Ken Butler III Claims First Career ARCA RE/MAX Series Win
Young Rookie Drives Like a Veteran and Beats the Veterans at Toledo Speedway
Ken Butler III may have been a rookie in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, but he didn’t drive like one, as he was able to hold off Nextel Cup Series regular and former ARCA RE/MAX Series winner, Kenny Schrader, to claim his first career ARCA RE/MAX Series victory at Toledo Speedway (OH).
"It feels great to be in victory lane,” said Butler. “But it’s a bittersweet victory. We made contact with Michael (McDowell) there at the end, and I am not sure exactly why it happened. He seemed to slow down there, and I slammed on my brakes as hard as I could and we still made contact. When he got sideways, I was hoping he would be able to save it. I waited to see if he was going to be able to, but the caution was already out for another incident out on the track.”
“I was hoping that ARCA would put him back in first, and I would be in second for the restart, but they didn’t do that. I can only control what I can, so we just had to keep on going.”
Despite the incident that occurred at the end of the race, Butler drove a smart race. He was able to start his No. 22 Domino Dodge up front in the sixth position and kept it right around the top five for most of the event.
"I knew that both McDowell’s and my car were both really good. From practice on, I knew our car was strong. It was the same car that we had at Lakeland, and it was just as strong.”
“I am not always the greatest qualifier, but we were really fast in practice, and we qualified up in the sixth spot. We just slowly worked our way up to third, and then we pitted. My pit crew guys are awesome. They are a huge reason we are here in victory lane. Every time that we had to pit they got us out first, and all I had to do was focus on driving. It made my job a lot easier.”
Smart pit strategy and quality driving put him up front with 10 laps to go, and Butler was just laps away from becoming an ARCA RE/MAX Series winner.
Ken Butler III in victory lane at Toledo. (Chuck Gonzales Photo)
A late-race caution put that victory temporarily on hold. Butler was set to restart first, but he had very tough competition looking in his rear view mirror in the form of Kenny Schrader, but that wasn’t enough to keep this rookie from leaving his mark in the ARCA RE/MAX Series.
“I was pretty nervous those last few laps when we had to hold off Schrader for the win,” added Butler. “It was a little nerve-wracking knowing that there was a NEXTEL Cup driver behind me. I just tried not to look in the mirror and made sure that I hit all of my marks. When we crossed the start-finish line when they threw the checkered, I didn’t even know that it was over until the guys started screaming on the radio that we had won. It was awesome.”
For more information on the Butler Brothers, please visit http://www.butlerbrothersracing.com.