Joliet, IL (July 22, 2013) – With the potential of his first ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards win surprisingly hanging in the balance, Justin Boston took the lead with six laps remaining in the Ansell ActivArmr 150 at Chicagoland Speedway.
Crew chief and team general manager Billy Venturini was all in with the decision, having discussed the math with members of the No. 25 ZLOOP™ Computer & Electronic Recycling Centers Toyota crew approximately 10 laps earlier, when Corey LaJoie pitted from second and other contenders started to follow.
Boston just missed, though, leading all the way to the fourth turn on Lap 99 before slowing down on the apron without enough fuel to finish his 11th start, which was nearly his most memorable. LaJoie won, and Boston ended up seventh to lead a group of five Venturini Motorsports cars at the team’s home track.
Boston captured the lead on Lap 94 when pole winner and race leader Ryan Blaney slowed down and pitted after seemingly being on a similar fuel-saving strategy. Though Boston, in second by that time, was in danger of being lapped by Blaney, he was able to take the lead as Blaney struggled into and out of the pits.
Venturini said gambling on fuel was well worth it after Boston had run in the back of the top 10 for most of the race. With 20 to go, Boston was only in seventh.
Though Venturini’s math atop the box told an unfortunate – and ultimately correct – story, the opportunity at scoring Boston’s first ARCA win was worth the risk.
“The only way we were going to try to win was by staying out there,” Venturini said. “Honestly, I said we were going to run out on Lap 98 and a half, and we ran out on Lap 98 and three quarters, but you’ve got to try.”
After starting fourth, Boston was shuffled back to fifth on the first lap and he fell out of the top 10 in the first 40 laps. He moved to ninth on Lap 52, to eighth on Lap 60, and to seventh by Lap 80, but the day to that point had not reached the rookie’s standard. After last pitting on Lap 25, Boston and his team thought making a 75-lap run at a victory was a chance worth taking on an otherwise sub-standard day.
“We had guys shuffling and stacking up on restarts and I was trying to be cautious, and we got taken advantage of on a couple of restarts so I had to work my way through the field,” Boston said. “I was just biding my time and the way the race played out in the later half, we were in a good position to save fuel and that’s what we tried to do. I just didn’t save enough. Billy was telling me to save fuel, save fuel; I learned my lesson on saving fuel. I needed to start sooner, and we ended up seventh instead of first.”
Caleb Armstrong was the leading Venturini driver for most of the race. He started eighth but pitted earlier than most other drivers, on Lap 16, helping him move to second when Boston and other contenders pitted on Lap 25. Armstrong lost some positions soon after that, but was still sixth at the race’s halfway point, Lap 50. He had moved back to the top five by Lap 80, but ultimately brought the No. 15 XS Power Toyota to pit road to make it to the finish. He finished seventh, his second top-10 with Venturini Motorsports.
A.J. Henriksen (No. 55 Engineered Components Co. Toyota) finished 10th for his second top-10 of the 2013 season with Venturini Motorsports. Milka Duno (No. 35 CanTV/Milka Way Toyota) finished 15th and Tom Berte (No. 20 CGS Premier Chevrolet) was 18th.
Venturini Motorsports will next compete in the Barbera’s Autoland 150 presented by Driven Racing Oil at New Jersey Motorsports Park. The race is the second of two road course events scheduled this year. Practice will begin Saturday morning, with qualifying taking place at 4:30 p.m. ARCARacing.com will present live timing and scoring and live streaming audio from hosts Charlie “Chas” Krall and Tim “Clagger” Clagg for the 67-lap, 150-mile race, which is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday.
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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