Buescher Wins and Dillon Takes Title
October 16, 2011 | 6:25 P.M. EST
Chris Buescher clinched the 2011 Rookie of the Year after his win on Sunday. (Photo: Getty Images)
The smoke cleared and a path opened, leaving Chris Buescher to drive to his third win in the last four ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards races and his third victory in two years at Toledo Speedway.
Buescher's victory in the Federated Car Care 200 sealed the ARCA Racing Series Rookie of the Year title for the Roulo Brothers Racing driver by two points over Ty Dillon, 440-438. Buescher also won at DuQuoin, Ill. and Salem, Ind., both in September.
Dillon finished second in the race to complete his rookie season and the 2011 ARCA Racing Series championship.
At 19, Dillon (No. 41 Bass Pro Shops/Hemelgarn Chevrolet) is the 29th champion and the youngest champion in the history of the ARCA Racing Series. The Richard Childress Racing driver is the first rookie champion since Andy Hillenburg won ARCA's top prize in 1995.
After leading 46 of the first 164 laps and losing the lead to Dillon, Buescher (No. 17 Reliance Tool/David Ragan Ford Ford) held second place until being passed on Lap 188 by Brennan Poole (No. 25 Engineered Components Chevrolet).
Poole put Dillon in his sights and closed the lead margin as the final 10 laps started to tick off, hoping to deny the eventual champion of his eighth victory of the year. Poole, who won at Salem, Ind. in his ARCA debut in May, drove equal with Dillon in the fourth turn on Lap 197 - making side-by-side contact - and passed him one lap later.
Poole held the lead through Lap 199, but Dillon bumped Poole out of the way on Lap 200, which would have been the race's final circuit if not for the caution flag thrown by ARCA Racing Series officials. Before the yellow flag flew, though, Buescher - who had been one second behind in the waning laps - drove past a stalled Dillon and Poole's turned car to take the lead.
Buescher held the lead until the green and white flags flew together on Lap 206. He then drove away to the win on a one-lap shootout, matching his final position in both races at Toledo last year.
Chad McCumbee (No. 1 ModSpace Ford) finished third, Menards Pole Award presented by Ansell winner Tom Hessert (No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet) was fourth, and Grant Enfinger (No. 36 Hoosier Tire Midwest/RaceTires.com Dodge) ended the race fifth.
Ryan Wilson, Clint King, Chad Hackenbracht, Charles Evans Jr., and Jared Marks finished sixth through 10th, respectively.
The ARCA Racing Series will wrap up the 2011 season with the Championship Awards Banquet at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington, Ky., near Cincinnati, on Saturday, December 10.