Busch Wins ARCA RE/MAX Series "Channel 5-205" In First Kentucky Speedway Start
Under the watchful eye of older brother and NASCAR Winston Cup star Kurt Busch, 18-year-old driver Kyle Busch drove to his second straight ARCA RE/MAX Series superspeedway win in as many starts in front of 25,486 fans at Kentucky Speedway tonight in "The Channel 5-205."
The Hendrick Racing powered Busch led 91 laps in the contest and took the lead for good over the 40-year-old, four-time ARCA champion Frank Kimmel after a restart from caution on Lap 124. Busch and his No. 87 ditech.com Chevrolet checked out over the last 13 laps to beat Kimmel to the finish line by 3.395 seconds.
Busch, who earned two top-10 finishes in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at age 16, made his second of a scheduled seven ARCA RE/MAX Series starts this season. He will add six NASCAR Busch Series starts to that ledger.
"Running against a veteran Frank Kimmel, he's one of the best out here, I learned a lot and actually got by him and through to a win," Busch said. "Frank is an exceptional competitor, he's been up front in the series for the long time. He's one of the greats here and it was really neat to battle with him the whole night. Sometimes he'd steal my air and sometimes I'd steal some of his. He's an exceptional driver, we both knew how far we could push each other before we started wrecking. It was a great battle, I enjoyed it a lot."
Kimmel led 46 laps in the race and scores his fifth straight top-two finish at Kentucky Speedway. It is his sixth top-five finish of 2003 in six races. He will retain the series points lead as he entered the weekend with a 180-point lead over the second-place Billy Venturini, who finished 10th in "The Channel 5-205."
"We contended with Busch," Kimmel said. "He ran great and raced hard. It was a lot of fun running side-by-side with him. I was thinking, 'Man, if he weren't here I wouldn't have to be running this hard.' But, he had the better car. He is sitting in great equipment and does a great job behind the wheel. Every now and then, you need a reality check."
Matt Hagans, who finished third to take his first top-five finish through three series starts this season, enjoyed his on-track view of the Busch-Kimmel battle.
"It was fun to watch. I know Frank wanted this really bad, but Kyle had the car real free. The rear end was dancing all around and he kept it in good control. I was waiting for him to make a mistake coming through Turns 1 and 2, but he held on. He got it sideways two or three times up there. He's a heckuva driver," Hagans said.
Shelby Howard (No. 64 Mack-Trucks Beck Dodge) and Jason Jarrett (No. 67 Damon RV-Biomet Chevrolet) rounded out the top five.
Race action returns to Kentucky Speedway June 13-14 with the NASCAR Busch Series "Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo" and "The Lexington Herald-Leader Pole Night."
Tickets are available by phone at 1-888-652-RACE, online at www.kentuckyspeedway.com and Tickets.com, Tickets.com outlets at Meijer, Hader Hardware and Play-it-Again Sports stores, the Kentucky Speedway ticket office at 2216 Dixie Hwy., Ste. 200, in Ft. Mitchell, Ky., and the Kentucky Speedway Fan Center in Sparta, Ky.
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