Speed Muscles Way to ARCA RE/MAX Series "Kentucky 150" Victory
Red Bull Racing driver Scott Speed earned his second ARCA RE/MAX Series win of the season and first at Kentucky Speedway by 0.541 of a second over Sean Caisse tonight in the "Kentucky 150."
The converted Formula One star drove to the pits on Lap 19 to take on fuel in his No. 2 Red Bull machine during the third caution period of the race and proceeded to masterfully manage his fuel mileage through a maze of seven caution periods that followed.
The Manteca, Calif., driver placed a punctuation mark on the win by holding off Caisse and his No. 01 Aisin AW ride during a last-lap restart that began on Lap 104 of the event originally scheduled for 100 circuits.
Speed, who lost the series' May 10 Kentucky race on the final restart after a gear failed in his car, earns a bit Kentucky poetic justice with tonight's victory.
"It was the second time we won this race on the proper lap and almost lost it. It was cool to win a race like that. Me and the 01 had a great battle the last 30 laps or so and I'm glad I could pull this off for my guys.
"We went back-and-forth on each other a lot on the restarts. It was two good drivers racing really hard and really clean. It was definitely real exciting for me," Speed said.
Caisse earned his first top-five series finish of the season in his third start. "We had issues with 20 to go with the throttle sticking. It would get stuck when I'd go full throttle and pull out. It would get stuck at half throttle. So, trying to shift and not being able to come out of the gas all the way, it was getting jammed up in the gearbox. That kind of was making my restarts slow. He (Speed) got a good jump on me. He went to the outside and the 16 followed. I was able to get the 16 back.
"It took me about five or six laps to run the same kind of speed. Then, five laps later it would be a tenth or two better. We were just a better long-run car and this just wasn't a long-run race," Caisse said of the event which matched the series track record for caution periods at 10.
Justin Allgaier placed third in the No. 16 AG Tech / Hoosier Tire Chevrolet; four-time Kentucky Speedway series race winner Frank Kimmel closed out the race fourth in the No. 44 Comfort Systems USA/Ford Drive One Ford; and race polesitter Brian Scott delivered a fifth-place finish in his No. 25 Albertsons Chevrolet.
Speed's sixth top-five and eighth top-10 finish of the season helps tighten the series championship race. He entered tonight's event second in the standings and 130 points behind standings leader and May 10 Kentucky Speedway ARCA RE/MAX Series winner Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., who placed 13th after his No. 99 Save-a-lot Food Stores Ford was involved in a Turn 3 incident with Scott and the No. 25 on Lap 59.
The fourth of five 2008 Kentucky Speedway race weekends continues tomorrow when gates open at 2:00 p.m. NCTS "Built Ford Tough Presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers" qualifying will begin at 3:30 p.m., the Blood Sweat & Tears 40th Anniversary Tour makes its stop on the Turn 1 Concourse at 5:30 p.m., and the "Built Ford Tough 225 Presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers" begins at 7:00 p.m.
Tickets will be available at the main gate up to race time.
Kentucky Speedway ARCA RE/MAX Series Extras:
-Sean Caisse earned his first top-five Kentucky Speedway ARCA RE/MAX Series finish in his second start at the track.
-Justin Allgaier earned his third career series top-five finish at the track and fourth top-10 finish through seven career starts.
- Frank Kimmel posted his 10th top-five ARCA RE/MAX Series Kentucky Speedway finish and 12th top-10 series finish at the track. He remains tied with Norm Benning for all-time lead in race starts at the track with 17.
-Tonight's "Kentucky 150" conlcluded with the fifth-closest series finish in 17 ARCA RE/MAX Series events at the track. The series has now generated four of its closest Kentucky finishes in its past six events at the facility.
-The "Kentucky 150" set a track record for most female competitors in a major race field. Alli Owens placed 15th, Gabi DiCarlo finished 17th, Angela Cope 29th and Amber Cope 38th. The race marked the third time an ARCA RE/MAX Series Kentucky race featured at least three female competitors and the fifth time a series race featured at least two female competitors. Fourteen of the 17 ARCA RE/MAX Series races at Kentucky have featured at least one female competitor.
-DiCarlo made her fourth series start in the "Kentucky 150" and is now tied for second in all-time female ARCA RE/MAX Series starts at Kentucky Speedway with Erin Crocker. Christi Passmore tops the list with six starts.
-The 10 "Kentucky 150" caution periods ties the series track record set earlier this season on May 10. Tonight's 50 caution laps were five fewer than this season's May race and five fewer than the series track-record set in a 205-mile race May 8, 2004.
-Toyota earned its first ARCA RE/MAX Series Kentucky Speedway win and will aim for its second NCTS win at the track tomorrow in the "Built Ford Tough 225 Presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers."
Story by Mike Schmaltz
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