Iowa: Ken Butler III race report

Top-10 for Ken Butler, III in Iowa NEWTON, Iowa (April 20, 2008) -- Ken Butler, III and his Aaron's Lucky Dog Dream Machine team were confident that they had a fast car this weekend at Iowa Speedway. With practice and qualifying cancelled due ...

Top-10 for Ken Butler, III in Iowa

NEWTON, Iowa (April 20, 2008) -- Ken Butler, III and his Aaron's Lucky Dog Dream Machine team were confident that they had a fast car this weekend at Iowa Speedway. With practice and qualifying cancelled due to rain, the No. 22 Toyota started in the ninth position. KBIII fought a tight condition all day, wrestling the No. 22 Aaron's Lucky Dog Toyota Camry home in the seventh position, his season-best finish.

[IMAGE]"We just fought a tight car all day," stated Butler. "Throughout the race I had to change my line because I was so tight in one and two and especially three and four. I arched it into the corners more, played with it a little throughout the race, just to get it to turn. I really want to thank Wayne and my guys. They didn't give up the entire race."

Despite the tight condition, the car was fast as Butler drover from ninth to the fifth position in the first 15 laps. The first caution of the day came at lap 15 in the Prairie Meadows 250. Crew Chief Wayne Carroll immediately asked his driver to "tell me about the car, KB." Butler replied that "this this is so tight. I'm really fighting it." When pit road opened, the No. 22 for a track bar adjustment and fuel.

With the next caution coming at lap 27, Butler came to the pits for more adjustments, this time a track bar and wedge adjustments and some additional tape on the grill, all in an effort to free-up the No. 22.

Even with an ill-handling car Butler kept the No. 22 Aaron's Lucky Dog Dream Machine in the top-10 for each of the 250 laps. Carroll called lap times to his driver throughout the race as Butler searched for a line that was fast and allowed him to manage the car.

"At the beginning of the race, it just wasn't turning right," said Butler. "We'd come in and free it up. It would get a little better for a while, but it wasn't great. We'd come it again, and free it up some more. And every time we'd put on tires, it would take forever for the car to come in. we weren't fast off the get go, just later the car would come in. The second to last run we had, after the changes, we were finally decent. We were pretty good between [turns] one and two, but [turns] three and four the thing would just not turn. It would not turn. I had to back up my corners SO much. The slow cars were even faster than me in three and four, which means we were that good in one and two and down the straightaways to hold our position like we did."

The pit crew put back on track in the top-5 following the caution at lap 214. Butler radioed that he couldn't turn it at all and asked if the team had gone in the opposite direction with their adjustments on the last pit stop. Fighting hard for the final 34 laps, Butler slid from the fourth position to the seventh position when the checkered flag waved. The crew quickly examined the car following the race to find that left rear tire pressure had equalized.

Following the race, Butler added that "the front tire equalized which means we had no stagger in the rear. And if that tire hadn't done what it did, equalized that last run we would have been there. I don't think those last few cars would have gotten by us and we would have stayed up in the top-5 with no problem. When the cars would catch me, I couldn't even race them, it just wouldn't turn."

Butler smiled and said, "We'll move on to Kansas now. This is my first trip there. We were planning to test there, but the rain cancelled the ARCA open test. I like Kentucky a lot, so I think we'll do well. I want to thank all the Aaron's and all the associates for cheering us on each week. We'll get this Aaron's Lucky Dog Toyota in Victory Lane soon!"

-credit: esr

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Ken Butler III , Ken Butler