Rookie Brad Coleman Shines Under Kentucky Lights SPARTA KY (7-7-06)--Rookie Brad Coleman came from one lap down to win the WLWT Channel 5-150 under the lights Friday night at Kentucky Speedway, claiming his first ARCA RE/MAX ...
Rookie Brad Coleman Shines Under Kentucky Lights
SPARTA KY (7-7-06)--Rookie Brad Coleman came from one lap down to win the WLWT Channel 5-150 under the lights Friday night at Kentucky Speedway, claiming his first ARCA RE/MAX Series victory in his sixth series start.
"We definitely had a great car," said Coleman. "I can't thank my team enough. I don't think my team wanted to get worried--they didn't tell me I was a lap down. It was a lot of fun moving back up to the front. I love going through traffic and weaving back and forth through cars. At points, it was pretty scary though."
Coleman, who is part of a driver development program for Brewco Motorsports, parked his car on the front stretch, climbed out, and took several bows to the crowd before driving his No. 62 Federated Car Care Ford into victory lane.
The 100-lap event was lengthened to 110 laps to accommodate a green-white-checker finish after several late-race cautions.
Frank Kimmel, a four-time Kentucky Speedway winner, settled for second in the No. 46 Pork the Other White Meat Ford after leading 24 laps.
Jeremy Clements finished third in his No. 3 Hamrick's of Gaffney SC-Georgia Boot Chevrolet.
"We had a good car," said Clements. "It was a little tight in the middle; it felt good to get out there and finish one of these races. I passed a lot of cars under green."
Chuck Weber, in the No. 24 Cardinal Tool Company Ford, finished 4th after leading one lap, while Damon Lusk rounded out the top-five in the No. 65 Construct Corps Dodge.
Kimmel took the lead for the first time on lap 58 when he stayed out on the racetrack as Coleman and Erin Crocker, who had been running first and second, stopped to pit. Both drivers dropped one lap down when the caution flag waved for a stalled car on the access road on lap 62.
"I knew there would probably be another caution," said Kimmel. "We had about 20 to go there and we kind of got away from the second and third place car."
Coleman, Crocker and several others got their lead back on lap 69, after a caution flag came out for Richard Johns, who had spun in turn four. By lap 88, Coleman found his way back to the lead.
Crocker, who earned the Pork Pole Award earlier in the day, led a total of six laps but finished 27th after making contact with Matt Hagans on lap 93. Crocker's Hamburger Helper Dodge slammed into the wall, effectively ending her day. She was uninjured.
Hagans was able to continue racing but retired on lap 99 after an incident involving himself, Billy Venturini and Justin Drawdy after they went three-wide racing for position. There were no injuries.
In all, the caution flag flew nine times for a total of 51 laps, making for some very interesting restarts.
"We had an awesome racecar tonight," said Kimmel. "But the bottom line was that we just got beat by a stronger car tonight. Bill (Kimmel) kept asking me all night what he could do to the car to make me better and there really was nothing that he could do for me, the car was perfect, a little tight in turns one and two all night, but I could drive it to the bottom of the race track and just about hold the throttle down through the turns. But Brad (Coleman) was just a rocket tonight. On those last two restarts, I tried to stay with him and then we would get to the backstretch and he could pull away from me by a couple car lengths."
Dawayne Bryan finished sixth in the No. 72 Hi Tech Construction Service Dodge, while Ryan Foster was seventh in the No. 47 Frank Kimmel Ford. Bobby Gerhart finished eighth in the No. 5 Lucas Oil Chevrolet. The Lebanon, Pennsylvania native leads series point standings by 55 marks over Kimmel.
Ryan Howard finished ninth in the No. 59 Williams Bros Lumber Chevrolet after driving through the tri-oval grass on a lap seven restart. Blake Bjorklund rounded out the top-10 in the No. 32 Country Joe Racing/Bjorklund Motorsports Dodge, recovering from a lap 13 incident and a lap 84 spin.
"We were lucky some late cautions worked in our favor. We just babied the car until the end to get a solid finish. After last weekend, we needed to just finish the race in one piece and we did that," said Bjorklund.
Coleman's crew chief, Shawn Parker, earned SK Tool Crew Chief of the Race honors, while Coleman was the highest finishing rookie and posted the Hurst Fastest lap of the race award on lap 31, circling the 1.5-mile speedway at 176.045 mph. Ryan Howard earned Hoosier Tire Hard Charger honors.