Cole Butcher after winning the ASA STARS National Tour race at Five Flags Speedway. (Jim DenHamer Photo)

Butcher Bests Teammate In Thrilling Sunshine State 200

PENSACOLA, Fla. — Cole Butcher earned his second career ASA STARS National Tour victory on Sunday afternoon after winning the Sunshine State 200 at Five Flags Speedway. 

Butcher moved past his teammate Gio Ruggiero for a final time on lap 178, cruising to a 2.1-second margin of victory in round two of the ASA STARS National Tour season. 

Cole Butcher (28) battles Casey Roderick at Five Flags Speedway. (Jim DenHamer Photo)

Butcher led four times for a total of 102 laps, the most of any driver. In addition, Butcher won the first Phoenix Water Solutions stage break, and finished second in the second stage, leading to a big points day for the hard-charging Canadian. The dominating day unofficially moved Butcher into the points lead after two of 10 ASA STARS National Tour events.

Stephen Nasse once again came up one spot short of victory, settling for runner up after a strong and steady performance. Ruggiero placed third, one night after winning the ARCA Menards Series East Pensacola 150 at Five Flags. Ruggiero led the Sunshine State 200 on two occasions, and won stage two.

California racer Jacob Gomes made the long haul to the Florida panhandle, posting a solid fourth-place finish. Go Fas Racing Pole Sitter Matthew Craig rounded out the top five.