Mobile, Ala. - A wonderful homecoming scenario took place for Cale Gale as he returned to his childhood home track on Saturday and won the inaugural ARCA/Mobile 200 at Mobile International Speedway.
Gale led 76 of 203 laps, including the final 28, on a race extended by a green-white-checkered finish. Gale held off an aggressive final restart by Chad Hackenbracht, which included an attempted bump-and-run in Turn 2. Hackenbracht drove it in too deep and couldn't close in on Turns 3 and 4.
"I really didn't want to wreck him to win the race," Hackenbracht said. "He's the hometown hero and I wouldn't be allowed out of Mobile if I won that way."
Gale passed fellow Mobile-native Grant Enfinger on lap 176 and never looked back. Currently driving a full-time Camping World Truck Series schedule for Eddie Sharp Racing, Gale now has two wins in 11 ARCA starts, his first coming at Gateway in 2006.
"This worked out better than we ever could have expected it to," Gale said. "It's especially special, because my grandfather passed away last year and we spent many Saturday nights up here. This is my first race win since he passed away."
Gale qualified ninth and quickly charged to the front, putting pressure on a race-leading Chase Elliott and second place Enfinger.
Enfinger took the lead on lap 128 and dominated the middle portion of the race, including a 59-lap green flag stretch, the longest without a caution. Enfinger's car was best on long green flag runs and he lost the handling when the closing laps turned into a crash fest.
Gale took the lead from Enfinger, just one circuit after a lap 174 restart and Enfinger's Ford was never the same. Enfinger faded on the final restart and finished in 13th.
"We're disappointed with the outcome," Enfinger said. "However, we were going for the win and weren't trying to race for points. It was win or lose and our strategy just backfired. We had a fast car and I could drive it anywhere during the long green flag run."
Elliott started his first ARCA race on the outside pole and took the lead from pole-sitter Alex Bowman on lap 28. He told crew chief Lance McGrew that he could have made the pass at any moment but wanted to save his equipment. He led 22 laps before his tires fell off and ultimately finished 10th.
"We ended up tenth which wasn't bad," Elliott said. "We had a fast car, led some laps, but the cautions and tire strategy just didn't fall our way."
Next up for the ARCA Racing Series is a trip to Salem, Kentucky for the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 at Salem Speedway. Frank Kimmel leads the Series with nine wins at the .555-mile paved oval. The race is set for Sunday, Apr. 29 at 3:15 p.m. EST. Chris Buescher is the defending race winner.
A complete finishing order, championship standings, and a photo album can be found beneath the jump. Check it out!
|1||9||33||Cale Gale/Mobile AL||Rheem Chevrolet||203||Running|
|2||6||58||Chad Hackenbracht/New Philadelphia OH||Tastee Apple Chevrolet||203||Running|
|3||1||22||Alex Bowman/Tucson AZ||Ebay Motors-St. Jude Children's Hospital Dodge||203||Running|
|4||15||1||Mikey Kile/Westlake LA||ModSpace Ford||203||Running|
|5||20||66||Clint King/Denton NC||Warehouse Design Chevrolet||203||Running|
|6||18||17||Chris Buescher/Prosper TX||Roulo Brothers Racing Ford||203||Running|
|7||7||25||Brennan Poole/The Woodlands TX||Adcetera Toyota||203||Running|
|8||17||12||Jared Marks/Napoleon OH||UNOH-Dodge Motorsports Dodge||203||Running|
|9||14||52||Tom Hessert/Cherry Hill NJ||Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet||203||Running|
|10||2||9||Chase Elliott/Dawsonville GA||Aaron's-Hendrickcars.com Chevrolet||203||Running|
|11||12||29||Bubba Pollard/Senoia GA||Grease Monkey-M&E Construction Chevrolet||203||Running|
|12||5||15||Ryan Reed/Bakersfield CA||JDRF Toyota||203||Running|
|13||10||61||Grant Enfinger/Fairhope AL||Breland Homes Ford||203||Running|
|14||27||82||Sean Corr/Goshen NY||Empire Racing Ford||203||Running|
|15||19||18||Tyler Reddick/Corning CA||Broken Bow Records-Stoney Creek Records Chevy||203||Running|
|16||8||16||Matt Lofton/Roxboro NC||Strutmasters.com Chevrolet||203||Running|
|17||11||44||Frank Kimmel/Clarksville IN||Ansell-Menards Toyota||202||Running|
|18||34||6||Milka Duno/Caracas Venezuela||Eddie Sharp Racing Chevrolet||202||Running|
|19||28||32||Mason Mingus/Brentwood TN||811 Call Before You Dig Toyota||202||Running|
|20||25||02||Josh Williams/Port Charlotte FL||Southwest Florida Cable Construction Ford||201||Running|
|21||23||09||Charles Evans Jr./Pasadena TX||ETS-RoushYatesParts.com Ford||201||Running|
|22||21||35||Nelson Canache/Caracas Venezuela||Venezuela Tourism Chevrolet||200||Running|
|23||22||88||Buster Graham/Lafayette LA||Technip-RoushYatesParts.com Ford||199||Running|
|24||4||94||Brian Keselowski/Rochester Hills MI||Sinica Motorsports Chevrolet||198||Running|
|25||16||68||Will Kimmel/Sellersburg IN||Clarksville Schwinn Ford||196||Engine|
|26||30||10||Daryl Eustace/Scottsboro AL||The Traylor Group-Jet Polymer Recycling Chevrolet||188||Running|
|27||24||99||Brandon Davis/Huntington Beach CA||Roulo Brothers Racing Ford||184||Running|
|28||26||23||Spencer Gallagher/Las Vegas NV||Allegiant Air Chevrolet||184||Running|
|29||3||55||Erik Jones/Byron MI||Paragon Corvette Reproductions Chevrolet||176||Running|
|30||31||2||Levi Youster/Toledo OH||Hixson Construction Ford||167||Accident|
|31||13||95||Michael Leavine/Bullard TX||WRL General Contractors Ford||79||Accident|
|32||29||31||Tommy O'Leary/Cygnet OH||AmericanHeroesRacing.com/CG-6535 Ford||57||Accident|
|33||33||48||James Hylton/Inman SC||Radon.com Ford||43||Steering|
|34||35||5||Thomas Praytor/Mobile AL||G-Force Racing Gear/Modspace Ford||25||Rear End|
|35||32||34||Darrell Basham/Henryville IN||Darrell Basham Racing Ford||2||Handling|
ARCA Mobile 200 Grid Walk and Speedway Infield (via MattWeaverNASCAR)
A highlight video can be found here.
Team BCR #88 driver Buster Graham after a hard-fought 23rd-place finish. (Matt Weaver/NASCAR Ranting and Raving)
Chase Elliott's first ARCA car prior to Friday qualifying at Mobile International Speedway. The car is a joint effort by Bill Elliott Motorsports and Hendrick Motorsports. (Matt Weaver/NASCAR Ranting and Raving)
Track action during Friday practice for the ARCA/Mobile 200 at Mobile International Speedway. (Matt Weaver/NASCAR Ranting and Raving)
Mobile International Speedway track promoter and occasional Truck Series driver, Rick Crawford, prior to the start of Saturday's ARCA/Mobile 200. (Matt Weaver/NASCAR Ranting and Raving)
Tom Hessert trashed his primary Ken Schrader Racing car during Friday practice for Saturday's ARCA/Mobile 200 at Mobile International Speedway. (Matt Weaver/NASCAR Ranting and Raving)
Backstretch at Mobile International Speedway (Matt Weaver/NASCAR Ranting and Raving)