Brooklyn, MI (June 14, 2013) – Brennan Poole made the most of his first start since 2012 in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, taking his fourth career win in the Patriot Pumps 200 at Michigan International Speedway.
Poole’s win gave Venturini Motorsports its second win of the year, following John Wes Townley’s triumph at Daytona, and 28 in its history. As in Townley’s victory, Poole won in a No. 15 Toyota.
“The guys worked really hard and gave me a great car and we were able to fight through,” Poole said. “It was a fun day trying to get to Victory Lane, and especially for these guys.”
The 22-year-old Texan led the final 12 laps after leader and teammate Justin Boston (No. 25 ZLOOP™ Computer & Electronic Recycling Centers Toyota) spun in front of him on Lap 89 as the two friends battled. Boston went spinning across Michigan’s wide backstretch apron but did not make contact with a wall, and Poole drove on to the lead over pole winner Ryan Blaney and series points leader Frank Kimmel.
Both drivers were uncertain at first as to whether the two cars touched, but Boston’s spin was determined to be just a result of the aerodynamics in close racing. Boston had led 15 laps in search of his first career win, and ended up finishing fourth despite the spin.
“I thought that I had hit him,” Poole said. “Justin and I are really good friends. I kind of felt bad about it but I guess, looking at the pictures, that we didn’t touch.”
Poole’s win did not come without some adversity of his own. Of course, a blown engine in practice Thursday kept him from driving as many practice laps as his Venturini teammates. Crew chief Kevin Reed and the No. 15 crew worked diligently through practice to replace the engine and help Poole qualify second Friday.
“We had a pretty long weekend,” Reed said. “The guys dug deep and got it back out. Everything worked out. The car was flawless all day.”
But after starting second and following Blaney over the first 25 laps, a slow pit stop on Lap 26 sent Poole from second back to 10th.
“It was a hard-fought day,” Poole said. “We had to come from the back a couple of times with pit stop miscues, but it’s just part of the deal.”
After taking the green flag at Lap 31, Poole advanced to fifth within four laps. He and Boston teamed up to pass Josh Williams on Lap 34, with Boston assuming third and Poole fourth. Blaney, a former Venturini competitor, continued to lead Kimmel ahead of the teammates.
After another caution period, the Venturini duo passed Kimmel on Lap 55, with Poole continuing to trail the rookie Boston. Blaney pitted on Lap 70 under the green flag, losing his track position to the two, and a timely caution flag at Lap 73 greatly improved the Venturini team’s chances. Both drivers pitted one lap later, and Boston and Kimmel both beat Poole off of pit road.
Grant Enfinger led the field to the the Lap 79 green flag, but Boston passed almost immediately, taking back the lead on Lap 80. Poole followed.
With only Boston between him and the lead, Poole closed the gap on his friend and teammate. Driving closely out of the second turn on Lap 89, Poole drove inside Boston, causing the fateful spin.
“It was crazy behind Justin there,” Poole said. “I’d get behind him and I couldn’t turn. I almost went into the wall a few times, which was kind of exciting; I almost blew out my elbow there.”
Boston said over the radio that Poole simply forced Boston to break sideways without making contact, leaving blame only to the physics of racing. This caused the race’s final caution period, and Poole led Kimmel and a hard-charging Blaney with eight laps to go when the green flag flew again.
Blaney passed Kimmel immediately and set his sights on Poole, but Poole maintained a healthy advantage of seven to eight car lengths to drive to the win.
After a busy two days, Poole’s crew chief had the final word on the victory.
“Brennan Poole’s an awesome little driver,” Reed said. “He deserves a shot in way more than ARCA, and he’s going to get it at one point in time.”
In addition to Poole’s win and Boston’s fourth-place finish, Venturini Motorsports drivers Milka Duno and Chad Boat finished 11th and 15th, respectively.
Venturini Motorsports will next compete in the SCOTT® 160 at Road America in Wisconsin. The race is the first of two road course events scheduled for 2013. Practice will begin Friday. Qualifying is set before the 40-lap, 160-mile race, which is scheduled for 12:45 p.m. Central Saturday.
About Venturini Motorsports
Venturini Motorsports (VMS), fielding cars for over 30-years in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, is one of the premier NASCAR driver development programs in the country. Multiple team championships and consistent on-track success, VMS has evolved into one of the most recognizable names in motorsports. Since 2007, VMS has assisted in the career development of notable NASCAR drivers such as Joey Logano, Justin Allgaier, Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Brian Scott, Kevin Swindell, Miguel Paludo, John Wes Townley, Josh Richards and Johanna Long.
In 2012, VMS and the Venturini family was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame and now find themselves enshrined with such sports icons as Joe DiMaggio, Mario Andretti, Vince Lombardi, Tommy Lasorda and Rocky Marciano, among others.
After nearly two decades away from NASCAR, 2013 marks VMS’s modern day return to the series with John Wes Townley driving the team’s familiar No.25 in selective NASCAR Nationwide Series events.
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