|PHOTO: All photos in this article credit @DnfRacers|
LASTCAR.info Guest Contributor
Brad Smith finished last for the 13th time in his ARCA Racing Series career in Saturday night’s Kansas ARCA 150 at Kansas Speedway when his #48 Brad Smith Motorsports Ford retired with a vibration after 1 of 100 laps. The finish came in Smith’s 328th series start, and was his first since Charlotte, 14 races ago.
Since the last time Smith has trailed the field, the Brad Smith Motorsports team has gone through ups and downs. The team picked up sponsors Copraya Web Design and HIE Publishing, but on-track results have been rough, with the team failing to finish the previous three races before Kansas.
|Smith pulls the #48 behind the wall after the opening lap.|
It is often a surprise when a lower-funded team enters another car or a different driver at a race, but when one of the top teams in the series does it, it serves notice. That happened twice at Kansas, with Toyota test driver Drew Herring popping up out of nowhere to pilot a second Joe Gibbs Racing car and Anthony Alfredo drove a fifth MDM Motorsports car. Cole Glasson drove a second Win-Tron Racing car, Tyler Hill returned to Fast Track Racing, and L.B. Skaggs made his first Kansas start.
Two cars, however, did not make it. J.J. Pack withdrew his family effort, and Jesse Iwuji and his Patriot Motorsports Group team did not enter. Kansas was the seventh race on the team’s original slate, but due to trying circumstances, perhaps their rash of early-season wrecks, the PMG team decided not to enter.
Sheldon Creed clinched the ARCA championship by completing a lap in practice. He also recorded the fastest lap in practice, more than seven seconds ahead of Smith, the slowest car. Cars were all spread out through the order, with only twelve cars running within a second of the leader. Qualifying was much the same way, as Herring put on a clinic to secure the pole. Smith did not take a timed lap (the team had been dealing with overheating issues throughout the day), but the slowest driver who did, Wayne Peterson Racing’s Con Nicolopoulos, was more than six seconds back of Herring.
|24th-place finisher Mike Basham|
Mike Basham wheeled his #34 behind the wall after 10 laps, victim of a car that didn’t want to handle. L.B. Skaggs pulled his #71 behind the wall three laps later due to rear end issues. Then, the carnage started. Todd Gilliland finished 22nd after blowing a right front tire near the quarter mark of the race, and Joe Graf Jr. rounded out the Bottom Five after wrecking himself and Travis Braden on Lap 34.
|23rd-place finisher L.B. Skaggs|
It’s been a quarter of the schedule, almost two months, since a LASTCAR article on ARCA has been written. Since then, there have been many changes, but not on top. Wayne Peterson is your 2018 LASTCAR ARCA Drivers Champion. Wayne Peterson Racing is your 2018 LASTCAR ARCA Owners’ Champion. Ford is your 2018 LASTCAR ARCA Manufacturers’ Champion.
THE BOTTOM FIVE
25) #48-Brad Smith / 1 lap / vibration
24) #34-Mike Basham / 10 laps / handling
23) #71-L.B. Skaggs / 13 laps / rear end
22) #54-Todd Gilliland / 23 laps / crash
21) #77-Joe Graf Jr / 33 laps / crash
2018 LASTCAR ARCA OWNERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Wayne Peterson Racing (6)
2nd) Kimmel Racing, Fast Track Racing (3)
3rd) Brad Smith Motorsports, Wayne Peterson Racing-Fast Track Racing (2)
4th) Max Force Racing, Darrell Basham Racing, James Hylton Motorsports, Bobby Gerhart Racing (1)
2018 LASTCAR ARCA MANUFACTURERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Ford (11)
2nd) Chevrolet (8)
3rd) Toyota, Dodge (1)
2018 LASTCAR ARCA DRIVERS’ CHAMIONSHIP
NOTE: 71 drivers recorded a Bottom Ten finish during 2018, and 43 recorded a Bottom Five. The top twenty are shown in this snapshot.