Kentucky II: Rob Bunker race report

Rob Bunker practised his trademark charge during the ARCA RE/MAX Series race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., on Friday evening, but a couple of miscues zapped his effort. The Bridgewater, N.J., driver qualified the No. 4 Dodge...

Rob Bunker practised his trademark charge during the ARCA RE/MAX Series race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., on Friday evening, but a couple of miscues zapped his effort.

The Bridgewater, N.J., driver qualified the No. 4 Dodge Motorsports Dodge Charger 30th on the 41-car grid with a lap of 31.958 seconds on the 1.5-mile oval track, at an average speed of 168.972 mph. He gained six positions in the first 11 laps of the 100-lap race before trouble hit.

"A guy checked up in front of me and I spun him around," Bunker related. "If I went to the brakes any harder, somebody would have spun me around. Bob [Perona, Bunker's driving coach] told me the guy right behind was an inch away from getting into my bumper."

Race officials judged the incident to be Bunker's fault, so he was assessed a stop-and-go penalty. Back on track during a caution period, he didn't know the field was being routed through an access road, so incurred another penalty.

"I was catching up to the field and they decided that they wanted everybody to come through an access road instead of going on the track. I didn't see any other cars and nobody was pointing me anywhere, so I went on the track -- slowly -- and they brought me back into the pits for that," he said. "I went two laps down very quickly. From that point, I just had to keep my head in the game and make sure I finished the race."

He stayed on the throttle and salvaged a 25th- place finish for Cunningham Motorsports.

"It was another one of those events where we knew we could have been top-10 easy. We made a big step today in setup. Normally, I've been running a car that was just a bit tight. We've really been working on getting me used to having to catch the car a little bit in mid-corner and we've made leaps and bounds. I drove the wheels off the car," he noted.

"The whole team does their best to make sure we get all our laps in. It's cool to have that kind of commitment behind you, when everybody's behind you 100 per cent."

After a taxing event with practice, qualifying and race crammed into one day, Bunker smiled, "I hopped out of the car and I've still got some energy in me."

-credit: -- robbunker.com --

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Series ARCA