Sargeant Dominates En Route to First Victory of Season

Photo Credit: Jim Michels/

Dalton Sargeant continued his strong start to the season with a victory Sunday in the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA 200 at the Salem Speedway. Sargeant completely dominated in his first victory of the season and his first with Cunningham Motorsports by lapping the entire field.

Gus Dean was able to redeem himself from two disappointing finishes the last two races this season to finish second. Kyle Weatherman was able to get closer  to the points lead with a strong third place finish, while points leader Austin Theriault secured a fifth place finish. Shane Lee capped off a strong day for Cunningham Motorsports by finishing fourth.

Rookie Travis Miller started on the pole with Lee on the outside pole. In a race highlighted by just two cautions for minor incidents, the race was left in the hands of the pit crews and drivers during crucial green flag pit stops. For the first time since 2006 the whole field, except the leader, found themselves a lap down. David Stremme, at Michigan International Speedway, was the last driver to accomplish that feat, but even Sargeant found himself a lap down at one point during the race, but was able to take four fresh General Tires during a late race caution.

Dean and Christian Eckes had trouble early and both cars spun in turn two. Dean ended up a lap down while Eckes took the opportunity to pit for fresh tires. Once the green flag was dropped, Eckes drove through the field and passed Miller for the lead on the 53rd lap. Eckes held the lead, on newer tires, and drove away from the field. Late in the run, Eckes found himself on older tires while most of the field, including Sargeant and Dean, came down pit road and grabbed four new tires under the caution on Lap 135.

Once under green, Sargeant pulled a move like Eckes did earlier and caught Eckes. As Eckes continued to fade fast, Sargeant would go on to lead the final 57 laps, and score his first win of the season.

About Christian Koelle 229 Articles
An Ooltewah, TN native, Christian has been writing since July of 2015. In 2017, Christian transitioned from his own blog to a few different websites, joining OnPitRoad in February. In 2005 Christian attended his first race as a fan at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. He’s been around racing his entire life and enjoys being at the track more than anything. He made his media debut at Bristol in 2015. His favorite tracks are Iowa Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway and Phoenix. He enjoys talking about racing with just about anyone and makes occasional appearances on numerous radio shows across the country. In his time attending races he’s attended almost ninety races among the six racing series. Along with NASCAR, He loves Minor and Major League Baseball. He’s a Minnesota Twins and Chattanooga Lookouts. He also enjoys watching Iowa State Cyclones college football.