Rookie Michael McDowell Wins Wild One At Pocono

LONG POND PA (8-4-07) ? Disappointment, jubilation and frustration were just some of the words to help describe Saturday afternoon?s wild ARCA RE/MAX Series Pennsylvania 200 at Pocono Raceway.

For Spartanburg, South Carolina?s Jeremy Clements, bitter disappointment reigned; but for Phoenix, Arizona?s Michael McDowell, jubilation was the order of the day.

Clements, in the Saxon Group-1 Stop Convenience Stores Chevrolet, was less than a straightaway from his career-first victory when the gas tank ran dry, handing the lead to McDowell, who crossed under the checkered flag as the winner with a flat left front tire.

?We were just as surprised as everyone else to win,? said McDowell. ?Our left front is flat; we couldn?t have gone another lap. That last restart was really key. We drove around Marc Mitchell and Erin Crocker, which allowed us to catch up to Josh Wise. I think going into that tunnel turn side by side with him was about the hardest I had ever raced. It?s really unfortunate for Jeremy Clements. You know we weren?t exactly sure how he was going to stretch the mileage that far, but when he went into turn four we were like okay he?s going to be able to make it. A disappointment for those guys for sure.?

It was McDowell?s second consecutive series victory, as he moved to within 20 points of Frank Kimmel in national championship points.

Clements not only gave up the victory, he also gave up second place to Josh Wise.

?It?s so hard running these races, and we?re just a small team,? said a disappointed Clements after the race. ?The pit crew had it figured out where if we had enough cautions we would make it but I guess they were wrong. It?s so hard to out-run these Cup backed teams, and when you get a chance to win like that man it just kills you. There was just disbelief. Nothing really said–just a few cuss words. I turned my radio off and just hung my head.?

Wise, who with three laps to go was racing Clements for the lead with McDowell immediately in tow, finished second giving Toyota its career-best series finish in the ESR Development Team-NAPA Toyota.

?It was crazy man,? said Wise. ?It was crazy throughout the race with some of the slower cars. My guys had awesome pit stops and I need to thank them. I hate it for Jeremy (Clements). He drove a heck of a race and man I really had to try hard to get to him. I?m happy for Michael (McDowell), my teammate. He did an awesome job there. Michael and I are under the understanding that we are going to race each other clean. It was a really fun race. It?s been cool. I really feel like I should have won that race; I just lost momentum there. Jeremy [Clements] took his car right to the bottom and when he did that my car went up the track and I just lost momentum.?

Erin Crocker finished fourth in the Evernham Motorsports Dodge, padding her point lead in the Superspeedway Challenge championship title fight.

Marc Mitchell, in the Ergon Chevrolet, finished fifth.

The event was caution-filled with nine cautions for 49 laps including a red flag for a multi-car pile-up in the Tunnel Turn on lap 56. Lebanon, Pennsylvania?s Bobby Gerhart was transported to a local hospital for further evaluation. Phillip McGilton, Tom Berte and Joey Miller, all involved, were examined and released from the infield care center.

The eighth caution of the day came for Kimmel, who, after contact with AJ Henriksen just 12 laps from the finish, crashed hard in turn one. Both drivers were okay but unable to continue. The unfortunate incident handed Kimmel a DNF in 25th position as well as a big backwards slide in points.

Hendrick Motorsports development driver Landon Cassill led the most laps, 36 in all, but finished a disappointing 32nd after the Fairfax, Iowa driver made contact with the turn one wall after cutting a left-front tire.

Clements was second in the lap-leader category with 33 laps led. Other lap leaders included Mike Harmon, Dominick Casola and Bobby Santos, III.

Santos also earned the SIM Factory Pole Award giving Toyota sole possession of the front row for the start. However, Santos? day ended on lap 42 after a bump from Josh Krug sent him into the turn one wall.

Justin Allgaier finished sixth in the AG Tech Chevrolet ahead of Dexter Bean, who raced from 33rd to seventh in the final running order. Dominick Casola finished a career-best eighth in the A. Casola Farms Ford over Krug, who steered the Bigford Chevrolet to a ninth place finish. Harmon, in the Richardson-Netzloff Chevrolet, finished 10th. Harmon, who started 25th, also earned the Hoosier Tire Hard Charger award for advancing the most positions.

In all, 21 cars finished on the lead lap.

The next event for the ARCA RE/MAX Series is the ARCA Toyota 150 at Nashville Superspeedway on Saturday, August 11th, 2007. The race will be aired LIVE on SPEED beginning at 3:30 p.m. Eastern.

Top-10 ARCA RE/MAX Series Points after Pocono Raceway (8-4-07)
1) Frank Kimmel 3050; 2) Michael McDowell 3030; 3) Dexter Bean 2895; 4) Bobby Gerhart 2845; 5) Justin Allgaier 2800; 6) Phillip McGilton 2610; 7) Justin South 2505; 8) Patrick Sheltra 2485; 9) Bryan Silas 2310; 10) Jason Hedlesky 2265.

