August 7, 2016 (Concord, NC) – Dalton Sargeant out dueled his competition Saturday night to earn his first career ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards victory in the ARCA 200 at Berlin Speedway. Fast pit stops and patience behind the wheel were the keys to victory for Sargeant and his Venturini Motorsports team. The win was the first for the 18-year-old Sargeant and came in just his 11th series’ start.
“We were finally able to get that monkey off our back and break that streak of always being right there but never being able to close the deal,” said Sargeant, who had five top-three finishes in 10 starts heading into Berlin.
“I’m just so proud of all my guys. They work so hard day in and day out on this No. 55 TRD-Windows 10 Toyota Camry. We’ve been so close all season.”
After qualifying in the eighth position, Sargeant immediately picked up a couple of positions at the drop of the green flag.
Crew chief Billy Venturini called for two tires and adjustments on the first pit stop of the night and the team was able to gain four positions on pit road to line up in the second position on the restart.
On what was the second and final stop of the race under the third caution flag of the evening at Lap 106, Sargeant’s crew came in fourth and came off pit road with the lead.
“My pit crew tonight did an amazing job. We were so fast on all our stops,” said Sargeant. “Once again my guys just hit all their marks perfectly, executed and did exactly what they needed to do. I’m thankful that we were able to pick up as many spots as we did on pit lane.”
That lead would prove critical as the ensuing restart at Lap 112 would see a wreck in Turn 1 that took out several of the race’s top contenders behind Sargeant including his teammates Tom Hessert and Landon Huffman. After returning to green, Chase Briscoe and Josh Williams got around Sargeant and Sargeant strategically held steady in the third position as he conserved tires.
Sargeant would retake the lead when Williams and Briscoe got together in Turn 3 to bring out the final caution of the night at Lap 181. Sargeant pulled out to a sizable lead on the final restart and drove away from the rest of the field to earn his first checkered flag in ARCA Racing Series competition.
“We were starting to catch them about two-tenths a lap. We were definitely coming,” Sargeant said of running behind Briscoe and Williams.
“I was a little worried that the gap was a little too big. We definitely saved our stuff for a little bit. Maybe we saved a little bit too much but I think it definitely showed there with the final 10 lap restart that just saving a little bit really helped us out so much. That’s what helped us get this win tonight.”
ABOUT VENTURINI MOTORSPORTS:
Venturini Motorsports (VMS), fielding cars for over 30-years in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, is one of the premier NASCAR driver development programs in the country. Multiple team championships and consistent on-track success, VMS has evolved into one of the most recognizable names in motorsports. Since 2007, VMS has assisted in the career development of notable NASCAR drivers such as Joey Logano, Erik Jones, William Byron, Justin Allgaier, Alex Bowman, Brian Scott, Ryan Blaney, Brennan Poole, Daniel Suarez, Brandon Jones and John Wes Townley. Over the years the Venturini name has become synonymous with modern-day racing in America. In 2012, the Venturini family was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame and now find themselves enshrined with such sports icons as Joe DiMaggio, Mario Andretti, Vince Lombardi, Tommy Lasorda and Rocky Marciano.