In what was a home race for Kansas-based CCM Racing, expectations and hopes were high for a good finish to end the 2021 ARCA Menards Series season.
Unfortunately, Kansas Speedway had other plans.
Owner and driver Eric Caudell rolled off in the 19th position in the No. 7 Consolidated Electrical Distributors (CED) Toyota for the start of the Reese’s 150, and reported a loose condition in the opening laps.
Before crew chief Jeremy Petty could bring Caudell down pit road for adjustments during the first scheduled caution at lap 50, Caudell hit a piece of debris that caused significant damage to the front of the car, knocking off the splitter, skid plate, and damaging the undercarriage.
Caudell was able to stay on the track until the first caution at lap 51, at which point Petty had the crew repair the damage and make some adjustments to improve the handling.
The No. 7 car restarted the race several laps down and remained just outside the top 15 for much of the remainder of the race until the right front tire started going down and eventually blew out entirely, bringing out the caution with just five laps to go.
Caudell came to pit road during the ensuing caution where the No. 7 crew patched up the damage to the right front as much as possible to finish out the remaining laps of the race.
A green-white-checkered finish ensued and Caudell was able to hang on until the checkered flag flew, coming home 19th, 10 laps off the pace.
The No. 7 CCM Racing team ended the 2021 season with an average finish of 15.5 after running five races, including a ninth-place run at Talladega Superspeedway, the best finish of the season.
Looking ahead to 2022, Caudell is planning on once again running a limited schedule in the ARCA Menards Series, including the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway on February 19, 2022.