The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards made its annual trip to Michigan International Speedway for the series’ eighth stop on the season’s schedule.
Venturini Motorsports, with their accustomed three team effort, captured two top-10 finishes with drivers Kyle Benjamin finishing seventh and Spencer Davis’ ninth place finish on Michigan’s 2-mile track. Rookie Zane Smith finished a disappointing 27th place after cutting a tire and crashing near the midway point of the 100-lap event.
Kyle Benjamin Overcomes Spin to Finish Seventh in ARCA Return
Kyle Benjamin returned to Venturini Motorsports after nearly a three-year hiatus from the team he broke into the series with in 2013.
Benjamin, starting fifth for the event behind the wheel of his No.15 GO PUCK – COMETIC Gaskets Toyota, overcame a midrace spin and front end damage to race back for a team high seventh place finish.
“We had a really fast Toyota today,” said Benjamin. “I believe we had a car capable of challenging for the win. We were running second or third when that caution came out for the 55 car and then the 78 of Weatherman just got me loose and I spun. That hurt us – I ended up restarting fourteenth. Even with a bit of front end damage the car was fast. We made our way back up inside the top-10 for decent finish.”
“Overall it was a fun day and I learned a lot. I’ve only got a few starts on the superspeedways so this time in the car really helped – I’ll bring a lot of the experience to the XFINITY program in the future.
Benjamin, making his only scheduled ARCA start of the season with Venturini Motorsports, signed on with Joe Gibbs Racing earlier in the season to compete in four NASCAR XFINITY races. He’ll return to the No.18 JGR Toyota for two more starts this season starting with Iowa Speedway on July 29 and Kentucky Speedway on September 23.
Spencer Davis Earns another Top-10 Finish
Spencer Davis turned in another solid performance scoring his second career top-10 finish in the ARCA Series in Friday night's Corrigan Oil 200 from Michigan International Speedway.
Driving the No.25 Parts City Auto Parts Toyota Davis had to overcome a hiccup at the onset which sent the rookie sailing back from his seventh place starting spot.
"We lost fuel pressure at the beginning and lost a ton of spots right away,” said Davis. "Once I got back up to speed we settled in. It was a huge learning experience for me out there today. We didn't get the finish we wanted but I gained a lot of knowledge for my next big track start."
After a brief loss of speed Davis was able to quickly get back in line for the 100-lap event, ultimately finishing ninth in his first visit to Michigan Int’l Speedway.
The Dawsonville, GA native will make his next ARCA start with Venturini Motorsports on July 8 at Iowa Speedway.
Zane Smith's Top-10 Run at Michigan Ends Early with Crash
Running solidly inside the top-10 in Friday's Corrigan Oil 200, Zane Smith's night came to an abrupt end when his left front tire blew out sending the No. 55 Musselman's Apple Sauce Toyota hard into the outside wall.
Smith, who qualified seventh, was credited with a 27th place finish. This is the first race of the season the 18-year old Smith has finished outside the top-10.
"I just hate it for the guys. They work their asses off back in the shop building these fast Musselman's - Icon Vehicle Dynamics Toyotas. We've now had two torn up in the last three weeks because of bad luck," said Smith.
"Hardest part about this is how strong we've been. We built up a lot of momentum coming into Michigan. We'll just have to reset and regroup for Madison - looking forward to some short track racing."
After two consecutive superspeedway races, the ARCA Series returns to short track action this weekend for the Montgomery Ward 200 at Madison International Speedway on Friday, June 23. Zane Smith, Christian Eckes and Tanner Thorson, in his series return, will lead the charge for Venturini Motorsports.