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GERHART COMES FROM 42ND TO CAPTURE HIS 8TH DAYTONA VICTORY
 2-20-2012
Bobby Gerhart capturing his 8th Daytona win. (photo courtesy of www.arcaracing.com)DAYTONA BEACH, FL (February 18, 2012) -- Hopefully, ARCA fans had their DVR's set on extended record on Saturday. 

The season-opening Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 race at Daytona went into overtime with Bobby Gerhart coming from 42nd place to claim his eighth Daytona win in a climactic green-white-checker finish.  

Gerhart's uncharacteristic poor starting position was a result of a post-qualifying inspection which relegated him to the rear of the field after setting fast time in qualifying on Friday. 

Gerhart's qualifying engine had a vacuum leak and forced the Pennsylvania driver to go to a back-up engine and, worse yet, a 42nd place starting spot in the season-opening race which he has dominated over the years. 

With Gerhart sent to the back of the grid, Sean Corr was awarded the pole position for his 49.271 second lap (182.663 mph). Corr would start on the pole and lead the race's first 14 laps. 

Meanwhile, Gerhart's team elected to pit on the first lap of the race for fuel putting them in position to be the Lucky Dog recipient on the first caution.

That strategy worked to perfection and the No. 5 team came in for more fuel on lap 10 caution. The strategy was designed to give the driver just enough fuel to finish the race. 

Cale Gale led laps 15 through 18 before giving way to Brandon McReynolds who dominated the race from that point until the race's final lap. McReynolds led a total of 64 laps. 

The scheduled 80-lap race, however, would be extended when an accident on lap 78 added three extra laps to the finish. 

The green-white-checker finish had McReynolds out front with West Lafayette, Indiana's Chris Windom in second. Will Kimmel and Steve Blackburn were third and fourth with Bobby Gerhart restarting fifth.

That looked to be how they would finish when 2nd place Windom was the first to run out of gas exiting the final turn of the final lap. This bunched the field behind Windom but not before Gerhart had made his move to the outside with the help of Drew Charlson.

The move proved to be a winner when the race leader also ran out of gas 1,000 feet short of the finish line before a cheering crowd of stunned fans--unsure what they had just witnessed. 

Gerhart had just motored around the first and second place cars who had run out of gas to capture his third consecutive win at Daytona. It was Gerhart's eighth victory in his 25 starts at the famous 2.5-mile speedway.

Following Gerhart and Charlson to the finish line were Will Kimmel, Steve Blackburn and Mark Thompson to round out the top five.

The 83-lap race was slowed just five times for a total of 25 laps.       

Gerhart's Lucas Oil Slick Mist Chevrolet team, who led just one lap, had turned what could have been disaster with the post-qualifying penalty into yet another race win at Daytona. 

It was an amazing finish and a great way to kick off the ARCA Series' 60th season.

The ARCA Series will resume action on March 10th when they travel to Alabama for their first-ever event at Mobile international Speedway. 

Hoosier Racing Tire Corp. is proud to begin its 18th consecutive season as the exclusive tire provider to the ARCA Series.

Members of the Hoosier trackside sales and service team included; Doug Barnes, David Wroblewski, Rick Tostevin, John Reynolds, Kevin Wroblewski, Chad Wright, Mike "Moonpie" Haenes and Eriks Bers. 

For more information about the race at Daytona and the ARCA Series visit www.arcaracing.com.  

      

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