DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Bobby Gerhart, wheeling the No. 5 Lucas Oil Slick Mist Chevrolet, captured a record sixth Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 under the lights at historic Daytona International Speedway Saturday night, part of a racing tripleheader at the 2.5-mile tri-oval.
Gerhart’s team gambled on fuel, took advantage of caution laps, and led the final 51 laps of the race.
“It’s unbelievable,” Gerhart said. “Coming here as a little kid, I dreamed of having the opportunity to come here and race. When it happened, naturally the passion comes out to try to win. I couldn’t have dreamed of being (in Gatorade Victory Lane) this many times and at some point I hope I have the pleasure to retire here in Victory Lane.”
Rounding out the top three were the No. 66 Phoenix Air Toyota of Mark Thompson and the No. 35 Zaxby’s Toyota of John Wes Townley. Pole winner and defending race champion James Buescher finished fourth and led the first 29 laps.
IZOD IndyCar Series star Danica Patrick, one of a record six women who were in the lineup, made her stock car racing debut at Daytona International Speedway.
Patrick’s No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet was involved in an incident on the frontstretch but was able to keep her car off the wall. With 10 laps to go, Patrick started picking her way through the lead pack and stole a sixth-place finish from Supercross legend Ricky Carmichael at the stripe.
Patrick will decide early next week if she will compete in the DRIVE4COPD 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series opener on Saturday, Feb. 13.
Daytona Beach native Ali Owens was in the lead pack and ran as high as third, but slipped back to a 23rd-place finish, two laps down.
Tickets for all Hershey’s Milk & Milkshakes Speedweeks events, including the 52nd annual Daytona 500, are available on your web-enabled phone at mobile.daytonainternationalspeedway.com, online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.