Dalton Sargeant wins at Berlin for first ARCA victory
MARNE, Mich. (AP) Dalton Sargeant won at Berlin Raceway on Saturday night for his first ARCA Racing Series victory, taking advantage of late contact between leader Josh Williams and Chase Briscoe.
The 18-year-old Sargeant easily held off Briscoe - his car damaged on the left front after the run-in with Williams - to end the Indiana driver's winning streak at four races.
''This is amazing,'' said Sargeant, from Boca Raton, Florida. ''I can't thank my guys enough at Venturini Motorsports. They killed it tonight.''
Driving the No. 55 Toyota Racing Development Toyota, Sargeant pulled away on the final restart in the 200-lap race on the 0.48-mile paved oval.
''We were strong on that final restart and showed how good our Venturini Motorsports car was,'' said Sargeant, from Boca Raton, Florida. ''I just had to pace myself, be smart with my tires and expect that the race would turn out like it did. Hats off to this team. We've been so close so many times. It feels so good to come out and finally get the win.''
The 21-year-old Briscoe was coming consecutive victories at Winchester, Iowa, Clermont and Pocono.
The points leader was racing Williams for the lead when they made contact going through the first two turns on Lap 181 and ended up in the outside grass on the backstretch, with Williams car tangled up in foam and tire barriers.
''Got into his (Williams) door and passed him, but I gave it back to him,'' Briscoe said. ''Got into him again and gave the spot right back. At the end there, I was completely under him. Once I passed him, I knew I was going to get hit down in (Turns) 1 and 2. Then coming off 2, I felt like he ran me out off the track. It's unfortunate. You have two guys going for the championship that have two wrecked cars now.''
Williams ended up 10th, 19 laps down.
''He (Briscoe) didn't want us to win,'' Williams said. ''They can build new race cars every week; we can't. We'll be at the dirt track (Springfield) though in a steel-bodied 105 (inch-wheel base) car.''
Sargeant had a good view of the tussle.
''It was pretty crazy out there,'' Sargeant said. ''I knew how this race was going to unfold. I saw how rough the 6 (Williams) was being with the 77 (Briscoe) in front of me. The 6 car was really rough on a restart before that.''
Matt Kurzejewski was third, followed by Bret Holmes, A.J. Fike, Clair Zimmerman, Tom Hessert, Thomas Praytor and Ed Pompa.
''We got lucky tonight,'' Kurzejewski said. ''We didn't have a third-place car, but we had a third-place team tonight and a third-place crew.''