MOORESVILLE, N.C. (June 26, 2017) – After some up-and-down weeks for Cunningham Motorsports, Shane Lee and Dalton Sargeant seemed to get right back on track at Madison International Speedway Friday night. Lee rebounded after weeks of bad luck to come away with a fourth-place finish while teammate Sargeant earned his first General Tire Pole Award and a sixth-place finish in the Montgomery Ward 200.
From bad luck starting back at Toledo, Lee was determined to turn it around at Madison. Starting in the ninth position, the 23-year-old quickly moved up to eighth where he stayed for majority of the first half of the 200-lap race. Four cautions would come and go before Lee came in to pit road with the leaders on lap 75 to for new right-side General Tires and adjustments.
By lap 85 Lee quickly moved up to seventh where he bounced around the top-10 until another caution fell on lap 157. After a quick stop for four new tires, Lee jumped from tenth to fifth and with 10 laps to go, he made his move to overtake fourth-place, giving him his fourth top-five finish of the season.
“We’d been waiting for our luck to turn around and it finally happened at Madison,” said Lee. “I’m really proud of the effort of this 22 team…no matter what happens they never give up and it feels really great to finish back in the top-five. We always have a strong No. 22 Big Tine Ford Fusion and that was apparent this weekend. I’ve said it before, but to be able to go to tracks week after week knowing you have the ability to win is a great feeling and we know our first win is coming soon. We’ll take a week off and head to Iowa and keep building from here.”
On the other side of the Cunningham team, starting from the pole, Sargeant battled lap traffic to maintain the lead until a caution fell on lap 14. For multiple laps after the restart, the 19-year-old drove door-to-door for first, ultimately holding on to the top spot until lap 31 when he fell back to third.
From there Sargeant rode within the top-10 until a mid-race pit stop came at lap 75 for new General Tires and a slight track bar adjustment, giving Sargeant what he needed to break back into the top-five. Running with the leaders by lap 125, Sargeant would get shuffled back to ninth, ultimately fighting his way back to sixth where he held on for his eighth top-10 finish of the season.
“We had a really good run in those first laps of the race,” said Sargeant. “Cunningham put together a really fast No. 77 Big Tine Ford Fusion and that was evident from the start. I’d never been to this track before so I wasn’t sure how the track would change throughout the day and how tire wear would play out, but that’s something we had to battle throughout the race. We would have obviously liked to get a win, but we’ll definitely take sixth. Looking ahead to Iowa, Cunningham won there last year in the 77 car so hopefully we can repeat it and get back in this championship race.”
Cunningham Motorsports will take a weekend off before heading to Iowa Speedway for the Fans with Benefits 150 on July 8.
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).
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