It wasn’t exactly a barn burner, but for Sheldon Creed, in search of his career-first ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards victory, it must have looked like the “promise land” out the front windshield of his No. 28 United Rentals Toyota.
Creed dominated the final two-thirds of the race, taking the lead on lap 37 of the 100-lap show and never let it go. In the end, the Alpine, Calif. driver pulled away from runner-up finisher Riley Herbst to win the 37th running of the ZOMONGO 200 Friday afternoon at Michigan Int’l Speedway.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Creed, who has three third-place finishes and a pair of runner-up runs already this year.
“We have been so close to winning these things; it feels so good to finally get it done. It starts when you unload off the truck. It all goes back to the guys in the shop. Just a great day. No complaints inside the car…just a great day. Thanks to my whole family…my grandpa who’s been behind me since day one. I can’t wait to come back to the track and do it again.”
Creed, who also posted the fastest lap of the race (189.898 mph), also took back the championship points lead from his MDM Motorsports teammate Zane Smith.
“I’ve always loved this place. I think I’ll be good here no matter what car I come back in. I feel like I’ve got my tracks that I’m good at, and Zane has his. Either way, it’s going to be a battle right down to Kansas.”
Herbst, who finished second at Charlotte two weeks ago, did the same today at Michigan, finishing nearly a second behind the winner in the No 18 NOS Energy-ORCA Coolers-Advance Auto Parts Toyota.
“We led some laps so that was good, but we come to win and finished second so that stinks,” said Herbst, who led seven laps. The 28 put a whooping on all of us today; we just gotta go back and figure out how to fix that. We’ll take the points and move on to Madison.”
Michael Self finished third after dominating early, leading 23 laps before a “mad vibration” got in the way.
“I don’t know what happened,” said Self. “We were super fast for the first 20 laps or so then we started to get a mad vibration. Then we got super tight and never really got it back. But, we salvaged a good day out of it. I’m happy for the folks at Sinclair Oil; it’s always fun to run good for them.”
General Tire pole winner Brandon Jones led the first four laps before he backed up with overheating issues. The Atlanta, Ga. driver was going for his third straight ARCA win at Michigan before his problem sidelined him with just 27 laps complete.
Gus Dean, who’s been camped out in the ‘bad luck column’ for much of the year, finally got going with a solid fourth-place finish in the No. 32 GREE Cooling-Baker Distributing Chevrolet.
Rookie Joe Graf, Jr. battled his way forward from the 25th starting position to finish fifth in the No. 77 Big Tine Ford.
Will Rodgers finished sixth in Ken Schrader’s Drydene Ford with Max Tullman following in seventh in Mason Mitchell’s Yurpal Chevrolet. Tullman’s teammate Quin Houff finished eighth in the BeatinCancerWithDuke.org Chevrolet. Leilani Munter looked sharp in her first Michigan attempt, coming home ninth in Venturini’s Vegan Strong Toyota, the last car on the lead lap. Codie Rohrbaugh finished 10th in the Grant County Mulch Chevrolet.
The Herr’s Potato Chips 200 is next for the ARCA Racing Series Friday night, June 15, under the lights at Madison Int’l Speedway. The race is live on MAVTV. Look for live timing, scoring and chat at arcaracing.com.