MOORESVILLE, N.C. (May 23, 2017) – It was a tale of two different days for Cunningham Motorsports drivers Shane Lee and Dalton Sargeant at Toledo Speedway. After leading 161 of 200 laps in the Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care, Sargeant ultimately lost the lead late in the race, finishing second; while teammate Lee’s day ended early after being involved in a mid-race incident.
Sargeant started the race from the pole, battling for the lead with the No. 15 car for the first 100 laps. On lap 106 the second caution of the day came and Sargeant would lose the lead on the restart to Chad Finley in the No. 51 car. Pit road stops would play in Sargeant’s favor and when the next caution came, he won the race off of pit road. From lap 129, the 19-year-old led it until eight to go when race winner Harrison Burton overtook the lead on a long green-flag run. Sargeant would fall back to second where he ultimately finished the race.
“It’s definitely disappointing to finish second,” said Sargeant. “We had the best car all day and to give up the lead at the very end like that stings. The team worked hard all weekend and I’m really proud of the effort we gave. It would’ve been great to get this No. 77 Big Tine Ford Fusion back into victory lane, but thankfully we had a strong points day. My teammate Shane took a hard hit during the race and I’m glad he was able to walk away from that. We’ll take away all the positives from this weekend and look ahead towards Elko with a goal of ending up in victory lane.”
The Boca Raton, Florida native had a solid weekend, notching the fastest time in practice and starting from the pole position. Pit stops also proved to be a vital factor in the race where Sargeant picked up spots each time. After a rough outing at Talladega for Sargeant, a second-place finish came at the right time, moving him back into second in ARCA Racing Series championship point standings.
“I think we’re back on the right track after this race at Toledo,” said Sargeant. “We picked up a one spot in points and now we’re right back in the championship chase. The guys on this No. 77 team have a desire to win and they know how to win. We knew how good our short rack program was where we could make up points to the championship leader and we did just that.”
Teammate Shane Lee started the race in fourth and was poised to have another top 10 finish in his first start at Toledo but got caught up in a mid-race incident sending him hard into the foam in turn three.
“We just got caught in a bad spot and it ended our day,” said Lee. “We had a strong No. 22 Big Tine Ford Fusion and it’s unfortunate that we lost a good racecar. We were fast in practice and had a solid start to the race…all the guys on the team worked hard all race to make adjustments to keep us in the top 10. Overall I think this is something we can definitely learn from and build off of for our next race.”
The team will have a weekend off before heading north to Minnesota for the Shore Lunch 250, Saturday, June 3, at Elko Speedway. The race will be live on MAVTV. 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.