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Travis Braden wins in ARCA Racing Series debut

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (AP) — Travis Braden won the ARCA Racing Series on Friday night at Lucas Oil Raceway in his series debut, pulling away from fellow newcomer William Byron.

The 21-year-old Braden, from Wheeling, West Virginia, took advantage of strategic four-tire change to catch and pass Byron with 21 laps left in the 200-lap race on the 0.686-mile oval. Braden drove his own Travis Braden Motorsports’ No. 01 Chevrolet

“I can’t believe we just did that,” Braden said. “Man, it was a rocket coming off the turns.”

The two-time ARCA/CRA Super Series champion rallied after falling a lap down early in the race.

“I knew we would have a chance, but the way it played out I could never have imagined that,” Braden said. “I was confident we would get back on the lead lap, but I didn’t know how I was going to get the lead.”

The 17-year-old Byron, from Charlotte, North Carolina, finished second — 3.142 seconds back — after leading 120 laps in Venturini Motorsports’ No. 55 Toyota. He raced to his fourth NASCAR K&N Pro Series East victory last week at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

“He (Braden) took four tires,” Byron said. “We thought there’d be a caution, but there wasn’t.”

Tom Hessert was third, followed by JJ Haley, Brandon Jones, Josh Williams, pole-winner Kyle Weatherman and points leader Grant Enfinger.

Earlier, John Hunter Nemechek won the ARCA/CRA Super Series race. Nemechek, the 18-year-old son of NASCAR driver Joe Nemechek, edged Jake Crum in the 100-lap race.

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