TOLEDO, OH - Justin Boston finally got 'The Kiss.'
Boston, driver of the No. 25 ZLOOP Toyota, visited victory lane at Toledo Speedway Sunday afternoon, winning his first ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards race. Afterward, he received a kiss from team owner Bill Venturini, an organizational custom.
"This is great to be here," Boston said. "I'm not sure what to say even. So many times we've missed this; it's good to finally get the win."
Boston took the lead from Grant Enfinger on lap 181 in the Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care and held off a charge from Menards Pole winner Mason Mitchell to win. It was Venturini Motorsports first win at Toledo since Bill Venturini himself went to victory lane in 1987.
"I can't thank all of the guys at Venturini and back at the shop enough for this," Boston said. "All I had to do was drive the car. It was fun to drive this car today."
The race was over in just one hour and 15 minutes with only four cautions for 32 laps. Matt Tifft, in the Crunch'N Nutter Chevrolet, was not only the SCOTT Rookie Challenge winner, but he finished third in the race, just ahead of team owner Ken Schrader, who finished fourth in the Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet. Watkinsville, GA's John Wes Townley, in the Zaxby's Toyota, finished fifth in another Venturini car. Cody Coughlin, also in a Venturini car, was sixth in the JEG's Toyota, the first car a lap down.
Frank Kimmel cut a tire late in the race and finished 14th, the first time out of the top 10 in 37 races.
Mitchell, however, in the Thermal Technologies Services Ford, finished in the top 10 for the 14th straight time.
"We just couldn't get up there at the end," Mitchell said. "We were definitely fast, probably the fastest car. I just made a few mistakes there during the race and cost us some track position. I tried to just stay calm and try and get to the front. We just came up a little short."
Tifft, who had a huge cheering section in the grandstands, was happy with his finish.
"It was fun running with Kenny all day," he said. "It was great to be able to stay in front of him. We were set up for the long runs really well. We had a good day today."
Kimmel, Spencer Gallagher and Josh Williams all had a tire go down late in the race. Kimmel said it was just a matter of the tires being abused.
"We usually don't have such long runs like that," Kimmel said. "We were just abusing those tires today."
Coughlin finished just ahead of Justin Allison, who had a career-best finish of seventh. Austin Wayne Self was eighth, Michael Lira ninth and Karl Weber in 10th.
Mitchell edged point leader Grant Enfinger for the most laps led, 69 to 67. Enfinger led from laps 115 to 177, but went a lap down late in the race, finishing 12th.
Schrader said his team struggled all weekend on the car, but was happy with the top-five finish.
"I will tell you what," he said, "The big winner today was the people in those grandstands. It was a great day at Toledo and a big turnout. The crowd saw a good race today."
Boston, meanwhile, had a near flawless day in winning his first ARCA race. It was a big day for the team, which has had several misfortunes early in the season, despite winning a pole at both Mobile Speedway and Salem Speedway. He was the SCOTT Rookie of the Year in 2013 and came into this season with Kevin Reed as his crew chief of the No. 25. Reed had six wins last year.
"I'm pumped for this," he said. "We should have been here before, but we'll take it."
ARCA Racing Series
Toledo Speedway - Toledo, OH
Menards 200 - May 18, 2014
FIN STR NO DRIVER/HOMETOWN TEAM & CAR LAPS STATUS
1 3 25 Justin Boston/Baltimore MD ZLOOP Toyota 200 Running
2 1 98 Mason Mitchell/West Des Moines IA Thermal Technologies Services Ford 200 Running
3 5 10 Matt Tifft/Hinckley OH Crunch'N Nutter Chevrolet 200 Running
4 7 52 Ken Schrader/Fenton MO Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet 200 Running
5 17 15 John Wes Townley/Watkinsville GA Zaxby's Toyota 200 Running
6 9 55 Cody Coughlin/Delaware OH JEG's Toyota 199 Running
7 10 88 Justin Allison/Salisbury NC HavacoSales.com Ford 199 Running
8 14 22 Austin Wayne Self/Austin TX AM Technical Solutions Dodge 199 Running
9 12 68 Michael Lira/Port Orange FL Gary Yeomans Ford 199 Running
10 13 3 Karl Weber/Ambia IN Hixson Construction Chevrolet 199 Running
11 8 6 Josh Williams/Port Charlotte FL Southwest Florida Cable Construction Chevrolet 199 Running
12 2 90 Grant Enfinger/Fairhope AL Motor Honey-Casite-Triple K Construction Ford 198 Running
13 11 23 Spencer Gallagher/Las Vegas NV Allegiant Travel Chevrolet 197 Running
14 16 44 Frank Kimmel/Clarksville IN Ansell-Menards Toyota 197 Running
15 19 29 Wayne Edwards/Shepherdsville KY Correct Temp-Team Bear Dodge 196 Running
16 20 18 Bill Catania/Westfield NY Stacks Original Wings & BBQ Sauce Chevrolet 193 Running
17 21 28 Mike Buckley/Ann Arbor MI ETS Chevrolet 186 Running
18 15 66 J.J. Haley/Winamac IN Venturini Motorsports Toyota 181 Running
19 6 17 Kyle Benjamin/Easley SC Roulo Brothers Racing Ford 151 Drive Train
20 4 77 Tom Hessert/Cherry Hill NJ Caregard-AxiomWarranty.com Dodge 125 Engine
21 18 2 Thomas Praytor/Mobile AL Realtor/DK-LOK Ford 102 Rear End
22 24 40 Jay Curry/Homosassa FL Carter 2 Racing Dodge 61 Clutch
23 27 48 Brad Smith/Shelby Township MI Radon.com Ford 52 Suspension
24 23 92 Chris Brown/Mt. Washington KY Team Bear Dodge 47 Brkn Shifter
25 25 06 Tim Viens/Daytona Beach FL Wayne Peterson Racing Chevrolet 8 Transmssn
26 28 69 Chris Bailey Jr./South Park PA Kimmel Racing Ford 2 Handling
27 22 0 James Swanson/Clarksboro NJ Wayne Peterson Racing Ford 2 Vibration
28 26 99 Dave Savicki/Clinton NY Roulo Brothers Racing Ford 1 Suspension
Menards Pole Award Presented by Ansell: Mason Mitchell 15.682 (114.781 mph) *NTR
Margin of Victory: 0.428 seconds Cautions: 4 for 32 laps
Time of Race: 1:15:31 Average Speed: 79.453 mph
Lap Leaders: Mitchell 1-50, 58-76 (69); Enfinger 51-53, 115-177, 180 (67); Allison 54-57, 106-111 (10);
Boston 77-105, 178-179, 181-200 (51); Benjamin 112-114 (3)