Kansas: Scott Speed race report

Focus and Determination Put Speed in Victory Lane at Kansas Speedway KANSAS CITY, Kan. (April 25, 2008) -- Scott Speed effortlessly led the first lap and the last lap of the Kansas Lottery $150 Grand. Window net down, lap down, lucky dog, and...

Focus and Determination Put Speed in Victory Lane at Kansas Speedway

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (April 25, 2008) -- Scott Speed effortlessly led the first lap and the last lap of the Kansas Lottery $150 Grand. Window net down, lap down, lucky dog, and stellar restarts, the 98 laps in between were anything but easy as Scott Speed truly earned his first stock car win and the first Eddie Sharp Racing win for 2008.

Starting on the outside pole, Speed took the lead into Turn 1 and started pulling away from the field. It looked like the No. 2 Red Bull Toyota was untouchable and that the 100-lap race could make for a rather boring Friday afternoon. However, at lap 10 Speed reported that the window net was down. ARCA officials black flagged the former Formula 1 driver on lap 13. Two laps later, Speed came down pit road for an unscheduled green flag stop. The team quickly fastened the window net and filled the tank with fuel. Returning to the track, Speed was one-lap down and buried deep in the field. Nothing boring here, the excitement was just about to begin.

Speed, cool, calm and unaffected by the situation, simply returned to driving the Red Bull hot rod in the 28th position. Hitting his marks and passing car after car, Speed moved himself into the Lucky Dog spot by lap 46. When the caution came out at lap 54, Speed had pushed himself into the 16th position and gained his lap back with the Lucky Dog award.

"I don't let things that I can't control affect me while I'm driving," said Speed following the race. "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."

With 25 laps to go, Speed pushed into the top-10. The driver lobbied to remain on the track rather than come in and take fresh tires during the lap 88 caution, ultimately putting Speed in place to contend for the win. Speed restarted the race in the second position on lap 93. Attacking restarts all day like a seasoned professional, Speed jumped out and quickly took the lead from the No. 30 of Jesse Smith.

With only six laps to go, the final caution of the day occurred. Restarting strong on lap 97, Speed held off the final charge of Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and had a five car length lead going into turn one. The No. 2 Red Bull Toyota kept the lead for the final three laps and pulled right into Victory Lane.

"Everything we are doing, every lap we make on the track is beneficial," commented Speed. "This is where I am learning the most. Every time I am on track I am learning."

"My team works really hard to give me these cars and I really appreciate everything they do," Speed stated and then added with a smile, "I know I couldn't get up as early as they do,"

With his first win in only five ARCA RE/MAX Series starts, Speed grabbed Red Bull its first stock car win and moved himself into the fourth position in the championship point standings, trailing leader Matt Carter by only 90 points.

Next Stop: Speed and his Eddie Sharp Racing teammates return to North Carolina to race this weekend at the resurrected Rockingham Speedway. The Carolina 500 goes green at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 4, 2008. The race will air on SPEED.

-credit: esr

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Scott Speed , Jesse Smith