ARCA RACING SERIES PRESS RELEASE
(WINCHESTER, Ind. – June 28, 2015) – Austin Wayne Self passed Brandon Jones with six laps remaining in the Herr’s Chase the Taste 200 presented by Federated Car Care Sunday at Winchester Speedway and then all he had to do, he said, was stay focused on victory lane.
“I was just looking ahead and listening to the countdown of laps, 4-3-2-1,” Self said. “I kept driving it in deeper and making sure I got on the gas as hard as I could. I was trying not to think about it too much and just driving the race car as hard as I could.”
Self, in the No. 98 AM Technical Solutions-Pirate Energy Ford, made slight contact with Jones in turn four, reminiscent of last year’s race when Jones passed Mason Mitchell for the win on lap 199. Mitchell is the team owner of the No. 98.
“It was pretty dramatic,” Mitchell said. “It was basically last year, only reversal of roles. He was well aware of that and I’m pretty sure the other team was too. I thought it was clean just like last year. You do what you have to do nowadays to win races.”
Jones led almost half of the race
– 98 laps – before finishing third in the No. 25 Ansell-Menards Toyota. About the contact, he said it was just hard racing.
“I felt like we had the dominant car here all day,” Jones said. “It’s unfortunate, but it’s all good.”
Grant Enfinger finished second, getting past Jones on the last lap in his No. 23 GMS Racing Chevrolet. Kyle Weatherman, who started first in the No. 22 Cunningham Motorsports Ford, finished fourth and Justin Boston, in the No. 55 Hydraulics Cylinders Inc. Toyota, fifth.
Enfinger widened his driver point lead, finishing five spots ahead of runner-up in the standings, Josh Williams.
“We knew it was going to be crazy, especially if those two guys in front got into each other,” Enfinger said. “We wanted to be there to capitalize if the two leaders wrecked, but I slipped as well. It wasn’t enough to get by them. Plus, I was trying to look at the big picture. We brought home the car in one piece again
– another second place for us. It was really a solid run.”
Tom Hessert was sixth in the final finishing order, just ahead of Williams, James Swanson, Sarah Cornett-Ching and A.J. Fike. It was a career best for Swanson, in the No. 48 Kan Do-Radon.com Dodge, while Williams scored his series-best ninth top-10 of the season.
Kyle’s brother, Clayton Weatherman, was 11th, in the United Nissan-St. Charles Glass Ford.
Ken Schrader, who led 55 laps, finished 13th following a late pit stop under green that put him four laps down at the end.
The race took 1 hour, 35 minutes to complete with seven cautions, the last coming at lap 194 for debris.
Mitchell was on the pit box for the No. 98 team. He said during the last caution, he and Self talked about what he had to do to win.
“We coached him through the caution and really the whole weekend,” Mitchell said. “We told him what he needed to do correctly. He was racing hard and made a little bit of contact, then he had to protect our line after that and he ended up pulling away. I was proud of him for using the car up a little bit.
“I think we had a better car. We kept on pulling away, so it took care of itself.”
Jones took his third different lead of the day on lap 150, staying in front for the next 36 laps until the caution came out at lap 186 for debris. Self and Enfinger appeared to be catching up with Jones during the long green flag run. When the caution came out, the cars were separated only by about a car length.
“We had a good car,” Self said. “My team was making sure I was focused. You don’t get too many chances to be in position with six laps to go in second on a restart. They were just making sure I was up on my game.
“On that last restart, I definitely feel like we had the car to win,” Self said. “It’s awesome. We finished second to Frank Kimmel here in 2013. This was always the place that I really wanted to win. I had a lot of family and friends here. I love this place a lot. The racing is always fun. To be able to come home with a win is really big for me.”
The race was not only a Calypso Lemonades Short Track Challenge race but the third leg of the Bill France Four Crown championship. Point standings for both series-within-a-series will be released Tuesday on arcaracing.com. Weatherman entered as the short track challenge leader with car No. 55 leading the Four Crown title chase.
CBS Sports Network will re-air the Herr’s Chase the Taste 200 at 5 p.m. today, 2 a.m. June 29, 11 p.m. July 1, 3 a.m. July 2 and 6 a.m. July 4.
The ARCA Racing Series will have two consecutive weekends off before heading to Iowa for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards 150 at the Newton, Iowa short track.