After narrowly missing out on picking up the win at Chicagoland Speedway last year, Michael Self took advantage of a late-race restart and led the final two laps to score his second ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards victory of 2018 in Friday night’s SCOTT 150.
Self made a three-wide move to take the lead on the initial start of the race, and when Riley Herbst couldn’t get the power down coming to the final restart of the night, he made a carbon copy move to retake the lead and pick up the win by 0.155 over series championship points leader Sheldon Creed.
“Every time I went into the Venturini shop I saw that trophy from last year that should have been ours,” Self said, referring to last year’s race in which he dominated but saw go awry with just a couple of laps to go with a flat tire. His Venturini teammate Christopher Bell won the race. “It was great motivation for us. I owe it all to Billy (Venturini) and the team. They gave me a great car and all I had to do was drive it.”
Self was able to keep his emotions in check on that final restart.
“It was pretty easy actually,” Self said. “It’s just another race when you’re strapped in the seat. You can’t let yourself get too excited about it. I knew we had fresher tires than the guys in front of me. I just had to stay calm and let it play out.”
Creed started from the General Tire Pole, but wasn’t able to lead a lap throughout the night. Creed was able to get in position to challenge Self in the final two laps but fell just short.
“I knew that last restart was going to be crazy,” he said. “You had Michael, Riley, Todd, Zane and me all up there and we’re all aggressive and want to win. I would have liked to have had a little better track position throughout the first part of the day but we got lucky and got the bottom on that last restart. That’s where I wanted to be. We just couldn’t get where we wanted to be to get up there and fight with Michael for the win.”
Todd Gilliland finished third after leading 28 laps on the night, up to the final caution flag of the night involving Leilani Munter, who spun down the backstretch on lap 95 setting up the final overtime restart of the night.
“It’s disappointing a car not involved in the race for the win brought out that caution that changed the complexion of the race,” Gilliland said. “We’re here to win so anything less than that is always disappointing, but a third-place run is good for the DGR-Crosley team at the same time. I learned a lot about the racetrack which hopefully will help me in the Truck race here tomorrow night.”
Zane Smith finished fourth, and Chase Purdy finished fifth.
There were three cautions for 18 laps, holding the average speed to 129.144 miles per hour. There were seven lead changes among five drivers; Self led the field with 63 laps at the front of the field.
Creed unofficially maintains the points lead heading into the Fans with Benefits 150 next Saturday at Iowa Speedway. The race will be broadcast on a tape-delayed basis on MAVTV. ARCARacing.com will have live timing and scoring of all on track activity for registered users.