Jason Jarrett, the jewel of Kansas Speedway Kansas City, KS, by Don Radebaugh -- Like his father and grandfather before him, Jason Jarrett made his own mark in big-time motorsports with a huge victory here Saturday at Kansas Speedway. With an ...
Jason Jarrett, the jewel of Kansas Speedway
Kansas City, KS, by Don Radebaugh -- Like his father and grandfather before him, Jason Jarrett made his own mark in big-time motorsports with a huge victory here Saturday at Kansas Speedway. With an estimated 45,000 in attendance for the grand opening, the third-generation Hickory, North Carolina rookie overhauled veteran Frank Kimmel in the final laps of the inaugural BPU 200 to take his career-first ARCA RE/MAX Series triumph in only his ninth attempt.
Jarrett, who started seventh, lost the lead to Kimmel with less than ten laps remaining but grabbed it back for good less than four laps from the finish with a stellar outside pass heading into turn one.
"I knew that Frank (Kimmel) might have had a tire or motor problem or something," said Jarrett. "I knew he was going to do what he had to do to keep me behind him, but I just got a good run, and passed him on the outside. From that point on I didn't look back. I let my spotter tell me how far back he was or if anybody was on the inside of me or anything. I couldn't bring myself to look up in the mirror."
Although Jarrett was uneasy about checking the mirror, the son of 1999 Winston Cup champion Dale Jarrett and grandson of two-time NASCAR Grand National champion Ned Jarrett, had no problem eyeing-up the impressive crowd from atop his Damon RV Chevrolet in victory lane while the audience roared with its approval.
Kimmel, who won the thrilling NASCAR Winston West 100-mile race earlier that day, trailed Jarrett at the final stripe by just over two seconds to finish second thereby getting squeezed out of a $15,000 bonus up for grabs for any driver who could win both events. "I would have liked to have gone back as the first two-time winner here at Kansas," said Kimmel. "But I guess it just wasn't meant to be. I'm disappointed that we lost out on the bonus money, but I'm really glad for Jason; that's a great win for him. And that's a great team."
Outside polesitter Tim Steele finished a close third in the HS Die-Softech Ford with veteran Ed Berrier, in the Target Saws & Blades Chevrolet, trailing in fourth. Penndel, Pennsylvania driver Andy Belmont completed the top-five finishers in his AOL-York-Racecakes Ford earning the Thermo-Tec Cool Drive award for his efforts.
While Kimmel appeared to have the strongest car for much of the race, the Jeffersonville, Indiana driver was never able to shake Jarrett who kept his machine in position to win all afternoon. In all, there were 12 lead changes among five drivers throughout the 200-mile race while five cautions slowed the event for 31 laps, one of which included Old Milwaukee polesitter Ryan Newman. Newman, who led three times for 30 laps, was running third when the right-front tire went down on his Penske-owned ALLTEL Ford sending the South Bend, Indiana native hard into the turn three wall. Newman was not injured but through for the day. Kimmel, who was going after his fifth consecutive victory in Larry Clement's Advance Auto Parts-Pork Ford, led a whopping 80 laps of the 134-lap race while Jarrett led twice for seven laps. Additional lap leaders included Belmont who led six laps near the end of the race as well as Aurora, Colorado driver John Metcalf who led 11 laps on his way to a sixth place finish in the RE/MAX Int'l Chevrolet.
Jeff Falk, son of NASCAR Winston Cup car owner Joe Falk, raced his way to a respectable seventh place finish while Winston West regular Austin Cameron charged from the 33rd starting spot to finish eighth earning the Hoosier Tire Hard Charger award for advancing the most positions. Philip Kranefuss, son of Winston Cup car owner Michael Kranefuss, finished ninth with Soddy Daisy, Tennessee veteran Ron Cox trailing in tenth. Local favorite Frog Hall, a native of Kansas City, Missouri, made his return to the RE/MAX Series tour a memorable one with an 11th place finish in the Celsius Tannery Chevrolet. <pre> CURRENT POINTS:
1. Frank Kimmel 2185 2. Tim Steele 2010 3. Jason Jarrett 1710 4. Andy Belmont 1685 5. Ron Cox 1540 6. Chuck Weber 1380 7. Norm Benning 1330 8. Donny Morelock 1275 9. Billy Venturini 1260 10. Todd Bowsher 1255.