After nine top-five finishes, including two runner-up finishes, through his first 17-career ARCA Menards Series West starts, Cole Moore finally reached victory lane Saturday night at All American Speedway, which is located in Roseville, California, in the NAPA Auto Parts 150.
While the 25-year-old driver had the dominant car for the majority of the event, Moore said a rash of cautions throughout the race kept him on edge as his competition continued to get more shots at getting around him on the restarts.
“Man, that was a tough one,” Moore admitted. “I had Jake [Drew] there with me at the end. Those top restarts, it was risky. I knew he could send it in and hit me, but he drove me clean. We had a great car. Shoutout to Bill McAnally Racing. First win of the year for me, first of my career. I’m so happy. Thank you so much.”
Moore, who competed and won 21 of the 26 races in the Bill McAnally Drivers Academy during the 2021 season, gained a ton of experience at All American Speedway — his hometown track. That seemed to pay huge dividends on Saturday night.
For Moore, the fact that his first-career ARCA West win came at a track that is under 15 minutes from where he resides means the world.
“It means everything. I got my whole family out here,” Moore stated with emotion. “My mom. My dad was in the race. That makes it even more special, you know? This whole week we’ve been traveling around town seeing the kids in High School and everything. It means everything.”
Moore’s first win is a story of perseverance, as he got his start in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, where he ran part-time from 2015 to 2017.
After a nearly four year absence, Moore returned last year and ran the full ARCA Menards Series West schedule in addition to his races in the Bill McAnally Drivers Academy. He finished third in the ARCA West championship standings last season, and he entered Saturday night’s race third in the point standings.
He left Saturday night a winner, at last.
Jake Drew, the Series point leader and four-time race winner in 2022, held on to finish runner-up, while Joey Iest finished third. Iest was right there with the top contenders all night long.
Todd Souza finished the race in fourth, while Kyle Keller rounded out the top-five finishers. Souza and Keller started deep in the field in 12th and 11th.
The race featured numerous cautions, and even two red flag breaks for fluid spills on the track during bigger melees. Among those that were eliminated in hard crashes throughout the night were Chris Lowden, Takuma Koga and Landen Lewis.
There are two races remaining on the schedule for the ARCA Menards Series West in 2022. Next up is the Star Nursery 150 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Bullring on October 14th.