Team Lexington, Ky., Defends Title, Neale Takes Individual Honors in Magpul Top Cop Challenge
The Lexington, Ky., Police tandem of Chief Ronnie Bastin and Det. Jason Rothermund took team honors while Gallatin, Co., Ky., Sheriff Josh Neale raced to the individual title in the Magpul Top Cop Challenge at Kentucky Speedway.
Bastian paced Team Lexington to its second straight event title with a 152.92 mph lap and joined Rothermund in posting a best combined speed of 304.53 mph. Neale emerged atop a field of 14 officers representing seven jurisdictions with a 154.07 mph lap.
Winning officers earned Magpul prizes and tickets for Kentucky Speedway's June 28 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts to donate to worthy causes in their respective communities.
"Our team is unique, we have the chief of police and the Fraternal Order of Police president for our jurisdiction. We wanted to come to do something together to win tickets for some of the underprivileged kids in our community. Fortunately, we were able to do it," Bastin said.
Rothermund shared Bastin's sentiment.
"It was my first time here. I couldn't have asked for a better experience and I couldn't have asked for a better partner. It's always great when you get a chance to represent our community and it's appreciated when organizations such as Kentucky Speedway and Magpul give back to police, particularly during National Police Memorial Week," Rothermund said.
Neale, who placed second in the 2013 individual competition, will be introduced as the 2014 Magpul Top Cop during Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts prerace ceremonies.
"It feels good, it's a good time. This week means a lot to a lot of police officers serving today and those who have paid the ultimate price. It's an honor to come out with a lot of these guys, come here and do this. Last year, I fell just a little bit shy of it, but this year we pulled it out. It's a good thing to be able to bring back the community," Neale said.
He added his quick trip around a 1.5-mile tri-oval billed as "NASCAR's Roughest Track" wasn't much different from a day on duty in a rural Kentucky county.
"You're asking a question to a guy who drives county roads, gravel roads, dirt roads, cornfields and soybean fields. The track has character, but, to me, I didn't notice it. If I were to drive a smooth track, I probably wouldn't know what to do with myself.
"It will test driver's abilities. It's just like driving a police car, you have to trust the vehicle you drive, trust your equipment," Neale said.
Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts tickets start at just $59 and include a prerace concert with country music artist Thomas Rhett. Fans who add a Kroger Fan Zone pass to their order will be able to see Rhett's concert trackside and enjoy infield access throughout the race day.
The fourth NSCS event in speedway history will cap a three-race NASCAR weekend that opens with the June 26 Camping World Truck Series UNOH 225 and additionally spotlights the Nationwide Series John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300 presented by Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.
Tickets, campsite and Kroger Fan Zone passes can be purchased through the respective pages of this website, by calling (859) 578-2300 or visiting the speedway Sparta, Ky., ticket office at 1 Speedway Drive just off Interstate 71 Exit 57 and Kentucky Hwy. 35 N.