Defending ARCA RE/MAX Series Champion Frank Kimmel was the charm for the third time at Kentucky Speedway Saturday as he won the inaugural "Channel 5-155" race in front of 27,575 fans.

The win is Kimmel's third consecutive of the 2002 season and makes him the first the three-time series champion in Kentucky Speedway history. It also marked Kimmel's fourth top-five and fourth top-10 finish of the season.

Kimmel led 72 of 104 laps in his No. 46 Advance Auto Parts/Pork Producers Ford to beat out two rookies, 22-year-old rookie Chad Blount in second by .296 seconds and third-place Jason Rudd, a 23-year-old.

"It was a great race. We love coming here. I thought it was a great turnout for an ARCA stand-alone race," Kimmel said. "Chad Blount treated me super clean, we never touched."

For the first time in the past three Kentucky starts, Kimmel was challenged closely at Kentucky. Blount led into lap 97 when a caution flag flew after the No. 81 Loctite-Fricker's Ford driven by Jerry Glanville spun coming out of Turn 2. The veteran Kimmel took the lead from Blount after he took the low line to avoid trouble as Blount took his No. 77 Braun Auto Group Dodge high.

In addition to his choice to go low, Kimmel also benefited from a series rule that enables drivers to race back to the start/finish line to improve position with 10 laps or less remaining in the race.

"In all reality it looked like a great move by me, but it was a situation where I was in the right place at the right time," Kimmel said. "He (Blount) was three or four car lengths ahead of me and had already made his decision to go to the outside of a lapped car. When they started wrecking, he was already committed to the second groove and that opened up the bottom for me."

Blount also identified the late caution as a critical moment in the race. "We got hurt by that last caution," he said. "We had to avoid some cars but Kimmel got out of it easier. We had a little better car the last couple of laps, but I didn't want to get my first win having to rough somebody up."

With the victory, Kimmel, a three-time ARCA RE/MAX Series champion, took the points lead for the first time this season, moving past Damon Lusk by 35 points.

Pole sitter John Metcalf and series veteran Andy Belmont rounded out the top five.

Racing returns to Kentucky Speedway June 14 and 15 when the NASCAR Busch Series returns for "The Kroger 300 Presented by Oreo." The weekend begins on Friday evening at 8:00 p.m. with NASCAR Busch Series qualifying on Lexington Herald-Leader Pole Night and "The Kentucky 150" NASCAR Hills Bros. All Pro Series race. "The Kroger 300 Presented by Oreo" takes to the track at 8:00 p.m. the following evening and will be followed by "The 700 WLW 100" Goody's Dash Series contest.

Tickets for all future Kentucky Speedway events can be reserved in five easy ways:

  • By phone at 1-888-652-RACE
  • On the World Wide Web at www.kentuckyspeedway.com
  • In person at either the speedway's Ft. Mitchell ticket office or at the Kentucky Speedway Fan Center off Ky. Hwy. 35 in Sparta, Ky.
  • At Tickets.com and all Tickets.com retail outlets located in Greater Cincinnati area Meijer Hader Hardware and Play-It-Again Sports stores.
  • In person at all Greater Cincinnati AAA locations.