McDowell Lucky on Friday the 13th
Topics: Michael McDowell, WLWT Channel 5-150
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July 19, 2007
Last Friday was a day for the young talent of ARCA to shine in Kentucky's WLWT Channel 5 150. The day started with Erin Crocker setting the record for most ARCA poles by a female driver and ended with Michael McDowell in Victory Lane for the first time.
53 cars came to qualify for the show, and 12 were sent home, an incredible showing that even NASCAR's Nextel Cup can't match. Others would be taken out of contention early, as Phillip McGilton got loose at the end of lap 1 triggering a crash involving 3 other cars.
At lap 15 Norm Benning spun, and when the caution came out second place runner Erin Crocker slowed while third place car Jeremy Clements didn't...spinning and damaging Crocker's Dodge.
There was another incident on lap 20, followed by the ARCA Hardcore Safety Initiative. It was about the safety on the fuel man, but a segment on keeping drivers safe in wrecks would have been more appropriate this night.
After that incident, the drivers settled down and did some racing. Just after halfway point, though, Josh Wise got into the wall, taking half of the Toyota Camrys in the field out of contention. The other would finish third.
McGilton would return to the top ten by avoiding a spinning Bryan Reffner by the narrowest of margins to take over the tenth spot, but it wouldn't hold as he brushed the wall after the restart.
At the end, Michael McDowell would finally take the checkered flag, becoming the eleventh different winner in 13 ARCA Re/Max Series events so far this year. For McDowell it had seemed to have been just a matter of time until he took home a trophy, with 5 poles showing his speed and 2 second-place finishes (out of 4 top fives) so far this year showing that he can finish the races, too. Just 145 points back of Frank Kimmel, he's also a strong contender for keeping Frank from his record 9th championship.
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