Fultz Wins Third Career Kentucky Speedway Race
Cincinnati native Jeff Fultz won for the third time at Kentucky Speedway, claiming the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division Southeast Series "Kentucky 150" as part of "Insight Communications Pole Night."
A crowd of 16,111 watched the 2002 NAEDSS Champion pull out the victory after leading since the 14th lap in a race that feature seven extra laps because of a late caution.
Fultz, in his No. 54 C&C Boiler Chevrolet, took over the lead from pole sitter Erik Darnell on Lap 14, making a pass on the inside in Turn 3. While Fultz held the lead from that point on, Darnell kept his No. 7 AMI Trailer Leasing/Appleton Rack & Pinion Chevrolet within a second of Fultz.
A caution on Lap 71 allowed for the only series of pit stops in the race, and both Fultz and Darnell came in for fuel only stops.
The race went under a caution again on Lap 98, two laps from the scheduled finish. Per NAEDSS rules, a green-white-checkered finish would be used to end the race. It appeared to be setting up for a two-lap showdown between Fultz and Darnell, but Darnell's car rolled to a stop in Turn 1 on Lap 100 after running out of fuel.
"We screwed up, I guess," Darnell said after finishing the race a lap down in eighth place. "I thought we were good to go. We were surging at the end and I thought that we could catch (Fultz)."
Instead Fultz, who started on the outside of Row 2, pulled away from the field on the two-lap sprint to the finish to secure his second win of the season and the 19th of his career. "I can't ask for a better car. It was pretty much flawless all night," Fultz said. "Our motor manufacturer kept track of that all night. He thought I had enough (fuel). With that yellow, we were a little worried about it. We weren't sure. We really started saving fuel in the beginning of the race. I tried to run it hard enough to keep the distance from the seven car. This one was special.
"This one was special," he commented about winning at his home track.
Fultz and five-time ARCA RE/MAX Series Champion Frank Kimmel are the only three-time Kentucky Speedway race winners.
Rookie Chris Davidson (No. 41 Royal Purple Chevrolet) finished second, coming in .262 seconds behind Fultz. J.R. Norris (No. 5 Victor Ford/Ebesco Printing Chevrolet), Robert Richardson (No. 33 North Team Pipe/McKinney Pipe Chevrolet), Kevin Prince (No. 1 Land O Frost Chevrolet) and Greg Pope (No. 63 Endura-Tech/Lafferty Engine Creations Chevrolet) rounded out the top six as the only cars on the lead lap.
Earlier in the day, Kentucky Speedway announced a grandstand sellout for tomorrow's NASCAR Busch Series "Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo."
Standing-room-only tickets for tomorrow's event will be available for $30 beginning at 9:00 a.m. at the Kentucky Speedway Fan Center outside Turn 3 at the facility. Tickets also will be on sale at the ticket windows at the main entrance of the venue between Gates 15 and 16 beginning at 2:00 p.m. The race takes the green flag at 8:00 p.m.
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