Justin Boston Wins Drama-Filled Herr’s Live Life with Flavor 200

by August 24, 2014

Photo credit: Kyle Pokrefky/The Fourth Turn

MADISON, Wisc. — For the second time this season and in his career, Justin Boston was shown the checkered flag first as he claimed victory in the Herr’s Life Live with Flavor 200 at the Madison International Speedway.

Boston took advantage of late struggles by Mason Mitchell and Grant Enfinger to claim the fourth ARCA Racing Series win of the year for Venturini Motorsports. The 24-year-old from Sparks, Maryland would lead three times for 26 laps on his way to victory lane and would cross the finish line ahead of second-place finisher Kyle Benjamin by 2.724 seconds.

Following the top-two drivers, Brandon Jones, Frank Kimmel, and Tom Hessert would round out the top-five while Anderson Bowen, Kyle Weatherman, Austin Wayne Self, Matt Tifft, and John Wes Townley would round out the top-10.

“Our race was so good today, long runs and short runs,” Boston said in victory lane. “It was good right off the hauler. We didn’t really change anything. I think our car was as good as Grant or Mason, but we just couldn’t get up to them. Track position meant so much. I think if they wouldn’t have had trouble, I think we might have had something. It would have been a great show for the fans.”

“We’ve had a good season that could have been a great season,” he continued. “We ran into some trouble early on and Grant and Mason capitalized on it. If not, I think we could have been up there, too. We’re here to win races now. This team worked hard today. This is good.”

Mitchell would capitalize early by leading right off the bat from starting position number one (won by qualifying being rained out) – leading the first 35 laps of the race until Enfinger would grab the lead on a Lap 36 restart with a strong move on the outside. Enfinger would hold the lead for 17 laps until Mitchell would surge back to the front on Lap 53 just seven laps before the competition caution flew on Lap 60. Once the field went back to green on Lap 70, Enfinger would again make a forceful move to the front as he would hold the lead under green-flag conditions for just over 100 laps.

Then, on Lap 172, heartbreak.

The No. 90 Casite-Motor Honey-Allegiant Travel Chevrolet would suddenly begin to sputter as Enfinger would begin to slow heading into Turn 3. Enfinger’s lead of roughly a quarter-mile would evaporate as the GMS Racing entry would roll to a halt just after pit exit with engine issues.

From there, it looked as if it was Mitchell’s race – and championship – to win.

This season’s Chicagoland winner would swap the lead under caution with Boston and could have finished the final 20 laps with a conservative approach, but, on Lap 181, the No. 98 Mason Mitchell Motorsports team’s chance of walking away from Madison with a big points lead went up in smoke as Mitchell’s Ford would begin to sputter and would die off with electrical issues.

With Mitchell retreating down pit road, it was Boston’s race to lose. Benjamin and Jones would try to make late charges at the No. 25 ZLOOP Toyota car but the white, orange, and green Toyota would continue to shrink in their windshields as the race came to a close.

Leaving Berlin and heading into Springfield, the points gap between Mitchell and Enfinger was 25 points.

Leaving Springfield and heading into this weekend’s race in Madison, the points gap between Mitchell and Enfinger was still 25 points.

Leaving Madison and heading into next Monday’s race in DuQuoin, the unofficial points gap between the two is – you guessed it – 25 points.

Mitchell and Enfinger will take their battle for the 2014 ARCA Racing Series drivers’ title to the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds for next week’s Southern Illinois 100.

Top-10 Finishers of the Herr’s Live Life with Flavor 200

  1. 25 – Justin Boston – Toyota – Venturini Motorsports
  2. 37 – Kyle Benjamin – Ford – Benjamin Motorsports
  3. 4 – Brandon Jones – Chevrolet – Turner Scott Motorsports
  4. 44 – Frank Kimmel – Toyota – Win-Tron Racing
  5. 72 – Tom Hessert – Dodge – Cunningham Motorsports
  6. 77 – Anderson Bowen – Dodge – Cunningham Motorsports
  7. 60 – Kyle Weatherman – Ford – Roulo Brothers Racing
  8. 22 – Austin Wayne Self – Dodge – Cunningham Motorsports
  9. 52 – Matt Tifft – Chevrolet – Ken Schrader Racing
  10. 15 – John Wes Townley – Toyota – Venturini Motorsports