Lee Strong and Steady at Winchester; Heartbreak for Sargeant

09 Aug 2017
209 times
Lee Strong and Steady at Winchester; Heartbreak for Sargeant Cunningham Motorsports Photo

There are always two sides to every story and for Cunningham Motorsports drivers Shane Lee and Dalton Sargeant, there were two sides to the story at Winchester Speedway this past Sunday. Running within the top-five for the entire race, Lee got the change of luck he was looking for with a sixth-place finish, while teammate Sargeant started off the day strong, but finished sixteenth after contact with the turn one wall ultimately ended his day.

Tackling the famous half-mile track for the first time, Lee started the day in the fourth position but before one green-flag lap was even complete, he’d steered his No. 22 Big Tine Ford Fusion up to second. Maintaining that position Lee continued to track down the leader and nearly took over first-place before a caution fell with 48 laps completed. After taking two fresh General Tires and some Sunoco fuel, Lee restarted in the second position on lap 55 and continued to edge his way closer to the lead.

“We had a really fast race car all weekend” said Lee. “I’d never been to Winchester but it lives up to everything you hear about it…it’s definitely one of the fastest short tracks I’ve ever raced. Throughout the day we were always in contention and we almost caught Kyle (Benjamin) a few times for first. We came in to pit on that first caution and after we got new right side tires the car started to feel a little loose. We battled that until we could come in to get adjustments, but we stayed right up there with the leaders which was really great to see.”

Fighting that loose race car, Lee fell to fifth by lap 110 and began a five-lap battle with teammate Sargeant. After a right front tire went down on Sargeant’s machine, Lee picked up minor front damage to his No. 22 car. Three cautions would fall between laps 115 and 175 with Lee opting to pit during all of them for tires, fuel and adjustments. After the final caution came, Lee restarted in the eighth position and worked his way back up to sixth where he earned his eighth top-10 finish of the year.

“I’m really proud of all the guys at Cunningham,” said Lee. “This 22 teams works so hard and we haven’t been getting the finishes we know we’re capable of lately, so to finally come back and run fast and get a solid finish this race was reassuring. We know we have a car that win each week, so we’ll take this as a step in the right direction and move forward to get this No. 22 Big Tine Ford Fusion its first win of the season.”

Now, teammate Sargeant had high expectations coming into this race having finished second at Winchester last year to none other than the 77 Cunningham team. Starting in the eighth position, Sargeant moved up to sixth by lap 25 and when the lap 48 caution fell, Sargeant pitted for two right side General Tires, Sunoco fuel and adjustments. Holding the sixth position by lap 115, Sargeant was side-by-side with Lee when he lost a right front tire sending him hard into the wall out of turn one. The team tried to repair the damages incurred, but Sargeant’s day would end early with a 16th-place finish.

“We definitely didn’t have the day we were hoping for,” said Sargeant. “This is one of my favorite tracks and to come out here and get this kind of finish is heartbreaking. We had such a fast car and we just got tangled up in some bad luck. I hate it for all of my guys back at the shop, but if anything is true about this team it’s that they don’t give up and I know we’ll be ready for the next one. This is a championship team and while this weekend may have put us a few steps back, we’re going to give it our all and try to get this No. 77 Big Tine Ford a few more wins.”

Up next for Cunningham Motorsports is a well-deserved weekend off and then it’s off to the first of two dirt races this season at the Illinois State Fairgrounds on August 20.

Until then, 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 and Dalton on social media as well. Follow Shane on Facebook and Twitter (@ShaneLeeRacing) and on Instagram (@Shane_Lee00). Follow Dalton on Facebook (@DaltonSargeantRacing) and Twitter and Instagram (@DaltonSargeant).

Big Tine is manufactured in Rockville, Ind. and was introduced to the market in 2010. Big Tine is the only feed supplement on the market that utilizes the power of Whitetail InstitutesTM 30-06 mineral and vitamin supplement for year-round support management of a healthy, flourishing herd. For more information on Big Tine, products or where to buy visit us at www.bigtine.com on Facebook @BigTine and on Instagram @BigTineOfficial.

Cunningham Motorsports PR

Rate this item
(0 votes)
Steven B. Wilson

Follow us on Twitter @SpeedwayDigest