Blount Ends Kimmel'S Kentucky Domination
ARCA RE/MAX Series rookie Chad Blount earned his second career victory by holding off Frank Kimmel after a late caution on Friday night in "The Blue Grass Quality Meats 200" at Kentucky Speedway.
Caution on Lap 107 brought the lead cars into the pits. Blount (No. 77 Braun Auto Group Dodge), however, elected to try to finish without refueling. With the leaders in, he took over the lead.
"My car owner, Todd (Braun), is a gambler. He said let's stay out there and see what happens," Blount said. "We played it right by not coming in and getting fuel. It just goes to show you what a great crew we have there."
Blount built his lead after the restart on Lap 112, but series points leader Kimmel (No. 46 Advance Auto Parts Pork Ford) quickly moved up from fourth to second. The seventh caution of the day came on Lap 125, and that set the stage for the final-stretch drama.
For Blount, who entered the weekend third in points, the prospect of surviving another restart at the front of the field was worrisome.
"I was a nervous wreck," Blount said. "I was just hoping (Kimmel) wouldn't be able to get a run on us going into the corner, especially into (Turn) One."
In Kimmel's pit, meanwhile, his crew chief and brother Bill was getting the crew ready to bring Frank in and change to "scuff" tires after he experience a tight car. However, with six cars on the lead lap, Kimmel called off the stop for fear of not having enough time to overcome the cars ahead of him.
"The combination of new tires made the car too tight and being behind made it too tough (to pass)," Kimmel said. "We had both scuffed and sticker tires in the pits and I said go with the stickers. I thought we'd work into them."
Blount stayed high against the wall coming out of Turn Four on the restart, and kept Kimmel at bay. The rookie slowly pulled away and built his lead before taking the checkered flag.
The average speed for the race was 121.348 mph, the fastest of the six ARCA races run at Kentucky Speedway. The previous record was 120.060 mph in the July 2001 race.
Winston West regular Austin Cameron (No. 68 TWC Motorsports Chevrolet) finished third. Jason Jarrett (No. 67 Biomet-Damon RV Chevrolet) and Mark Bobson (No. 59 Mark Gibson Racing Ford) finished fourth and fifth respectively. Former NFL coach Jerry Glanville (No. 81 Loctite-Fricker's Ford) finished sixth and was the last car on the lead lap.
Racing continues at Kentucky Speedway with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series "Kroger 225." Jason Leffler will lead the field to the green flag in the No. 2 Team ASE Dodge which won at Kentucky in 2001 starting at 8:00 p.m. The full day of family activities on tap at the speedway include a pre-race concert by country music legend Lee Greenwood and a 2:00 p.m. performance by The United States Cowboy Tour Rodeo. Rodeo tickets are sold separately.
"Kroger 225" tickets are available by phone at 1-888-652-RACE, at the Kentucky Speedway Fan Center beginning at 9:00 a.m., and the speedway's main ticket booth beginning at 3:00 p.m.