Monday, July 20, 2020

ARCA: Dick Doheny picks up first last-place finish of the season in third start

PHOTO: @StartAndParkCar
by William Soquet Guest Contributor

Dick Doheny finished last for the fifth time in his ARCA Menards Series career in Saturday’s Shore Lunch 150 at Iowa Speedway when his #11 Fast Track High Performance Driving Chevrolet retired with sway bar problems after completing 15 of the race’s 150 laps.

The finish came in Doheny’s 41st career start, and was his first since Michigan in 2019, 18 races ago.

After driving 16 races in 2019 and serving as crew chief for the #11, Doheny has more evenly split duties so far this year, crew chiefing the first four races all for different drivers in the Fast Track Racing organization before moving to the driver’s seat for races five, six and seven on the schedule. After completing about 10 percent of the Lucas Oil Raceway race, Doheny ran 81 of 100 laps at Kentucky before turning into the garage. He wound up on the Iowa entry list as a driver, but switched over to the #11 entry after running the #12 the last two weeks.

After a lackluster 17-car field at Kentucky, the entry list for Iowa peaked at 22 cars. Veteran underdog Eric Caudell withdrew before race weekend, leaving 21 cars at the track. A number of short-track stars continued their schedules, including Ty Gibbs, Chandler Smith and Sam Mayer. Some East and West teams made the trek to Iowa for the Sioux Chief Showdown: Max McLaughlin and Hattori Racing Enterprises represented the East while the Bill McAnally Racing contingent of Jesse Love, Gio Sclezi and Gracie Trotter represented the West. Howie DiSavino III, Taylor Gray and Scott Melton also all continued part-time schedules with their teams. Aside from Doheny, Fast Track Racing tapped Mike Basham and Rick Clifton for its other entries, bringing an end to Ryan Huff’s six-race streak with the team. The one debut in the Shore Lunch 150 was USAC superstar Kody Swanson, driving for Chad Bryant Racing.

The lone practice, held earlier on Saturday, went much the same as the race: Gibbs at the top of the chart, Doheny on the bottom. There was no qualifying again for the Iowa weekend, so the starting lineup was set by Sioux Chief Showdown owner points standings. That meant that the #99 Bill McAnally Racing entry of Gracie Trotter was slotted to start shotgun on the field. Engine problems led to a 22nd-place finish at Phoenix, the team’s only prior Showdown start.

At the drop of the green flag, two cars could be seen trailing Trotter’s bright orange Eneos-sponsored machine to the line. Due to technical difficulties, MAVTV did not have their live ticker firing for the beginning of the race, and tracking the last-place battle fell to ARCA’s website, which by that point had already updated to reflect the first caution, which was caused by Scott Melton spinning on Lap 5. Melton fell a lap down after the spin and remained in last, a lap down, until Doheny and Brad Smith fell a lap down around Lap 13. A few laps later, Doheny started falling laps down per timing and scoring. He never came back on track, done after 15 laps.

Teammate Mike Basham parked after 36 laps to finish 20th. Smith fell victim to overheating issues around the two-thirds' mark of the race, and Hailie Deegan retired a few laps later due to a broken track bar. Drew Dollar rounded out the Bottom Five as the last car running, 42 laps down due to ignition problems.

21) #11-Dick Doheny / 15 laps / sway bar
20) #10-Mike Basham / 36 laps / vibration
19) #48-Brad Smith / 95 laps / overheating
18) #4-Hailie Deegan / 96 laps / suspension
17) #15-Drew Dollar / 108 laps / running

1st) Fast Track Racing, Wayne Peterson Racing (2)
2nd) DGR-Crosley, Kimmel Racing, Reeves Racing (1)

1st) Chevrolet, Toyota (3)
2nd) Ford (1)


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