(BROOKLYN, Mich. - June 15, 2012) - On a day of record speeds on Michigan International Speedway's new pavement, tire conservation became the key element in the RainEater Wiper Blades 200. Chris Buescher played the game better than anyone, leading the final 14 laps to score his seventh ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards victory.
Buescher made a Lap 74 pit stop and kept his No. 17 Roulo Brothers Racing Ford on the track while race leader Alex Bowman pitted 12 laps later. Bowman started second on a restart with 10 laps to go, but could not pass Buescher, who extended his lead to over a half-second four laps later. Bowman, who led 12 laps, charged toward Buescher and attempted a low pass at the checkered flag, but just missed his fourth series win by 0.054 second.
Matt Lofton finished third after leading 15 laps to finish just ahead of Brennan Newberry, who made his ARCA debut. Brandon Davis finished a career-best fifth, one place in front of John Blankenship, who also achieved a career high. Frank Kimmel, Spencer Gallagher, Menards Pole Award presented by Ansell winner and new track qualifying record holder Joey Coulter, and Buster Graham filled out the top 10.
Points leader Brennan Poole led the first 59 laps but encountered tire issues and fell out of contention. He finished 11th, three laps off of the pace, but maintained a 20-point advantage in the series standings over Buescher after eight of 20 races. With two wins each in the last four races, Poole and Buescher are the only multiple winners in the series in 2012.
The race lasted for one hour, 34 minutes, and eight seconds, at an average pace of 127.479 mph. Five cautions slowed the field for 30 laps.
An ARCA tripleheader is on the schedule next week at Indiana's Winchester Speedway, as the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards headlines a weekend that also features the ARCA CRA Super Series and ARCA Truck Series. The ARCA Racing Series will hold two 45-minute practices on Saturday, at 12:05 and 2:05 p.m. Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell will follow at 4:30, just before the Truck Series race at 5:30 and the Super Series event at 6:30.
The 200-lap, 100-mile Herr's Chase the Taste 200 will begin at 2 p.m., with live timing and scoring and live audio coverage presented by the ARCA Racing Network available at ARCARacing.com.