Erik Darnell Wins ARCA 200Share
Two drivers, Erik Darnell and Sam Hornish, Jr., who probably participated in their last ARCA race this season, finished one-two respectively today at Michigan International Speedway in the ARCA RE/MAX Series Michigan 200 on Friday. For Darnell, it was his second straight ARCA victory, the first coming at Kentucky last month. In his only other ARCA start this year he finished second at Kansas. Local favorite Hornish, from nearby Defiance, Ohio., was making his only scheduled start in the ARCA RE/MAX Series this season. It was his first time competing in a stock car event at MIS after starting the past five seasons in an IndyCar at the two-mile oval. Hornish, winner of three Indy Racing League titles and the 2006 Indianapolis 500, won the pole position on Thursday and jumped out to a big league before running into fueling problems. He dropped back to 20th, but took advantage of a track record seven caution periods to move back into contention and swoop into second behind Darnell with 16 laps remaining. But the long trip back cost him his right front tire and Darnell pulled away to triumph by 2.6 seconds. Erin Crocker, who started second, finished third, thus continuing her record setting performances at MIS. Crocker, who became the highest finishing woman in an MIS race by placing fourth in last June's ARCA event, bettered that performance with her third place showing on Friday. Darnell will participate in Saturday's NASCAR Craftsman Series truck race at MIS. He runs a full Craftsman Truck Series schedule. Hornish will also participate in a limited Busch Series schedule while he contends full-time with the IndyCar Series. He is scheduled to compete in the IndyCar race at MIS on Aug. 5 and the Busch Series race at MIS on Aug. 18. "We came here and tested and we knew that we were running pretty good, but on the other hand we knew that Sam was going to be tough," Darnell said. "He ran off on us early but I knew once we got the car working we could adjust to where we could run with him." Hornish said his side-by-side battle with Tim McCreadie late in the race wasted his right front tire and forced him to fall back on the last few laps. "The car was pretty good and without the problem we had in the pits with the fuel, we would have had a pretty good shot at it," Hornish said.
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