MOORESVILLE, N.C. (July 12, 2017) – Cunningham Motorsports driver Shane Lee had a day full of highs and lows at Iowa Speedway in the race that marked the halfway point of the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season. From winning the General Tire Pole Award and leading the most laps in the Fans with Benefits 150, an 11th-place finish is not how Lee and his No. 22 team were hoping to end the night.
Starting from the first position, Lee pulled away from his contenders quickly creating a gap that would be hard to fill. Two cautions would fall early on laps 19 and 32, and Lee and veteran crew chief Paul Andrews decided to keep his No. 22 Big Tine Ford Fusion off of pit road until later in the race. Lee would keep the lead on both restarts and it wasn’t until lap 59, battling cars on fresher tires, that he fell out of first-place and into third. Another caution came on lap 61 and this time Lee opted to bring his car down for four new General Tires, Sunoco fuel and a tick up on the track bar. A slow pit stop and a turn down, rather than up, by the pit crew on the track bar, though, would cause Lee to fall from third to 14th and be unable to make up position, ultimately finishing in 11th-place.
“I think we had the car to beat,” said Lee. “Everything was going our way from practice to qualifying and even the beginning of the race. If things had gone our way on pit road then there’s no doubt we would have been a contender to win. It’s a bit of a heartbreaker. I can’t thank my crew chief Paul (Andrews) and all the guys at the shop who work so hard to put together good cars for me to run in every single week. We’ll take the positives that we have from this race, move on to Lucas Oil and hopefully get this No. 22 Big Tine Ford Fusion into victory lane.”
Some of those positives for Lee include earning his first General Tire Pole Award of the season, the second of his ARCA career, as well as leading 58 laps…the most he’s led in a race this year. The effort also boosted Lee 20 championship points closer to third-place (currently fourth).
“Despite the outcome of the race, overall there’s a lot of good things to take away,” said Lee. “We had a great car…everything was coming together with it really well. Iowa was another track I’d never been to but adapted to nice and fast. There was a lot of confidence from the 22 team going into the race and I think knowing that we had that potential to win will be great to have when we start the second half of the season. We’re edging closer to third in championship standings and hopefully we can overtake that spot soon, too. I think we’re ready to start the second half of the season with confidence and leave the bad luck behind us.”
Lee and the Cunningham team will take a week off before heading to Lucas Oil Raceway for the Lucas Oil 200 on July 21 to kick off the second-half of the season.
Until then, you can 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 on social media as well through Facebook and Twitter (@ShaneLeeRacing) and Instagram (@Shane_Lee00).
Big Tine is manufactured in Rockville, Ind. and was introduced to the market in 2010. Big Tine is the only feed supplement on the market that utilizes the power of Whitetail InstitutesTM 30-06 mineral and vitamin supplement for year-round support management of a healthy, flourishing herd. For more information on Big Tine, products or where to buy visit us at www.bigtine.com on Facebook @BigTine and on Instagram @BigTineOfficial.