In a day in which three of its drivers failed to finish on the lead lap, Venturini Motorsports also took home the trophy from the ARCA Menards Series East race at Dover Motor Speedway. Jake Finch hung on in an overtime restart on Saturday (April 29) to earn his first-career East victory.
Finch’s crew chief Shannon Rursch now has scored back-to-back wins atop the pit box. Rursch guided Jesse Love to victory in the most recent ARCA Menards Series event of 2023 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Finch led a race-high 89 of the 127 laps. The most important ones came on a three-lap overtime restart when he fended off Landen Lewis as the two banged racecars, both seeking their first career East victories.
Lewis, the ARCA Menards Series West points leader, was unable to beat the VMS driver. It’s Lewis’ fourth runner-up result of the 2023 season as he finished second in all three West series races in 2023 too.
After finishing second in the East season opener at Five Flags Speedway, Luke Fenhaus wound up third.
William Sawalich led every lap at Five Flags, but he was unable to match his dominating performance in his No. 18 Toyota. While he started first due to inclement weather forcing series officials to cancel qualifying, Sawalich brought his No. 18 home in fourth.
Lavar Scott fought a very loose No. 6 Rev Racing Chevrolet all day and he still finished fifth, which is a solid run for the rookie at his home racetrack.
Zachary Tinkle was the beneficiary of three lucky dogs to earn his career-best ARCA finish of sixth place, the last driver on the lead lap.
Over the Venturini quartet, Finch led the most laps with his teammate Conner Jones leading the second most with 30. Jones’ No. 25 was fast during the first stint of the race before the handling on his Toyota went awry. Jones fell two laps down, but as he raced alongside the front two late in the race, he clobbered the wall after a right-front tire went down.
Jones walked away, albeit a little gingerly, after the wreck. His DNF caused him to finish ninth.
During the cleanup for Jones’ wreck, fellow VMS driver Toni Breidinger’s No. 55 experienced a mechanical failure which ended her race after she drove her Toyota into the top five. She finished seventh.
Sean Hingorani has won back-to-back West races, but his No. 15 didn’t even join the field on the opening pace laps due to a power issue. His team never quit; they ultimately resolved the problem and Hingorani drove his way all the way up to 10th place.
The General Tire 125 was supposed to begin the race weekend at Dover; instead, Mother Nature forced series officials to postpone the race until after the conclusion of the NASCAR Xfinity Series race. The change didn’t affect Finch, who ended the doubleheader of racing in victory lane.
Finch and the East field next head to Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway for the Music City 200. The 200-lap race will take place on Saturday, May 13 at 9:30 p.m. ET with coverage provided by FloRacing.
About the author
Mark Kristl joined Frontstretch at the beginning of the 2019 NASCAR season. He is the site's ARCA Menards Series editor. Kristl is also an Eagle Scout and a proud University of Dayton alum.
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