By: Mitchell Breuer
Elko New Market, MN – Saturday night’s ARCA Menards Series race at Elko Speedway proved to be a big one for Gracie Trotter, who captured her first top-five of the season with a third-place finish.
“I was really looking forward to coming here the most, out of any track this year, just because this is my type of place, a short track where, it tests your patience,” Trotter told News From The Pits. ”So, qualifying on the front row today was awesome. And then we had a great race. That was some of the most fun racing I’ve had in a long time, just close, side-by-side short-track racing.”
Trotter, who was driving the No. 25 for Venturini Motorsports, proved to be a contender all day, setting the tone early in the day by qualifying second for the 250-lap event.
Come race time, it was an up and down day for her, as at the beginning she was in the mix for the battle for the lead, but as the runs carried, it became a fight to just stay in the top-five. In the end though, a late restart allowed her to muscle her way back on the podium, finishing just behind her teammates, Corey Heim and Jesse Love.
Trotter, like Heim was also a benefactor of the late race shenanigans. With three laps to go, Heim on the final restart bumped then-leader, Ty Gibbs out of the way and caused chaos throughout the field. Trotter, who was running fifth, was able to successfully navigate her way through the mayhem.
“I saw it coming, I didn’t know which driver was going to take out who, so I was just waiting for it, waiting for it and I knew I had to be on my toes, and I was just at the right place at the right time,” Trotter said. “I knew someone was going to shove someone up the track. So, I just made sure to stay low and I think I actually went through the grass a little bit just to miss that and spun the tires like crazy coming off, just to get as much as I can out of it.”
The day was much-needed for Trotter, who runs a limited schedule in the series. While coming off a seventh-place finish in her last start at Toledo Speedway, her season had been overshadowed by three straight results of 20th or worse.
“It is great,” Trotter said. “I don’t have many ARCA races this year due to sponsorship. I only get to race 10 races this year. So, just to have those good days like that just really helps me showcase what I have and take me to the next thing.”
Trotter will be back in action this upcoming weekend at Berlin Raceway.