Butler, III Leaves Salem 10th in Points
Aaron's Lucky Dog Dream Machine 20th in Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200
SALEM, Ind. (April 13, 2008) -- Ken Butler, III and his Aaron's Lucky Dog Dream Machine team knew they had a car that could win this weekend at Salem Speedway. Contact in a multi-car accident on lap 29 put the No. 22 over 40 laps down as the team worked to put Butler back on track. Returning to the race, KBIII remained a fast car and finished in the 20th position. Though disappointed with the race results, Butler III was pleased with his climb to 10th in ARCA RE/MAX Series championship points.
"This was probably the most disappointing race in a long time," said a very frustrated Butler after the race. "I had a car to win, by far. I had to back up the throttle just so I wouldn't hit anybody."
The No. 22 was extremely fast and well-behaved on old tires, a great combination for the high-banked short track. KBIII and his team hung around the top of the speed charts during Saturday's practice session. With high hopes for a great qualifying run, there was disappointment in the 22 camp following the time trials.
"We have set the bar high for our team this year," commented Butler. "So a 15th place starting position is a big disappointment. We have great equipment and there is no reason to not be up front every week. The car was wicked loose for qualifying. I'm just glad it didn't get away from me. But I hate that I couldn't do better for my guys."
The Aaron's Lucky Dog Dream Machine showed its promise jumping quickly into the top-10 when the green flag dropped following the three hour rain delay. The No. 22 was pushing into the top-5 when melee erupted out of Turn-2 on lap 29. Butler visited pit road multiple times after the red flag was lifted. The first trip through, the over-the-wall crew put four fresh tires on the car and worked to bend back the damaged front right fender.
"When I was passing the 2, it looked like the field checked up in front of me," said Butler as he recalled the lap 29 incident. "I couldn't get back down and I hit the, well I don't know who it was to be honest. But it punctured a hole in my radiator."
When the damage to the radiator was discovered, Crew Chief Wayne Carroll brought the car behind the wall so the team could go to work. It took 43 laps, but the No. 22 team worked quickly to install a new radiator, cut the right front fender off, cut out duct work, and top the machine off with fuel.
When Butler returned to the track, he remained competitive and fast. Turning laps and running side by side with the lead-lap cars.
"We went 40 or so laps down [when the team replaced the radiator]. But after that we were still fast; we were a rocket!" stated KBIII. "It's just tough because once you're that many laps down you can't do anything but just make laps. And when you're that good, it was tough."
"On a good note," added Butler, "we know we have a good car. We'll get it fixed and bring it back here in the fall. Knowing we had the car to beat. I know we didn't show it on the race track, but we really did have the car to beat. We'll come back with confidence."