Hometown Hero Cale Gale would come home the winner of the Mobile ARCA 200 at Mobile International Speedway after holding off Chad Hackenbracht. Gale was able to take the lead from fellow Alabama native Grant Enfinger on lap 176 and held the lead, even through the four cautions that followed.
“This worked out better than we ever could have expected it to,” the 28-year-old said in victory lane.
Gale had spent his time cutting his teeth, learning how to race at Mobile before moving up to the higher ranks. He will now forever hold the honor of winning the first ARCA race ever at the half-mile located in Mobile, Alabama during ARCA Racing Series presented by Meanrds’ 60th Anniversary Season. The win marks his first ARCA victory since winning in 2006 at Gateway.
“We came here with intentions to win but actually being able to pull it off is awesome and it comes at a good time,” he said. “What a packed house today. (Promoter) Rick (Crawford) has done an awesome job promoting this thing, and Tommy Praytor too. It’s especially special, because my grandfather passed away last year and we spent many a night down here on Saturday nights and it’s my first race to win since he passed away.”
The victory also marked the first ARCA win for Eddie Sharp Racing since Craig Goess’ victory last year at Pocono in 2010.
Menards Pole Award presented by Ansell winner Alex Bowman would finished third, followed by Mikey Kile and Clint King. Chris Buescher would finish sixth, followed by Brennan Poole, Jared Marks, Tom Hessert and Chase Elliott.
Southern short track star Bubba Pollard would finish 11th, followed by Ryan Reed, Grant Enfinger, Sean Corr and Tyler Reddick.
Alex Bowman would lead the first 28 laps, before Chase Elliott would take the lead at lap 29. Making his first ever ARCA start, Elliott would lead all the way till the third caution of the race, choosing to make a pit stop. This would hand the lead over to Bowman on the lap 56 restart. Bowman would pit under the next caution, handing the lead to 15-year-old Erik Jones, who became the youngest driver to start an ARCA race. Jones would lead for 15 laps, before Gale took the lead on lap 77.
At the halfway point, Gale led followed by Elliott, Matt Lofton, Grant Enfinger and Bowman.
After the restart, Enfinger quickly moved up to second and was able to pass Gale for the lead on lap 127. Enfinger would continue to lead the field, even beating Gale off pit road during a lap 168 caution. Gale would be able to get by Enfinger a couple laps after the restart, before a caution after Mason Mingus lost control of his car and drove over the turn three and four hill.
Four cautions would follow, extending the race beyond it’s scheduled distance and a final green-white-checkered on laps 202 and 203 would decide the race. Hackenbracht would try to get under Gale on the inside in turn two of the final lap, but would not be able to get by.
Unofficially, Gale leads the point standings, 15 points over Poole. Hackenbracht sits third followed by Mikey Kile and Ryan Reed.
The next race for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards will take place Sunday, April 29 at Salem Speedway. The 200-lap, 111-mile Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 is scheduled to start at 2:15 p.m. Salem will host practice and Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell on Saturday, April 28.
Pictures by ARCA Racing Network