It wasn’t a spectacular day for local competitors at Pocono Raceway. But it was a very, very solid one.
Two Lebanon racers were among the top 13 finishers at Saturday’s ARCA Messina Wildlife Animal Stopper 200 in Long Pond, PA. Veteran ARCA driver Bobby Gerhart grabbed a top-ten finish with his ninth-place showing, while novice Kyle Martel came in a very respectable 13th.
The win went to Craig Goess – the first ARCA victory of his career – who bested Mikey Kile by 1.035 seconds through a series of late pit stops. Kile had led 67 of the 80 laps in a race that featured only two cautions and an average speed of 139.238 mph.
Following Goess and Kile to the checkered flag were Chad Finley, Patrick Sheltra and Frank Kimmel.
For Gerhart, it was the 113th top-10 finish in his 22-year ARCA career, and the second in just three starts this season. Gerhart had won the ARCA series’ season opener at Daytona International Speedway in Florida in February.
Gerhart, 51, has competed well at Pocono over his career, but has never tasted victory at his home track.
Martel, 22, has only one top-ten finish in his abbreviated two-year career, and it came at Pocono last season. Saturday represented Martel’s second ARCA start of 2010 – he was 12th at Talladega earlier in the year.