Frank Kimmel looked to have the win in hand in the Menards 200 at Toledo Speedway, though it all got thrown away as Ty Dillon spun Kimmel on the last lap to take the win.
“It was an awesome day,” Dillon said. “As soon as we unloaded, I felt like we had the fastest car for sure. We even cut short our practice, and I don’t like to do that, but we knew we had the fastest car. Our pit crew did awesome. I went in fifth and came out second. We came in, tightened up, and she took off.”
Dillon was met in victory lane by Kimmel, who expressed his displeasure in taking the checkered flag from Dillon’s hand and throwing it to the ground.
“I was approaching behind him for a long time there, probably 40 or 50 laps,” Dillon said. “I was being as patient as I can. We came up on some lapped cars, and he was starting to get loose; I was getting in deeper and deeper. My car was getting better and better.
“I hate that it happened that way. I wrecked him. It was my fault, but it’s racing. Stuff like that happens. I really look up to Frank and he’s helped me out a lot this year. Hopefully, we can get over this and everything will be alright.”
Dillon got the fourth win of his career while the spin resulted in Kimmel finishing ninth.
“I wasn’t blocking or doing anything; I was just running my lap,” Kimmel said. “He just hit me wherever he could and then he got me in the left rear corner and ran me around. It’s just frustrating as heck. You race so hard, and you race clean, and we didn’t have a scratch on the car all day.
“I just asked him, ‘How can you celebrate a win like that?’ It’ll come back. It’s a long season, and we have to race all year.”
In the aftermath, Enfinger finished second.
“We had a great car all weekend,” Enfinger said. “(Car chief) Kelly Kovski and (team owner) Mike Allgaier, I can’t thank those guys enough for letting me drive their car. It’s definitely one of the best cars I’ve driven. It was a great run. The pit crew’s been great all year; that’s definitely not been our weak point, but they just happened to leave a lug nut loose and we had to come back down pit road and that hurt us a little bit.
Matt Merrell finished third, followed by Tim George Jr., Chris Buescher, John Stancil, CHad McCumbee, Armstrong, Kimmel and Kenzi Ruston.
With qualifying rained out, Milka Duno was able to start on the pole as she holds the points in the owner’s standings from Patrick Sheltra’s championship run last year.
The race started with 20 laps under caution due to rain before the race and impending rain coming. Duno dropped back at the start, giving the lead to Kimmel.
Once the green flag was shown on lap 21, Kimmel held for a lap before Kenzi Ruston, who was making her first ARCA start with Venturini Motorsports, took the lead.
The first caution came at lap 26 for Todd Bowsher’s spin, who was subbing for Bryan Silas.
The second caution came out on lap 37 for a multi-car crash which started when Ruston spun out of the lead in turn two. Behind her while trying to slow down and avoid, Tom Hessert, Tim George Jr. and Chris Buescher made contact. With Ruston spinning, Kimmel took the lead back.
The third caution came out at lap 58, when Buescher and Maryeve Dufault made contact with Tim Cowen hitting Dufault. At this time, Ruston and Matt Crafton pitted to try to get a jump on strategy.
The restart came on lap 67, and then 11 laps later, Enfinger took the lead while Dillon cracked the top five for the first time.
On lap 110, the caution came out as Cowen spun, which promoted another round of pit stops. The leaders pitted, while Crafton and Ruston stayed out to take positions first and second. Kimmel and Dillon came off pit road first so they restarted third and fourth.
On lap 120, the fifth caution came out when Levi Youster spun, in which on the restart, Kimmel was able to take the lead from Crafton. Crafton had to make an unscheduled pit stop at lap 135 due to a left front tre, while Enfinger also made an unscheduled stop for a loose lugnut. The unscheduled pit stop for Crafton relegated him to an 18th place finish.
Milka Duno spun on lap 180, setting up a 20-lap race to the finish. On the restart, Kimmel got the advantage on the field, though Dillon slowly chipped back into the lead, making the final lap bump-and-run.
The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards returns to action Sunday, May 22, in the ModSpace 150 at New Jersey Motorsports Park. The race is the only road course event of the season for the ARCA Racing Series.