Self Wins Wreck-Strewn ARCA Menards Series Opener At Daytona

By Joe Jennings

DAYTONA BEACH – 29 year old Michael Self won the wreck-strewn Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire at the Daytona International Speedway late Saturday afternoon. The 80-lap event marked the first race of Speedweeks 2020 and the season opener for the newly constituted ARCA Menards Series.

Driving the Venturini Motorsports Toyota dominated the race, leading just about every lap. If not for a mistake on a pit stop, Self may well have led every lap. He dropped to ninth for a short spell after the slow stop.

The Utah resident won for the second time at Daytona and this won gave him extreme satisfaction.

“This is unbelievable and full credit goes to this team, and the car they gave me,” the happy victor said. “A stable car win this race with speed secondary.”

Receiving as much attention as the winner was Hallie Deegan, who finished a strong second in the Monster Energy Ford. The teenager said second was as good as winning in her mind. “My goal for this race was to finish third or fifth. I am totally satisfied with second,” she said. She trailed the victor by .125 seconds.

Deegan’s second place was the best-ever for a female river at Daytona.

Drew Dollar took third with Sean Corr fourth.

Thad Moffitt, grandson of Richard Petty, came from last – 33rd place—to fifth.

World of Outlaws sprint-car star David Gravel made a strong series debut race, ending up 12th. He had run higher until making contact with another car toward the end.

The action started on the first lap with a wreck in turn two and the caution flag came out twice more for minor incidents before a multi-car, grinding crash in turn one stopped the race for nearly 11 minutes. Ten cars were eliminated in the melee.

In total there were six caution flags.

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