Late Pass Earns Hahn First ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series Kentucky Win
Defending ARCA Lincoln Welders Series champion Paul Hahn (No. 7 Hahn's Group-Fox Auto Parts - Howe Racing Chevrolet) moved to second on the all-time series wins list by taking his 12th career series victory on the paved Kentucky Speedway quarter-mile track this evening.
The Canton, Mich., driver registered his first Kentucky Speedway win from the seventh starting position by passing second-place finisher John Kasmierski (No. 3 Carpenters Local 1138 Chevrolet) with three laps remaining in the race and held on for the win.
Race pole award winner Nick Gullatta (No. 31 Thomson Automotive Chevrolet) placed third, Steve Cronenwett (No. 18 Hydro Technology Chevrolet) took fourth and Mark Otting (No. 00 Westfalia Surge Chevrolet) drove across the finish line fifth.
Hahn's machine was spun out on Lap 2, but he was able to recover and patiently weave his way through the series track-record 25-truck field. He moved to second place and was within 1.919 seconds of race leader Kasmierski on Lap 72 of 100 and continued to exploit racy outside groove to keep his truck in contention.
As Kasmierski approached lapped traffic on Lap 97, Hahn executed his winning pass.
"I knew John would come up on lapped traffic and his right front was smoking pretty bad," Hahn said of his decision to try the final pass. "He just messed up and I was able to come out of here with a win."
Hahn takes his second straight series victory through three of a scheduled 13 races this season.
"I was a little teed on Lap 2 and I always drive a little better when I'm mad. I thought it was going to hurt us, but I kept knocking them off position by position, hoping I didn't wear out the right front.
"I can't thank my crew enough. We came here this morning not as fast as we wanted to be, made a lot of changes, and the truck got better," he said.
Kasmierski scores his first top-five and second top-10 finish of the season.
"A lot of lapped traffic got in the way at the end and cost us the race," he said. "Everybody that drove behind us drove clean, so mainly it's just getting the rookies straightened out. If you could run the bottom of the track here, you can pull away. As soon as you get into the lapped traffic in the second groove, it's just tough. It's a one groove track really."
The series moves the half-mile Toledo Speedway for its next event on May 19.
The ARCA RE/MAX Series "Buckle-Up Kentucky 150" is up next at Kentucky Speedway.
Story by Mike Schmaltz
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