USAR: Salem: Series race notes

Mikey Kile Takes Lucas Oil 200 Last-lap bump, pass puts rookie in Salem Speedway Victory Lane Salem, Ind.--How wild was the finish of the Lucas Oil 200 presented by Touchstone Energy at Salem Speedway? Well, consider this, Benny Gordon was...

Mikey Kile Takes Lucas Oil 200
Last-lap bump, pass puts rookie in Salem Speedway Victory Lane

Salem, Ind.--How wild was the finish of the Lucas Oil 200 presented by Touchstone Energy at Salem Speedway? Well, consider this, Benny Gordon was running third and figured he was in the right place on a restart with four laps remaining.

"I really thought they were going to wreck each other and I was going to get a win," said Gordon.

Gordon was referring to leader Allen Purkhiser and rookie Mikey Kile, who were both searching for their first Hooters Pro Cup wins and leaving nothing on the table.

Gordon premonition proved incorrect, but just barely.

With two laps to go, Purkhiser carried the lead into Turn 1 before slipping up the track, allowing Kile to close within a car length. On the final lap, Kile closed enough to nudge Purkhiser up the track in Turn 2, slid past and inched away from Purkhiser to win his first Pro Cup event in his fifth start.

"There was a lot of give and take, and a lot of good racing between us," Kile said of his battle with Purkhiser. "I didn't want to get into him, but I was fighting for the win. I would've expected the same out of him."

Though the last lap battle went into overtime as the two bounced off each other the entire cool-down lap, Purkhiser agreed.

"That was just hard racing," said Purkhiser, driver of the No. 68n Bill Ellis Barbeque Ford. "If I was in his position, I would have done the same thing."

Purkhiser actually did the same thing on Lap 174. After catching Kile for the lead, Purkhiser bumped Kile high, moved to the point with 25 laps remaining and began to pull away from the field. But the late-race caution on Lap 194 changed that.

"It was good thing for us that we got that last caution, or I wouldn't have caught him," said Kile, who took home $11,800 for the win. "I was able to cool the tires off and make run at him. It looked like his car got a little tight on the restart and I was able to get under him, then it was drag race down to Turn 3."

Purkhiser tried to close on Kile in the final turn, but he came up .170 seconds shy of his first Pro Cup win.

Benny Gordon, driver of the No. 66n Samuel Metals Ford, held onto finish third.

Gary St. Amant and Mike Hampton completed the top five.

The Lucas Oil 200 featured eight lead changes among five drivers and was slowed eight times for 46 laps of caution.

-credit: usar

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Series Stock car
Drivers Mikey Kile