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Boston Victorious In Madison
- Updated: August 25, 2014
ARCA winner Justin Boston in victory lane at Madison International Speedway. [Russ Lake Photo]
It was a two horse race Sunday during most of the Herr’s Live Life With Flavor 200 at Madison Int’l. Speedway. But on lap 173, leader Grant Enfinger’s Motor Honey Allegiant Toyota broke a rear end, and eight laps later Mason Mitchell’s Musselman’s TTS Ford lost voltage on the final restart, and the pair, who had dominated the 200-lap ARCA Racing Series event, found themselves parked for the day in the infield.
Enter the 24-year-old “veteran”, Justin Boston, who had run in the top-five most of the day after starting eighth and had watched those early leaders almost lap the field. But suddenly he saw the backstretch scoreboard show his No.25 ZLOOP Toyota in first place. Quite a surprising turnaround he thought.
“I wanted to know what had happened to them. I had been trying to save my brakes for the end and pace myself. We were good on both long and short runs and I think we were as good as Grant and Mason,” explained the Venturini Motorsports winner who had finished second to young Kyle Benjamin here in 2013.
“It was good to finish what we started a year ago when we ran second to Kyle. We’re here to win races and that’s what we did today. ”
For the 16-year-old Benjamin, who started in 27th spot, it was a day of patience with a slim hope for a good finish in the debut of his family-owned team and a car that he had never driven in a race until today.
“We cut a tire early on, so it was like starting over after that. I was really excited to move up. Fifteen more laps and we might have caught him (Boston), but with that last caution near the end, we weren’t as good on short runs.”
As for Enfinger and Mitchell, it was a disappointing way to finish a day that had held great promise.
“I had no warning, none at all, that we were having trouble,” explained Enfinger, a NASCAR Truck Series veteran who has won five races in ARCA this season and led 120 laps today. “We were the class of the field, but parts break.”
Mitchell, who leads Enfinger by 25 points in the ARCA title chase, was equally accepting of today’s bad luck. “It never fails to amaze me. We had one other problem at Indianapolis. We’re in a points’ battle with Grant, and both of us dropped out.”
With both leaders gone and 20 laps remaining, a wild scramble saw Boston hold off Benjamin’s unsponsored Ford, a hard charging Brandon Jones who started 22nd, ten-time series champion Frank Kimmel and 25th-place starter Tom Hessert for a 2.724 sec. win on the abrasive half-mile.
“After the last restart we were two-tenths faster than the leaders with ten to go, but it’s hard to pass here and I was busy staying ahead of Frank,” explained Jones who shares a Menard’s sponsorship with the legendary Kimmel. “I respect him a ton.”
Boston averaged 76.896 mph in a race that saw just three cautions slow the 100 mile chase.
With just four races remaining, the series moves to the one-mile dirt track at DuQuoin,Illinois for a Labor Day 100-miler next Monday.
- Saturday’s rain forced cancellation of qualifying and final practice. The starting grid was determined by owner’s points.
- Thirty cars were entered for the Madison event and 28 started.
- One of the three caution periods was for a predetermined competition yellow flag on lap 60.
- This was race 16 0f 20 on the ARCA schedule.
- Sports car driver Emerson Newton John started 20th on Sunday. He is the nephew of singer Olivia Newton John.
- Seven drivers under 18-years-old started the race.
- CBS Sports Network televised the ARCA event live with Rick Benjamin, Andy Hillenburg in the booth and Dick Berggren in the pits.