Greg Van Alst passed Jason White coming off the final corner on the final lap to earn his first career ARCA Menards Series victory. Van Alst is the 351st driver to win at least one ARCA Menards Series race. Van Alst is the 2019 ASA CRA Super Series champion, which earned him a test with Andy Hillenburg’s Fast Track High Performance Racing Team at Daytona in 2020. That test was the impetus for Van Alst moving into the ARCA Menards Series.
Van Alst’s best previous career finish was second at Indiana’s Winchester Speedway in 2021.
General Tire Pole Award winner Connor Mosack led 25 laps, more than any other driver, and recovered from a mid-race spin down the backstretch to finish a career-best second.
Sean Corr was swept into a crash in qualifying when the oil cooler broke in Amber Balcaen’s car as their group left pit road. Corr slid out of control down the banking and slammed nose-first into the apron, damaging the nose piece on his car. His team made repairs and Corr started shotgun on the 39-car field. He methodically worked his way through the field, led five laps, and finished a career-best third.
Lavar Scott made his series debut driving for Rev Racing. He led 14 laps throughout the day and finished fourth.
Mandy Chick became the fourth female driver in series history to finish among the top five at Daytona with her fifth-place finish.
Balcaen recovered from the incident in qualifying, which necessitated an engine change, to finish sixth, a career best.
Two-time ARCA Menards Series West champion Jesse Love made his Daytona debut driving for Venturini Motorsports. He recovered from a mid-race spin off turn four, which left his car with left-front damage, to finish seventh.
Jack Wood made one of his six scheduled starts with Rev Racing and finished eighth. Wood broke a transmission in qualifying which left him 36th at the start.
Jason White led the field off turn four to take the white flag, but as soon as the field passed the start-finish line they spread out two and three abreast. By the time the field came back for the checkered, White had been shuffled to ninth. White, who led 14 laps on the day, still scored his best career finish in just his fifth series start.
Hollywood superstar Frankie Muniz made his professional stock car racing debut and raced in and among the top ten throughout most of the day, getting as high as third before receiving damage in a stack-up off turn four. Muniz, who was fastest in the opening practice of the week on Thursday, was forced to pit for repairs with a handful of laps remaining but raced his way back to eleventh.
There were seven leaders and ten lead changes, while the field was slowed by caution eight times for 44 laps.
Fifteen drivers scored their best career series finish.
Van Alst’s margin of victory was 0.107 seconds, about one car length.
Thirty-two cars were running at the finish with 28 of them on the lead lap.
Only three cars failed to finish due to a crash.
Story - ARCA Racing
Photo - Rich Corbett