Scott Speed a "Lucky Dog" at Kansas Series PR Report
Former F1 Racer Earns Career-1st ARCA RE/MAX Series Victory in 5th Start
ARCA RE/MAX Series rookie Scott Speed, with an assist from the Aaron's Lucky Dog, won the Kansas Lottery $150 Grand Friday afternoon at Kansas Speedway.
Speed, in the No. 2 Red Bull Toyota, battled back from a lap down, blew by rookie Jesse Smith on a late-race restart with six laps remaining, and then kept Roush Fenway Racing's Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. at bay to claim his career-first victory in his fifth career series start.
Speed, who led 21 laps total, went a lap down early on while he was leading when he had to come down pit road under green to refasten his window net, which had fallen down.
"I don't let things that I can't control affect me while I'm driving," said Speed. "Obviously, something like a window net I can't control. I just got really aggressive after that happened so that we could be in a position to earn the Lucky Dog. Once we got that, I pushed real hard to make up a lot of positions."
Speed was in position to get the Aaron's Lucky Dog award during a lap 54 caution period, which put the Formula One veteran back in the lead-lap mix.
The window net that fell down could've ruined Speed's Kansas race. (ARCA/Bob Costanzo Photos)
"It's certainly great to win a race; it's been awhile. The goal is to be successful in Cup, so if we are learning a lot here, that's great. Every lap I make on a racetrack is beneficial. This is why I am pushing so hard; because it's beneficial."
Speed, who earned the SunTrust Highest Finishing Rookie honors, also established a new race record at 124.855 mph. Speed's crew chief Patrick Donahue was the Cometic Crew Chief of the Race.
Stenhouse, Jr., in the No. 99 RoushFenway.com Ford, finished second, 10 lengths away, a career-best for the Olive Branch, Mississippi driver. Stenhouse, who started 17th, also earned the Casite Hard Charger of the Race honors.
"The pit crew did an awesome job today; they gained several spots on that first caution," said Stenhouse."I have to apologize to the No. 93. I got a better run than I thought I did off four and accidentally got into him there late in the race. I was disappointed that the last caution came out. It took me a few laps to get going and there at the end I think we could have caught the leader. I just ran out of laps."
Rookie Jesse Smith, in only his third series start, finished a career-best third in the No. 30 Lloyd's Barbeque-Spam-Hormel Dodge after leading 24 laps. Michael Annett finished fourth in the No. 28 Northland Oil-Pilot Travel Centers Toyota and was the Aaron's Lap Leader of the Race after leading 29 laps. Annett was followed by Robb Brent, who finished a career best fifth in the No. 00 Orchard Chrysler Dodge Jeep Chevrolet after leading 19 laps.
In all, six drivers exchanged the lead 11 times while four cautions, all for minor incidents, slowed the race on four occasions for 19 laps.
Jeremy Clements, who led three laps, finished sixth in the 1 Stop Convenience Stores-Saxon Group Chevrolet.
Speed's teammate Ken Butler III, in the No. 22 Aaron's Lucky Dog Dream Machine Toyota, finished seventh after earning the SIM Factory Pole Award with a new one-lap track record of 175.330 mph. He was one of five cars to qualify faster than the track's previous record. Butler also posted the Accel Fastest Lap of the Race.
Patrick Sheltra, in the Aaron's Outdoors Dodge, finished eighth after leading four laps. Gabi DiCarlo finished a career-best ninth in the Great Clips Toyota. Surrey British Columbia's Ryan Fischer recovered from a late-race spin to finish 10th in the Venturini Motorsports Chevrolet.
Justin Allgaier entered Kansas as the series points leader but finished 30th, 17 laps down after experiencing mechanical woes in the closing laps. Rookie Matt Carter, who finished 11th in Larry Clement's No. 46 Stine Seed-Ft. Dodge Animal Health-Pork Ford, now leads the series' point standings.
The next event on the ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule is the Carolina 500 at Rockingham. The race is LIVE on SPEED on Sunday, May 4th, beginning at 12 noon Eastern.
Speed climbs out of his #2 as a first-time ARCA winner.