Kaden Honeycutt launched perfectly on every single restart. As a flurry of caution flags flew in the second half of the ARCA Menards Series West race at Madera Speedway on Saturday (Oct. 21) night, Honeycutt kept the lead en route to the victory, both the second of his career and his season.
Honeycutt’s win at the 1/3-mile short track, coupled with leading all 150 laps, added to his No. 17 Cook Racing Technologies team’s lead in the owner’s point standings over Sean Hingorani’s Venturini Motorsports team. Madera hosted the penultimate race of the season and Honeycutt delivered 48 points, one shy of the maximum amount, for team owner Bruce Cook.
“Oh my gosh, it just feels so good man,” Honeycutt said in victory lane. “These guys work their butts off and they deserve this type of stuff every fricking week. This car was phenomenal. I was so worried about the speedy dry. There was so much put down in [turns] 1 and 2 where my lane and where I wanted to run. Just executed on that restart, got down on the bottom and kicked their fricking butt. That’s what this team is about. That’s what we want to do is win this team championship in 2023. Got one more, got to go to Phoenix [Raceway].
“It puts you in a situation you don’t want to be in. You know you’re going to have to do it all your career so it just depends on how you handle it and how you face it and how you come out on top.”
Todd Souza finished second. On turn 4 of the last lap, Souza’s teammate Tyler Reif spun Trevor Huddleston as the two battled for third place. As a result, Huddleston lost valuable positions and points to series leader Hingorani in the driver’s point standings.
Huddleston wound up 10th, one spot ahead of Reif in 11th. Even though Reif crossed the line third, he was penalized to the tail of the lead lap for rough driving, Frontstretch has confirmed.
Hingorani increased his points lead, but his night was far from perfect. He was one of multiple drivers involved in an incident in the race. The first half of the race was racy but clean; the second half witnessed seven caution flags.
The biggest carnage of the many cautions came as a result of a stack-up on a restart. Philpott and Monty Tipton got together, but Takuma Koga received the worst damage of it all. As a result of fluid leaking from Koga’s No. 7, series officials red-flagged the race to clean up.
Although Philpott came home with a top-10 result, Tipton wound up with a 12th-place DNF and Koga finished with a 15th-place DNF.
Even with multiple restarts, all within a short time period, Honeycutt withstood every one en route to his second win in only his third career start.
The West season will wrap up at Phoenix Raceway with the Desert Diamond Casino West Valley 100. It will take place as part of the NASCAR Championship 4 race weekend on Friday, Nov. 3 at 1:30 p.m. ET with live 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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