Official Results

1 4 2 Michael McDowell/Phoenix AZ Z Line Design-Make A Wish-Beck Dodge 80 Running
2 2 22 Josh Wise/Riverside CA ESR Development Team-NAPA Toyota 80 Running
3 5 3 Jeremy Clements/Spartanburg SC Saxon Group-1 Stop Convenience Stores Chevrolet 80 Running
4 7 98 Erin Crocker/Wilbraham MA Evernham Motorsports Dodge 80 Running
5 12 93 Marc Mitchell/Tallahassee FL Ergon Chevrolet 80 Running
6 10 16 Justin Allgaier/Springfield IL AG Tech Chevrolet 80 Running
7 33 6 Dexter Bean/Westby WI Five Star Telecom Chevrolet 80 Running
8 18 1 Dominick Casola/Holmdel NJ A. Casola Farms Ford 80 Running
9 15 23 Josh Krug/Omaha NE Bigford Chevy 80 Running
10 25 38 Mike Harmon/Birmingport AL Richardson-Netzloff-Harmon Racing Chevrolet 80 Running
11 9 60 Patrick Sheltra/Indiantown FL FloraGanics-Brady Ranch Chevrolet 80 Running
12 21 4 Rob Bunker/Bridgewater NJ Dodge Motorsports-Cunningham Motorsports Dodge 80 Running
13 24 09 Billy Pauch Jr/Lawrenceville NJ Greenfield Dodge 80 Running
14 26 07 Billy Tanner/Newtown PA Chevrolet 80 Running
15 40 94 Dale Schweikart/Linden PA The Autobarn Dodge 80 Running
16 20 39 Kory Rabenold/Slatington PA Interstate Batteries of Allentown-Buzzy’s Auto Body Chevy 80 Running
17 23 62 Adam Edwards/Falls Church VA Ford 80 Running
18 27 90 Gabi DiCarlo/Phoenix AZ Great Clips Ford 80 Running
19 31 84 Norm Benning/Pittsburgh PA Norm Benning Racing Chevrolet 80 Running
20 29 71 Ted Olswfski/Pennington NJ T. Johnson Design Chevrolet 80 Running
21 37 06 Tim Mitchell/Fayetteville TN Star Wheels Skate Center Ford 80 Running
22 30 48 James Hylton/Inman SC Dodge 75 Running
23 38 79 Mike Koch/Mountain Home AR K&K Racing-Karl’s Plumbing Chevrolet 75 Running
24 28 7 Brent Cross/Cortland NY Cummings Auto Machine Chevrolet 70 Running
25 19 46 Frank Kimmel/Clarksville IN Pork The Other White Meat Ford 68 Accident
26 16 50 AJ Henriksen/Mooresville NC ECC-Bobby Jones Racing Dodge 68 Accident
27 17 11 Bryan Silas/Stuart FL Nortrax-Shell Rotella Ford 62 Accident
28 14 5 Bobby Gerhart/Lebanon PA Eagle Warranty Chevrolet 56 Accident
29 22 25 Tom Berte/New Berlin WI CGS Premier Chevrolet 56 Accident
30 13 47 Phillip McGilton/Marion IL SI Performance Ford 56 Accident
31 11 32 Joey Miller/Farmington MN Youngfield Homes-Country Joe Pizza Dodge 56 Accident
32 3 87 Landon Cassill/Fairfax IA Stanley-Vidmar-Proto Chevrolet 46 Accident
33 6 99 Travis Kvapil/Janesville WI Roush Fenway Racing Ford 43 Overhtng
34 1 02 Bobby Santos III/Franklin MA Bill Davis Trucking-Scuderia O2 Toyota 42 Accident
35 35 34 Darrell Basham/Henryville IN Darrell Basham Racing Pontiac 34 Accident
36 39 21 Tim Turner/Pulaski TN K&K Racing-Karl’s Plumbing Pontiac 34 Overhtng
37 32 80 Wayman Wittman/Appleton WI Stan Hover Motorsports Ford 13 Oil Line
38 8 65 Justin Marks/Rocklin CA Construct Corps Dodge 11 Accident
39 34 59 Justin South/Hueytown AL HD Supply Dodge 5 Engine
40 36 26 Brad Smith/Shelby Township MI Koolmat Ford 4 Engine

SIM FACTORY POLE AWARD: Bobby Santos III 53.836 (167.174 mph)
MRGN OF VICT: .490 seconds CAUTIONS: 9 for 49 laps

TIME OF RACE: 2:14:46 AVG SPEED: 89.043 mph
LAP LEADERS: Santos 1-4 (4); Cassill 5-26, 32-45 (36); Harmon 27-28 (2); Casola 29-31 (3); McDowell 46,
80 (2); Clements 47-79 (33)

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