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John Wes Townley wins 1st ARCA race at Daytona International Speedway

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    James Hylton, 78, climbs into his car before the ARCA Series auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, in Daytona Beach, Fla. Hylton announced Thursday that this will be his final season behind the wheel. Hylton made his first start at Daytona International Speedway in 1966. (AP Photo/Terry Renna) (The Associated Press)

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    Milka Duno (35), of Venezuela, passes pole-sitter John Wes Townley (15) and moves to the front of the pack after the start of the ARCA Series auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Terry Renna) (The Associated Press)

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    Justin Boston (25), Spencer Gallagher (23), Drew Charlson (3), Brett Hudson (11) and Darrell Wallace (55) collide during the ARCA Series auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack) (The Associated Press)

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    Racers pass the front grandstands of the Daytona International Speedway for the start of the ARCA Series Lucas Oil 200 auto race in Daytona Beach, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack) (The Associated Press)

John Wes Townley has won his first ARCA Series race at Daytona International Speedway.

Townley nudged Bobby Gerhart out of the way with seven laps left and held off Kyle Larson down the stretch Saturday on the 2 1/2-mile superspeedway.

Gerhart had the dominant car and seemed on his way toward winning his ninth ARCA Daytona race. But when Gerhart slowed down on the track, Townley tapped him and took off for the win. Gerhart pulled off the track, tried to return, but appeared to run out of gas. He finished 29th, five laps down.

Darrell Wallace Jr., set to become the fourth black driver to run a full-time schedule in a NASCAR series, was caught up in the only major wreck and finished 35th.

Larson was one of 20 first-time Daytona drivers in the traditional first race of Speedweeks.