Drew Dollar cashes in on first ARCA victory at Talladega

Jim Utter

Dollar, 19, dominated the first half of Saturday’s General Tire 200 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway but found himself running behind leader Riley Herbst for most of the second.

When Michael Self and Herbst made contact racing for the lead with one of 76 laps remaining, Dollar powered back into the top spot and held off Ryan Repko to earn the win.

Bret Holmes finished third, Herbst finished fourth and Self held on to round out the top-five.

“I definitely needed this one. I’m definitely out of breath right now,” Dollar said. “Venturini guys gave me the car out here today. Had the best team, had the best spotter in the stand in Joe White. He guided me through it.

“I lost a family member over the break so this is definitely emotional. This one’s for him. I know he’s watching from up above.”

Saturday’s race was ARCA’s first since March 6 at Phoenix Raceway, a span of 107 days. The series had been on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I was just hoping that caution didn’t come out there at the end. They let it go all the way to the checkered (flag), I think that was the right move and it put on a good show,” Dollar said.

Venturini Motorsports drivers have now won the first three races of the 2020 ARCA Menards Series season.’

Dollar grabbed the lead on Lap 1 and led the first 50 laps as the top-five cars remained in a tight group up front.

Dollar and Herbst got side-by-side for the lead right before the caution was displayed for the halfway break.

Following the 5-minute halfway break, Herbst quickly got around Dollar with a push from Deegan on the restart and moved into the lead.

With 10 laps remaining in the race, Herbst remained out front followed by Dollar and Holmes.