Lettow Memorial Belongs To Erik Jones
WEST ALLIS, Wis. – Different driver, same result.
A year after his team owner Kyle Busch captured the ARCA Midwest Tour Howie Lettow Memorial, Erik Jones held off all challengers to win the third running of the event held at the legendary Milwaukee Mile Sunday afternoon.
“This race has been a race I’ve been eyeing for the past three years. It’s pretty high up and it’s got so much history. To add my name to the list is pretty awesome,” said Jones.
Jeremy Miller and Mark Kraus led the 36-car field to the green flag. Behind Miller, Chad Finley and Chris Weinkauf engaged in battle for second as Johnny Sauter slid into the top five. As the top four prepared to sort out their positions, the caution flew on lap 18 as Will Gallaher tagged the outside retaining wall in turn one.
The ensuing restart saw Miller and Finley on the front row, with Weinkauf and Sauter in the second row and Griffin McGrath and a hard charging Jones in the third row. On the restart, Weinkauf made a daring pass to the inside to steal the lead from Miller and Finley. The gamble paid off and Weinkauf took the lead on lap 24.
For the next two laps Weinkauf built up his lead over Finley. Jones moved to third, fast qualifier Anderson Bowen was fourth and Miller fell back to fifth.
Weinkauf felt pressure from Jones briefly on lap 36 but he held on until the competition caution on lap 37. Several drivers took advantage of the competition caution to make pit stops, including Sauter, Miller and John Hunter Nemechek. They would end up restarting outside of the top 15.
For the restart on lap 38 Weinkauf once again got away in the front of the pack leaving Jones and Bowen to dispute the second spot. Although they had given up track position, Sauter and Nemechek closed in on the top 10 by lap 40.
The field settled in for the next 20 laps behind Weinkauf, Bowen, and Jones. Caution fell on lap 62 for a spin by Nathan Matz, closing up the field. That allowed Finley, McGrath and Ross Kenseth to close the gap on the top three.
On the restart Weinkauf once again got away from Jones as Bowen and Finely scrapped for the third spot. The field made it to lap 72 before the yellow came out due to the stalled machine of Pauly Schafer Jr. in turn four.
Because this was within 10 laps of the scheduled half way point, it was deemed the competition caution and all lead lap cars came to the pits for the attention of their crews.