Michigan International Speedway (Brooklyn, Mich.) hosted the ARCA Racing Series (ARS) Presented by Menards for the running of the Corrigan Oil 200 on Friday. MDM Motorsports entered the weekend looking for their third ARS win of the season with drivers Brandon Jones, Sheldon Creed and Vinnie Miller.
The ARS held a lone practice session on Thursday. MDM Motorsports scored three of the top-four spots on the leaderboard. Miller, a Michigan native, was fastest followed by NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) star and last year's Corrigan Oil 200 winner, Jones. Stadium Super Truck Series Champion, Creed, was fourth quick.
Friday afternoon drivers took to the two-mile speedway for qualifying. Jones won the General Tire pole award. Miller qualified in the second position and Creed was third. It was the first 1-2-3 ARS start in MDM Motorsports history.
When the green flag waved, Jones jumped out to the early lead. He maintained his position until lap 12 when oil on the speedway sent him spinning. During that caution period, Creed reported low oil pressure. The No. 28 team thought they were done for the day but ultimately, the team was able to return to the track five laps down after replacing the damaged parts. Miller made it through the lap 12 incident without damage and took the lead on lap 56 after a great pit stop by the No. 41 team. On lap 59, a car got loose under the 19-year-old hometown driver sending him into the turn three wall. Jones was able to battle his way back into contention over the course of the 200-mile event, taking the lead on lap 94. He never looked back and scored the win. The victory was his fourth career ARS victory and second consecutive Corrigan Oil 200. Miller recovered to a 10th-place finish while Creed finished 17th due to the early race issues he suffered.
Brandon Jones, driver of the Nexteer No. 8... Jones, a NASCAR NXS regular, entered the Corrigan Oil 200 at MIS as one of the favorites. He won last year's event and was looking to do the same this weekend with Michigan-based Nexteer onboard. After an early spin put Jones' day in jeopardy, he was able to work his way through the field over the course of the 100-lap event. He was able to regain the lead on lap 94, scoring his fourth career ARS victory.
Jones on Michigan: "It was a crazy day, for sure. I was starting to get worried there at the end; it seemed like our car started to go away a little bit after being so dominant early on. I told Mardy Lindley [crew chief] that we needed just a little more front turn, and I don't know if it was the track heating up or the sun coming out, but we got a little free. The leader made a mistake there with a handful of laps to go and that was that little extra bit that we needed to take over the top spot. All-in-all, though, it was a great day-fastest in qualifying, second in practice. To sit on the pole and then take the win, I can't thank MDM enough for the strong racecars that they build. We had Nexteer, a Michigan-based company, out here with us on the car and what a cool thing to get a win for them at their home track."
Vinnie Miller, driver of the Peerless Steel No. 41... Friday's Corrigan Oil 200 was Miller's first time at the fast two-mile oval located just a couple hours away from his home in Metamora, Mich. He was fastest in Thursday's practice and qualified second on Friday. He ran inside the top-five for a majority of the race, even leading his first career ARS laps. On lap 59, while battling for the lead, a competitor got loose on his inside. The two made contact, sending the 19-year-old hometown favorite into the turn three wall. He was able to battle back to a 10th-place finish, earning his third straight ARS top-10 finish.
Miller on Michigan: "It was maybe our best weekend of the year despite not getting result we deserved. We were really fast and I felt like we had the car to beat. Despite the incident, we were able to come back and finish 10th, which is pretty impressive. I'm having a lot of fun right now and can't wait to get to the next one."
Sheldon Creed, driver of the United Rentals/A.M. Ortega Construction No. 28... Creed is coming off a victory in Stadium Super Truck competition in Texas last weekend. On Thursday, the Alpine, Calif., native was fourth quick in the United Rentals sponsored Davey Allison throwback car. On Friday, he qualified third. He had to start in the rear due to damaged sustained in qualifying after hitting the wall on his second lap. On lap 14 under caution, he reported low oil pressure after hitting the wall again. He brought his car to pit road and the MDM Motorsports team went to work. He returned to the track five laps down, running lap times comparable to the fastest cars on the track. Creed used the remainder of the Corrigan 200 to learn and gain experience. He was able to battle back to a 17th-place finish.
Creed on Michigan: "We had a fast car but just no luck again. It's a bummer but we have to keep our heads up, and keep working. I can't wait to get back to the track with this MDM Motorsports team."
For more information about MDM Motorsports please visit www.MDMMotorsports.com.