Gerhart Captures 6th ARCA 200; Patrick Debuts In 6th

Daytona Beach, Fla. – At the Daytona International Speedway Saturday afternoon, veteran driver Bobby Gerhart won the ARCA Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 for the sixth time in 22 tries, but his victory was nearly overshadowed by the performance of Danica Patrick.

Taking the lead on the 30th go-around, Gerhart never let up as he led the final 51 circuits. Stopping for fuel and tires early, the winner had to closely follow a fuel conservation plan to reach the finish line.

Gerhart drove the family owned Lucas Oil Slick Mist Chevrolet and his margin of victory over Mark Thompson was .230 seconds.
Six caution flags consumed 36 laps, and the slow laps benefited the victor.

“We needed a break to get it done, and we got the break we needed to work on the car,” Gerhart said. “Racing at Daytona is pretty much our year; this is what we do. Winning again is unbelievable I dreamed of racing here as a little kid, and I’d like to retire in victory lane someday.”
Patrick drove superbly to garner sixth place. Her Chevrolet was fielded by JR Motorsports and is owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Thrilling the crowd, the colorful driver’s race report reads as follows: started 12th, advanced to fifth, pitted once, lost the draft and dropped back, slid through the grass after making contact with Nelson Piquet Jr., stopped twice for minor repairs, fell back to 20th and bolted through the field in the final 10 laps to secure a solid finish, to the delight of the chilled crowd.

“I learned how to use the fenders a little bit,” Patrick said. “For the race, I wanted to play it smart, make it to the end and learn something from it. At the end, I just said to myself, ‘What the heck, I don’t really care as I have made it this far, let’s see what else we can do.’ It was a lot of fun. I got bumped from the front, the back and the side, and I learned a lot.”

When the race ended, Patrick was swarmed by television, radio and print journalists and combined with adoring fans, she needed a police escort to make it back to the race hauler.

Mark Thompson earned second place in a Toyota, John Wes Townley took third in a Toyota, fast qualifier James Buescher earned fourth in a Toyota, and Patrick Sheltra, who was seriously injured a year ago, ended up fifth after leading the opening 29 laps.

As usual, the race produced major crashes. The crashes started early and resulted in two red flags when two drivers flipped over. No injuries were sustained and 28 of the 43 starters were running at the finish.

Share Button