Fultz Takes Five At Kentucky Speedway
Two-time NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division Southeast Series champion Jeff Fultz became the first five-time race winner in Kentucky Speedway history with a victory in "The Bluegrass 150" tonight in front of 14,420 fans.
The Cincinnati native takes the all-time lead in Kentucky Speedway wins and now owns three wins, four top-five and seven top-10 finishes this season in his No. 54 IEN/C&C Boilers Chevrolet. "It means the world to me," Fultz said. "Coming from right up the road, going to school up there (Cincinnati) and having all these fans out here - there were probably 200 fans sitting out here waiting on me at the end of the tunnel.
"I can't really describe in words what it means to me, it'll probably hit me here in a little while. I was really just trying to concentrate on hitting the line. The car was really free tonight, but we ended up having a pretty good night."
The 36-year-old qualified third and took a lead he wouldn't surrender on Lap 26 of 100. Fultz held a 0.452 of a second lead over J.R. Norris (No. 5 Victor Ford/UPI Painting Chevrolet) at the midway point of the race and extended his advantage to 1.487 seconds by Lap 75.
"Tonight, the car was really good and I could get off Turn 4 really good and gain a little ground on J.R. (Norris). I ran her super hard and that's where I'd make up a lot of ground, because usually they catch me in three and four."
Fultz fought through the seventh and final caution period of the evening on Lap 83 and raced away on the Lap 86 restart to win by 1.808 seconds in a race that featured 31 drivers from both the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division Southeast and Midwest Series.
Norris was second, Kevin Prince (No. 1 Land O Frost / Uncle Yammys Chevrolet) finished third, Greg Pope (No. 63 GK Pope/Gourmet Boutique Chevrolet) was fourth and Stanley Smith (No. 49 Valvoline Chevrolet) rounded out the top five. All drivers in the top five represented the Southeast Series. Tim Schendel (No. 21 Matthews Archery / Texpar Energy Chevrolet) finished sixth to post the best performance among Midwest Series competitors.
The win also will help Fultz gain ground on Norris in the series championship standings. Norris entered "The Bluegrass 150" with a 31-point lead over Dusty Williams (No. 40 Pennzoil /Dixie Excavating Chevrolet), who finished 23rd due to overheating in his car, and a 37-point lead over Fultz.
Norris earned his second consecutive second-place series finish at Kentucky Speedway.
"It was a good points night," Norris said. "I knew coming in here I had to beat Fultz. I really didn't have as good car during the race as I did during practice and it showed. I ran my tail off just to finish second. I ran as hard as I could, but with 10 laps to go I realized 'this is all I got'. I thought if something happens to him, we got the win. But if not, this is all we got. So we had to settle for second."
The race concludes "The Charlie Daniels Band Fall Classic" and the 2005 race season at the speedway.
Visit www.kentuckyspeedway.com for the latest track news and 2006 schedule information which will be released in the coming months.
Story by Mike Schmaltz
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