Stepping into a brand-new car Thursday afternoon at Michigan International Speedway, Cunningham Motorsports driver Dalton Sargeant had a little bit of nerves and a whole lot of hope. Those expectations never settled and after adjusting to the new car and working out kinks up until race time, Sargeant drove his way to third to take his fourth top-five finish of the season in the Corrigan Oil 200.
Starting from the 11th position, Sargeant made early moves when he opted to stay off of pit road when a caution fell on lap 12. Restarting from second on lap 20, the 19-year-old held off teammate Ty Majeski until the yellow flag flew again halfway in on lap 50. This time around, Sargeant came in for four fresh General Tires and Sunoco race fuel, lining up for the restart in ninth. For the last 35 laps of the night, Sargeant slowly worked his way up the field closing in on the leaders until the end where he came in third.
“We had a pretty strong day at Michigan,” said Sargeant, “We had a brand-new car we brought up there and the first time it hit the track was Thursday at practice. There were a lot of things that had to be worked out on it and the guys on the team worked all day to make sure it was right where we needed it to be. A third-place finish isn’t bad…we were really hoping for a win, but another top-five is a solid points day and another strong finish in this No. 77 Big Tine Ford Fusion to add to the season and I’m proud of our effort this past weekend.”
Sargeant isn’t the only one that’s proud of the team’s drive lately. Crew chief Chad Bryant has said all along the determination of the team paired with Sargeant’s talent has created championship potential to last the season.
“I’m really proud of how everything is coming along,” said Bryant. “Dalton has so much potential and each race he continues to show that potential. It doesn’t matter what situation we’re in, whether it’s starting from the back at Pocono or bringing a new car to Michigan, he does what he has to do to get to the top. He’s a great driver to work with…he’s young and is willing to learn and make mistakes to get better. Every race this team puts it all out on the line and I definitely think we have what it takes to win the championship.”
And that championship fight is still raging as Sargeant held on to his second-place standing in the ARCA Racing Series by Menards championship points after this weekend. Now, sights are set on Madison International Speedway with high hopes of inching closer to overtaking the top spot.
“Cunningham has a strong short-track program and those have been some of our best finishes this year,” said Sargeant. “I’ve never been to Madison, so this is one of those races I’ll have to count on Chad (Bryant) for advice and tips. I’ll have Frank (Kimmel) as my spotter again, so with those two behind me I know we’ll have the capability to have another strong day. Hopefully we can end up getting this 77 car back into victory lane and pick up some more points for the championship run.”
The Montgomery Ward 200 will take place Friday, June 23 and kick off with practice from 1:30 – 3:00 p.m., followed by General Tire Pole Qualifying at 5. The 200-lap feature is set for an 8:00 p.m. start and will air live on MAVTV. All times are local (Central).
Keep up with Cunningham Motorsports on Facebook and Instagram (@CunninghamRace) and on Twitter (@Cunningham_Race). Head to www.cunninghamrace.com for more news. You can follow Shane on social media as well through Facebook (@DaltonSargeantRacing) and Twitter and Instagram (@DaltonSargeant).
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Cunningham Motorsports PR