chevrolet||80||Running|
|3||7||16||Ricky Ehrgott/New York NY||Sandvik Coromant-Rev1 Power Services Chevrolet||80||Running|
|4||19||44||Frank Kimmel/Clarksville IN||Ansell-Menards Toyota||80||Running|
|5||18||82||Sean Corr/Goshen NY||Warriors In The Workplace-RoushYates Ford||80||Running|
|6||15||92||Brennan Newberry/Bakersfield CA||Fight For Life Chevrolet||80||Running|
|7||9||32||Mason Mingus/Brentwood TN||811 Call Before You Dig-Diamond Equipment Toyota||80||Running|
|8||16||62||Mark Thompson/Cartersville GA||Phoenix Air Chevrolet||80||Running|
|9||29||54||Matt Kurzejewski/Mansfield PA||Costy’s Energy Services-Lexington Daytona Dodge||80||Running|
|10||12||52||Chad Boat/Phoenix AZ||Curb Records Chevrolet||80||Running|
|11||14||22||Michel Disdier/Nice France||auto-us.com Dodge||80||Running|
|12||10||77||Tom Hessert/Cherry Hill NJ||Barbera’s Autoland-Cunningham Motorsports Dodge||80||Running|
|13||23||99||Mason Mitchell/W. Des Moines IA||Roulo Brothers Racing Ford||80||Running|
|14||24||08||Clay Campbell/Martinsville VA||Mountain Dew Ford||80||Running|
|15||30||02||Josh Williams/Port Charlotte FL||Southwest Florida Cable Construction Ford||80||Running|
|16||22||42||Bo Lemastus/Louisville KY||Crosley Radio Dodge||80||Running|
|17||40||88||Buster Graham/Lafayette LA||Don Mashburn Inc Ford||79||Running|
|18||26||19||Donnie Neuenberger/Edgewater MD||Eagle Convenience Stores Chevrolet||79||Running|
|19||28||75||Benny Chastain/Tallahassee FL||Bob Schacht Motorsports Chevrolet||79||Running|
|20||39||06||Dexter Stacy/Kahnawake Quebec||Maddie’s Place Chevrolet||79||Running|
|21||32||23||Spencer Gallagher/Las Vegas NV||Allegiant Air Chevrolet||79||Running|
|22||34||2||Thomas Praytor/Mobile AL||ARCA Mobile 200-RoushYates Ford||78||Running|
|23||37||34||Rick Clifton/Circleville OH||BASF Chevrolet||78||Running|
|24||25||30||Terry Jones/Amherstburg Ontario||J-ARR Excavating Dodge||78||Running|
|25||36||10||Ed Pompa/Ballston Spa NY||Milton Cat-Double H Ranch Chevrolet||77||Running|
|26||38||48||James Hylton/Inman SC||Radon.com Ford||77||Running|
|27||31||97||Roger Carter/Sunfield MI||RoadRunnerTheMovie.com/I-96 Speedway Dodge||76||Running|
|28||2||35||Milka Duno/Caracas Venezuela||CANTV-Milka Way Toyota||76||Running|
|29||3||5||Bobby Gerhart/Lebanon PA||MAVTV TV American Real Chevrolet||75||Fuel Pump|
|30||8||17||Chris Buescher/Prosper TX||Roulo Brothers Racing Ford||74||Running|
|31||13||25||Justin Boston/Baltimore MD||ZLOOP Computer & Electronics Recycling Centers Toyota||41||Accident|
|32||35||40||Galen Hassler/Columbia MO||CheapGasPromo.com Dodge||39||Engine|
|33||20||68||Will Kimmel/Sellersburg IN||Gary Yeomans-Clarksville Schwinn Ford||26||Accident|
|34||21||6||Caleb Armstrong/New Castle IN||Eddie Sharp Racing Chevrolet||20||Accident|
|35||4||55||Darrell Wallace/Mobile AL||Toyota Manufacturing Toyota||19||Accident|
|36||27||11||Brett Hudson/Owensboro KY||Hudson Performance Drivelines-Warrick Tubing Dodge||19||Accident|
|37||33||69||Steve Kemp/Justin TX||AntlerHuntRanch.com Ford||19||Accident|
|38||17||3||Drew Charlson/New Bremen OH||Aluma Aluminum Trailers Chevrolet||19||Accident|
|39||6||09||Grant Enfinger/Fairhope AL||Motor Honey-Casite.com Ford||12||Rear End|
|40||5||94||Julien Jousse/St. Tropez France||Dave Leiner Racing-Barbarac.fr Toyota||9||Engine|
|Menards Pole Award Presented by Ansell: John Wes Townley 49.638 (181.313 mph)|
|Margin of Victory: 0.173 seconds||Cautions: 3 for 19 laps|
|Time of Race: 1:29:18||Average Speed: 135.900 mph|
|Lap Leaders: Duno 1-11 (11); Townley 12, 73-80 (9); Kurzejewski 13-14 (2); Williams 15-17 (3); Gerhart 18-72 (55)|