Speed Spares None In Kentucky ARCA Triumph From ARCA PR
Scott Speed Overtakes Caisse Late for Victory
Scott Speed gambled on fuel mileage, dodged a dozen bullets, and in the end, out-dueled Sean Caisse during two late-race restarts to win the event-filled ARCA RE/MAX Series 150 Friday night at Kentucky Speedway.
Speed, in Eddie Sharp's Red Bull Toyota, maneuvered to the outside of Caisse on a restart inside of 10 laps remaining, and then held off Caisse on the final restart with just one lap to go to earn his second career series triumph in his 12th series start.
"It's cool to win a race like that," said Speed. "Me and the 01 (Caisse) had a great battle the last 30 laps or so. I'm glad I could pull this off for my guys. We went back and forth with each other a lot on the restarts. That just shows two good drivers racing really hard and really clean. Yeah, it was definitely real exciting for me."
"I don't think we had the best car, but we definitely had a great car. It was really great - to win one like that, it means a lot, definitely."
Caisse, in Shigeaki Hattori's Aisin AW Toyota, was pulling away from Speed late in the race when the ninth of a record 10 cautions came out for a two-car wreck on the frontstretch. On the restart, Speed maneuvered to the outside of Caisse to lead the 93rd lap of the scheduled 100 lap/150-mile race, and then kept Caisse at bay. But just as Speed took the white flag, the caution appeared again after Ken Butler III bounced off the frontstretch wall, which would ultimately lengthen the race to 104 laps to accommodate the ARCA-mandated green-flag-finish. When racing resumed with one lap remaining, Speed got the jump and pulled away by five lengths over Caisse, who had to settle for second after leading 17 laps.
"We had issues with 20 to go with the throttle sticking," said Caisse. "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 was making my restarts slow. He (Speed) went to the outside and the 16 (Justin Allgaier) followed. I was able to get the 16 back."
Allgaier, in a back-up car after wrecking his primary car in practice, finished third in the AG Tech-Hoosier Midwest Chevrolet.
"We were hoping that we were going to pull off a miracle," said Allgaier. "With about eight to go I had a really good run but I knew I didn't have anything for them after the restarts. Speed, especially, just pulled away from the field. This finish is a true testament to these guys on the crew. They worked their butts off to get this car ready for qualifying and the race tonight."
Frank Kimmel, who led 17 laps, finished fourth in the Comfort Systems USA-Ford Drive One Ford in front of SIM Factory Pole Award winner Brian Scott, who finished fifth in the Albertsons Chevrolet.
Scott led the first 13 laps before current point leader Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. took control of the top-spot for the next 18 laps. Then Kimmel, a four-time Kentucky winner, raced his way past Stenhouse into the lead on lap 31 and led up through lap 47. However, Kimmel pitted for service under caution handing the lead to Speed, who had already come back through the pack. Over the final 55 laps, Speed and Caisse exchanged the lead four times before the checkered flag finally waved.
In addition to the victory, Speed led the most laps (39) earning the Aaron's Lap Leader award and was the SunTrust Highest Finishing Rookie. Speed also earned the Klotz Halfway Leader award.
Matt Hawkins finished sixth in the JaniKing-Racing Radios Dodge. Matt Carter was seventh in the Stine Seed-Hantz Group Ford. Robb Brent, Michael Phelps and Justin Lofton were eighth, ninth and 10th
Speed also closed to within 65 points of current ARCA RE/MAX Series point leader Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. after Stenhouse finished 13th following an on-track incident that left his Save a lot Food Stores Ford with significant body damage.
Tom Hessert III, who started 28th, earned the Casite Hard Charger award for finishing 12th. Caisse posted the Accel Fastest Lap of the Race. Scott's crew chief Billy Venturini was the Cometic Crew Chief of the Race.
The ARCA RE/MAX Series returns to its short-track roots next weekend for the Berlin ARCA 200 at Berlin Raceway Saturday, August 26th before returning to superspeedway racing at Pocono Raceway on August 2nd for the Pennsylvania 200.
Top-10 ARCA RE/MAX Series Points After The Kentucky ARCA RE/MAX 150 at Kentucky Speedway (7-18-08); 1) Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. 2660; 2) Scott Speed 2595; 3) Matt Carter 2535; 4) Frank Kimmel 2530; 5) Justin Allgaier 2375; 6) Tom Hessert III 2290; 7) John Wes Townley 2260; 8) Tayler Malsam 2220; 9) Dexter Bean 2160; 10) Patrick Sheltra 2145.
Scott Speed celebrates another ARCA victory. (ARCA / Bob Costanzo Photo)