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Landen Lewis Triumphs in Late-Race ‘Dog Fight’ with Cole Custer, Scored Portland 112 Victory

Landen Lewis ARCA West Portland
Landen Lewis ARCA West Portland
Landen Lewis picks up the checkered flag after winning the Portland 112. PC: FloRacing Broadcast

After three second-place finishes to start the year, Landen Lewis was finally able to break through to victory lane in the first road course event of the season, taking home the trophy in the Portland 112 at Portland International Raceway.

The Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina native was able to sneak the victory away from Cole Custer – a regular in the NASCAR Xfinity Series dropping down to gain experience on the Oregon road course – after a late-race caution set up a two-lap dash to the finish.

“We had a pretty even start getting to about the chicane part and I don’t know what happened to him…They were like ‘Clear Clear Clear’ and I’m like OK. Now I just got to hold him off,” the 17-year-old said in victory lane. “I kinda messed up getting into one a little bit and gave him the opportunity to get in there. And then I’m like alright, it’s gonna be a dog fight,” he added.

Lewis had to overcome a penalty on pit road from earlier in the event, which forced him to restart at the tail-end of the field. Similarly, Custer had to recover from early contact with William Sawalich to come home in second place.

Running a part-time schedule in the ARCA Menards Series West, Dale Quarterley was able to survive the late-race chaos to finish in third place. William Sawalich, the points leader in the ARCA Menards Series East, and Parker Retzlaff, another Xfinity Series regular, rounded out the top five.

Bradley Erickson put down another solid run in sixth place, while Caleb Shrader, making his ARCA Menards Series West debut for Bill McAnally Racing finished in seventh. Takuma Koga came home in eighth place, while part-time drivers Davey Margas and Eric Johnson, Jr. finished ninth and tenth.

Sean Hingorani and Trevor Huddleston were relegated to finishes of 11th and 12th after contact between the two drivers on the final lap, while battling for second. The poor finishes, caused both drivers to lose ground to race-winner Lewis, in the series point standings.

Riley Herbst, piloting a second entry for Jerry Pitts Racing, was an early contender for the victory in Friday’s event, before an engine expired on the No. 5 Ford Fusion with less than 15 laps to go, placing him 18th in the final rundown.

Leaving Portland, the first of two back-to-back road courses on the ARCA Menards Series West schedule, Landen Lewis extends his points lead to 12 markers over Sean Hingorani, who has won two races this season.

Tyler Reif, Bradley Erickson, and Trevor Huddleston round out the top-five in standings, which are only separated by 18 points heading into the series’ fifth event of 2023.

The series will travel to Sonoma Raceway for the fifth event of the season, with the General Tire 200 taking place on Friday, June 9th.

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