MOORESVILLE, N.C. (July 31, 2017) – For three weeks Cunningham Motorsports driver Dalton Sargeant has been cutting down the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards championship point lead and after a fifth-place finish at Pocono Raceway, that point lead doesn’t seem so far away. Sargeant continued to make progress in the ModSpace 150 Friday night, earning his seventh top-five finish of the season and earning 20 points towards the championship, putting him just 110 points back from the lead.
Starting under caution from an earlier rain delay, Sargeant began the night in the 10th position. When the track finally went green on lap five, all it took was one time around for Sargeant to break into the top-five. He then held on to fifth-place for the first 20 laps until leaders began to pit under green while Sargeant stayed out, giving him the opportunity to lead two laps and gain valuable championship points. Once Sargeant secured the lead and registered a lap led, on lap 28 the No. 77 Big Tine Ford Fusion came down pit road under caution for four fresh General Tires, Sunoco fuel and adjustments.
“Every single point is critical to this championship run and we knew we had to do whatever we could to lead a lap during the race,” said Sargeant. “Fortunately, we were able to get a good start at the beginning of the race and I was able to stay in the top-five throughout the night. We had a really fast car and Chad (Bryant) made some good calls on the pit box. We were able to gain more points for the championship race and we’re one step closer to the point lead.”
Settling back into fifth for the restart on lap 32, Sargeant found himself battling for fourth quickly after with competitor Riley Herbst. Running side-by-side for a few laps until Sargeant ultimately held on to fifth, the 19-year-old would finish the remaining 24 laps of the night in that position, giving him his seventh top-five finish of the season.
“It was a good race for us,” said crew chief Chad Bryant. “Dalton ran strong and he worked his lines and did what he needed to do. We were obviously hoping for a win, but a top-five finish at a track like Pocono isn’t bad. I think Dalton knows that we’re right back in this championship run and from here on out he’s going to head to each track and do what he has to do in order to get this team another championship.”
As Sargeant heads to the storied high-banks of Winchester Speedway this week in his No. 77 Big Tine Ford Fusion, there is high anticipation all around. Last year’s race saw a thrilling rivalry between Sargeant and former Cunningham driver Chase Briscoe as the win ultimately came down to a late-race restart where the two competitors battled side-by-side for multiple laps. Briscoe held Sargeant off and gave the No. 77 Cunningham car its first of many wins that season. Now as Sargeant steps into the same car that beat him last year, he heads to one of the most historic tracks on the schedule in what would appear to be a perfect scenario.
“Winchester is probably my favorite track that I’ve been able to go to,” said Sargeant. “I love the speed and banking…there’s really no other place like it and I’ve looked forward to it all year. Luckily I have a lot of experience racing at Winchester in super late models and now ARCA and I think that could give me an advantage looking ahead. It’s obvious that Cunningham brings fast cars to Winchester. It’ll be pretty fun to drive the car that beat me last season…it’s almost like everything is coming full-circle. We have a lot of confidence going into the race and hopefully we’ll add one more win to the season and keep getting closer to this championship.”
The Winchester ARCA 200 kicks off Saturday, August 5, with practice running from 1:30-3:00 p.m. followed by General Tire Pole Qualifying at 6. The 200-lap feature event is set to start at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, August 6. The race will be aired on a tape-delayed basis on MAVTV. All times are local (Eastern).
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 Dalton on social media as well through Facebook (@DaltonSargeantRacing) and Twitter and Instagram (@DaltonSargeant).
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.