Brandon McReynolds received a push from Chad Hackenbracht to pass Matt Lofton in the Tri-Oval on the final lap to take his first ever ARCA checkered flag in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250.
“I just backed up into him (Hackenbracht) and he stayed with me,” said McReynolds, who lost a chance for his first win at Daytona in February when he ran out of gas at the end of the race.
The win marked the 20-year anniversary of Talladega native Larry McReynolds going to Victory Lane with Davey Allison at Talladega Superspeedway. Brandon said he has fond memories of Talladega.
“The biggest thing is dad’s family grew up down here,” McReynolds said. “We don’t get to see them as often because we are staying so busy on the road. I think my biggest memory is riding a scooter around the motor haul lot with my buddies and acting like we were half way good race car drivers. You go to Victory Lane knowing that dad, Dale Earnhardt, Davey Allison and the people dad worked with had so much success with that is means to me.
The late Davey Allison, was is the younger McReynolds godfather won at Talladega 20 years ago and was the last time that an Alabama driver won at Talladega,” Larry McReynolds said .
“Obviously, winning Daytona would have been special, because we know how special it is to win there in any division,” the elder McReyonlds said. “As hard as it for these things to win watching him win any where would have been huge especially now that we have stepped up to win some ARCA races. There is no question to do here where I still consider home after I been gone 30 years… He has been walking around all week with an Alabama hat on so maybe that helped the situation some.”
Second place finisher was Lofton led 55 laps on Friday. He said wished he would have done something different to get the victory.
“We underestimated the run that they had,” said Lofton. “The only thing I maybe could have done was moved in front of them a split second sooner and maybe we’d all be spinning at the line.”
It didn’t take long for the Big One to happen. On lap 11, a spin car going toward the pit road entrance caused an 11-car wreck that sent seven cars out of the race. ARCA veteran driver Bobby Gerhart was one of the drivers collected in the Big One.
“There was a spin on the bottom,” Gehart said. “He pulled out quick then it locked up and it was too much to do. I was the in the wrong place at the right time.”
On Friday there was a total of six cautions for 38 laps.
The first wreck of the afternoon collected 11 cars, which caused red flag to come out.
Mike Affarano rolled several times and landed on his side turn four . That caution lasted 13 laps as they had to get the car back on it’s wheels so the driver could get out and for clean up. Affarano was able to walk away from the accident.
Mobile native Thomas Praytor was racing at Talladega for the first time on Friday finished 20th.