From the Kentucky Speedway
SPARTA, Ky. (June 2006) Steve Wallace placed a punctuation mark on a dominating weekend May 13 at the Kentucky Speedway by racing to victory in the ARCA RE/MAX Series Harley-Davidson of Cincinnati.
Photo by High Sierra Photo
Steve Wallace celebrates his
ARCA RE/MAX Series victory
at the Kentucky Speedway.
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.
Photo by High Sierra Photo
Frank Kimmel crashes into the
Turn 3 wall early in the race.
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 didnt 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 Ill probably get ragged on a little bit next week, but thats OK.
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. Youre 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.
The race attracted a crowd of 11,619. The event had six caution periods that devoured 46 laps. The race was delayed one hour and 40 minutes due to rain.
Earlier in the day, Wallace and his No. 61 Nu South Lemonade Dodge set a new ARCA RE/MAX Series Kentucky Speedway qualifying record by turning a 177.509 mph (30.421 seconds) lap.
Photo by High Sierra Photo
Steve Wallace leads the race
on his way to victory.
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).
Ive tested here a bunch and done a ton of R&D work with Penske Racing, my dads NASCAR Busch Series team, with ARCA, all kinds of different race cars. This year, ARCA brought a new tire here. Its softer and has a ton more grip. Since theyve worked on this track, its picked up a ton of grip. It has good bite and you can really stay on the gas hard. The car wont yaw out or do anything stupid. These overcast conditions will make for some good side-by-side racing.
The speedy pace put Wallace in the front row with Kimmel, who paced the series morning practice session with a 177.026 mph (30.504 seconds) lap. Kimmel, of Borden, Ind., 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 weve 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."
Coleman, of Houston, Texas, snared the inside of the second row by cranking out his best qualifying lap at 177.381 mph (30.443 seconds). He started 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 took the green flag for The Harley-Davidson of Cincinnati 150.