WINCHESTER, Ind. – Veteran Ken Schrader didn’t win Sunday’s Herr’s Chase The Taste 200 presented by Federated Car Care, but he turned teacher to teenager Brandon Jones during the race and the lesson probably helped Jones get to victory lane at Winchester Speedway.
Jones became the second driver of the 2014 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season to win in his ARCA debut, passing runner-up Mason Mitchell in turn four of the final lap of the race. Mitchell was leading the race at the white flag and through much of the backstretch when Jones drove hard into the corner, made contact and passed Mitchell, beating him to the checkered flag.
“I drove it in as hard as I could and luckily it stuck,” said the 17-year-old Jones, who hails from Atlanta. “I kind of got into him, which I hated to do.”
Jones started second behind Menards Pole Award winner Schrader and was in the top five much of the race. During a green flag run that went nearly 100 laps, Jones said Schrader taught him a little bit about the venerable Winchester Speedway.
“I saw him sort of drop back there early in the race,” Jones said. “He was saving his tires. I kind of drove the tires off of mine. That really made a difference. After we put on tires, that’s what I tried to do.”
Jones stayed on the lower end of the top five for a second long green flag run. When a caution flew late in the race, he pitted for more tires and came out second.
“The Turner Scott guys gave me a great pit stop,” Jones said. “Once I got out there, I knew we had a car that was capable of winning.”
Mitchell was disappointed with second, but called the bump by Jones a racing incident.
“It was the last lap,” he said. “He did what he had to do. It’s alright. It’s okay. We’ll go on to the next race and win that one.”
Mitchell, in the No. 98 Musselman’s-Wildlife Foundation of Florida-TTS Ford, closed the point gap with Grant Enfinger to 10 points. Enfinger finished fifth after getting as high as second.
“When we unloaded we were off,” he said. “But (Crew chief) Kelly Kovski made some great calls and I felt like the car improved. On that long green flag run, we were really good. When we got those late cautions, our car wasn’t set up for those short runs.”
Justin Boston finished third in the ZLOOP Toyota while Schrader was fourth.