Steve Wallace and his No. 61 Nu South Lemonade Dodge set a new ARCA RE/MAX Series Kentucky Speedway qualifying record today by turning a 177.509 mph (30.421 seconds) lap today.

The 18-year-old son of former NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion Rusty Wallace scorched the previous record by 2.244 mph and 0.390 of a second. David Keith set the original series benchmark on July 2, 2000. Wallace was third in the series morning practice session after charting his best lap at 175.211 mph (30.820 seconds).

"I've tested here a bunch and done a ton of R&D work with Penske Racing, my dad's NASCAR Busch Series team and with ARCA, all kinds of different racecars. This year, ARCA brought a new tire here. It's softer and has a ton more grip. Since they've worked on this track, it's picked up a ton of grip. It has good bite and you can really stay on the gas hard. The car won't yaw out or do anything stupid. These overcast conditions will make for some good side-by-side racing."

He will share the front row with four-time Kentucky Speedway race winner and record seven-time series champion Frank Kimmel (No. 46 Pork The Other White Meat Ford), who paced the series morning practice session with a 177.026 mph (30.504 seconds) lap. Kimmel missed earning his sixth career Pork Pole Award at the speedway by a scant 0.009 of a second when he turned his best of two qualifying efforts at 177.456 mph (30.430 seconds).

"I was really happy with it. It was the fastest run we've made all day," Kimmel said. "We hoped we could go a little better and we needed to. Steve did a nice job, got a good lap, and barely beat us out. We'll take that, start second, and go from there. We have a really good racecar, the best we've ever had on one of these racetracks. We have to go out, stay in the hunt, run all day long and maybe at the end we can sneak in there and win another one."

Kentucky-based Brewco Motorsports development product Brad Coleman (No. 62 Federated Car Care Ford) snared the inside of the second row by cranking out his best qualifying lap at 177.381 mph (30.443 seconds) and will start next to Evernham Motorsports development driver Scott Lagasse (No. 4 Dodge Motorsports Dodge), who raced his best qualifying circuit at 174.944 mph (30.867 seconds). Lagasse won the closest race in Kentucky Speedway history when he beat Wade Day to the finish line by 0.014 of a second in an American Speed Association (ASA) 125-lap affair on May 7, 2004.

Forty-one drivers will take the green flag for "The Harley-Davidson of Cincinnati 150" at 3:00 p.m. The ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series "Kentucky 100" will follow on the quarter mile short track.

Story by Mike Schmaltz

~ Kentucky Speedway ~