Forty-nine drivers officially opened the 2006 Kentucky Speedway season at 9:38 a.m., today by firing their engines for a 90-minute practice ARCA RE/MAX Series practice session.

Three drivers charted laps faster than the existing series qualifying record lap of 175.262 mph (30.811 seconds) driven by David Keith on July 2, 2000.

Four-time Kentucky Speedway winner and seven-time series champion Frank Kimmel led the trio by turning a 177.026 mph (30.504 seconds) lap, Brewco Racing development driver Brad Coleman (No. 62 Federated Car Care Ford) was close behind with a 176.488 mph (30.597 seconds) lap, and Steve Wallace (No. 61 Nu South Lemonade Dodge) was third with a 175.211 mph (30.820 seconds) lap. Wallace bettered his quick lap of 174.814 mph (30.890 seconds) which led a series open test session at the speedway May 1.

T.J. Bell (No. 50 Bobby Jones Racing Dodge) was fourth with a 174.154 mph (31.007 seconds) lap and Blake Bjorklund (No. 32 Red Line Synthetic Oil Dodge) was fifth quickest with a 173.823 mph (31.066 seconds) lap.

Kimmel will attempt to earn his sixth career Kentucky Speedway pole award at noon today.

Qualifying will be followed by a prerace concert with Cowboy Crush at 1:30 p.m., and the ARCA RE/MAX Series "Harley-Davidson of Cincinnati 150" starting grid will rumble to life at 3:00 p.m. The ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series "Kentucky 100" race will follow.

Tickets for all today's events are on sale at the speedway main entrance.

Story by Mike Schmaltz

~ Kentucky Speedway ~