Wallace Wonderful in ARCA RE/MAX Series Kentucky Win
Steve Wallace placed a punctuation mark on a dominating weekend at Kentucky Speedway by racing to victory in the ARCA RE/MAX Series "Harley-Davidson of Cincinnati" 150 tonight.
The 18-year-old son of former NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion Rusty Wallace led 63 of 103 race laps in the No. 61 Nu South Lemonade Dodge en route to taking his first victory of the 2006 season and the second of his series career.
Wallace began his day third in an early morning practice session before destroying a six-year series track qualifying record by 2.244 mph with a quick lap of 177.509 mph (30.421 seconds). He becomes the fourth driver to win a Kentucky Speedway ARCA RE/MAX Series race from the pole position through 12 series events at the facility.
"I knew right when we unloaded this morning we were going to be really, really awesome because our test went well here two weeks ago," Wallace said. "We went out there immediately for practice, put the car on top of the board and then fell back to third. We went out to qualify, picked up four tenths of a second, put the car on the pole with a new track record and then completely dominated the race."
Wallace led the race four times for a total of 63 laps before winning a green-white-checkered flag finish 0.229 of a second ahead of second-place driver Brad Coleman in the No. 62 Federated Car Care Ford. Matt McCall finished third in the No. 55 Citifinancial Ford, Justin Allgaier was fourth in the No. 16 Hoosier Tire Midwest-Trashman-USAF Chevrolet and Ryan Foster placed fifth in the No. 47 Frank Kimmel Racing Ford.
The race winner took his final lead on lap 89 when he passed Coleman for the lead on the low line midway through the backstretch.
"I had new tires on and he had pitted on lap 30, I think," Wallace said. "I got an awesome run going into Turn 1, the car came up off of Turn 2 like a rocket ship and I flew past him."
Wallace sealed his first Kentucky Speedway win by taking command on the final caution restart on lap 101.
Brewco Racing development driver Coleman led 21 laps and posted his second top-five finish of the season.
"Today was great, the car was fantastic," he said. "We tried to get a run at Steve, but we didn't have enough. Man, we were close."
McCall, a Robert Yates Racing development driver who brought home his second top-five ARCA RE/MAX Series finish of the season through two starts, said early season testing at Kentucky Speedway helped his on-track performance in the "Harley-Davidson of Cincinnati 150."
"I did a lot of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series testing for (Dale) Jarrett and (Elliot) Sadler. They like to play with it more than I do, I let ride around in circles. I came back here with the same car the team won with at Nashville (with driver Stephen Leicht), so I'll probably get ragged on a little bit next week, but that's okay."
Four-time Kentucky Speedway winner and seven-time series champion Frank Kimmel made his second early exit through 12 series starts at the track. He closed out the race in 28th place, his personal worst at the track, after his No. 46 Pork The Other White Meat Ford spun and hit the Turn 3 wall following a battle for track position with Wallace on lap 21.
"For that to happen to him with us racing together, my heart dropped," Wallace said. "I went down into Turn 1, Frank went by me and I saw two lapped cars. You're supposed to pass those cars on the outside, which is what I did. Frank went underneath the two cars, we went down the backstretch four wide, the lapped cars backed up, and Frank and I collided. He said it was his fault 100 percent. I think everything is fine there."
Eleven-thousand-six-hundred-and-nineteen fans witnessed the event that saw six caution periods that devoured 46 laps. The race was delayed one hour and 40 minutes due to rain.
Kentucky Speedway continues its season June 16-17 when the NASCAR Busch Series visits for "The Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo" along with the USAC Silver Crown Series.
Tickets for the event are on sale now and available by phone at 888-652-RACE, online at www.kentuckyspeedway.com and at all Meijer stores. Fans also can reserve tickets at the Kentucky Speedway ticket offices at 2216 Dixie Hwy., Ste. 200, in Ft. Mitchell, Ky., and the speedway Fan Center at the track in Sparta, Ky.
Story by Mike Schmaltz
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