Bobby Gerhart captured his third straight ARCA 200 ARCA RE/MAX Series victory Saturday night and his fifth overall win, taking the checkered flag for the 44th annual ARCA 200 at historic Daytona International Speedway.
Surviving a green-white-checkered finish, Gerhart held off second-place finisher Marc Mitchell and third-place finisher Jeremy Clements
"On the green-white start, the biggest trouble I had was not getting too far out that the guys would get a run on me," said Gerhart, driver of the No. 5 Lucas Oil Chevrolet. "I just did what I had to do."
"His car was strong today," said Marc Mitchell, driver of the No. 93 Ergon Pontiac. "There wasn't any catching him.
"Actually, I wanted it to end before the green-white-checkered - I was calling for it. The green-white-checkered was an interesting finish and I'm glad it ended the way it did. We had a great run coming down the back straightaway. Got a good push from Jeremy. I thought better of it and stayed on the inside and stayed for second place."
Gerhart, who started on the outside pole, took the lead right away and only relinquished it once to Mario Gosselin from Laps 36-56.
For the Pennsylvania native, all of his Daytona wins are special to him.
"I can remember my first trip here I think in 1987 and coming across the race track I think at 5:30 a.m.," Gerhart said. "And I remember coming across the race track and seeing those empty grandstands and getting chills. I take what happens very seriously here. It has taken a lot to get to be this competitive at Daytona. A lot of 30-something finishes, a lot of insignificant runs. We keep good notes and we've turned things around."
Evernham Motorsports driver and pole winner Erin Crocker finished in the 20th position after spinning on a late restart.
The ARCA 200 was followed by the 29th annual Budweiser Shootout, which features pole winners from the previous season and past Budweiser Shootout champions.
Tickets for any of the DIRECTV Speedweeks at Daytona events are available online at http://www.racetickets.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.