ESR/Ken Butler III season review

No. 22 Aaron's Lucky Dog Team -- 2008 Review DENVER, N.C. (November 12, 2008) -- Ken Butler, III completed his first full ARCA RE/MAX Season behind the wheel of the No. 22 Aaron's Lucky Dog Toyota in 2008 after a partial run in 2007. Despite...

No. 22 Aaron's Lucky Dog Team -- 2008 Review

DENVER, N.C. (November 12, 2008) -- Ken Butler, III completed his first full ARCA RE/MAX Season behind the wheel of the No. 22 Aaron's Lucky Dog Toyota in 2008 after a partial run in 2007. Despite not being a true rookie, KBIII had a lot of firsts this season. They included running at Daytona International Speedway, running on dirt in Illinois, racing on a road course, and earning his first (and second!) career pole positions. The Georgia-native finished the season 10th in the 2008 Championship Point Standings, logging seven top-10 finishes, one top-5, and two pole positions.

Here's a little 2008 review...

KBIII and his Eddie Sharp Racing teammates arrived in Daytona with a strong car for the ARCA 200. Suffering damage in the multi-car pile-up on lap 30, Crew Chief Wayne Carroll and the No. 22 crew worked feverishly in the pits and the garage, losing only 7 laps. Returning to the track, KBIII drove the wheels off of his Aaron's Toyota, at times running faster than the leaders. KBIII and the No. 22 team came home in the 19th position, nowhere near the potential of the car.

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, KB III was pleased with his climb to 10th in ARCA RE/MAX Series championship points.

With practice and qualifying cancelled at Iowa Speedway due to rain, the No. 22 Toyota started in the ninth position. KBIII fought a tight condition all day, wrestling the No. 22 Aaron's Lucky Dog Toyota Camry home in the seventh position.

FIRST CAREER POLE!
The Aaron's Lucky Dog Dream Machine team started right where they wanted to in the Kansas Lottery $150 Grand, up front and on the pole. With a track-record shattering 175.330 mph lap, KBIII claimed his first career pole position. The No. 22 Toyota remained strong all day, never falling out of the top-15 and finished seventh at Kansas Speedway.

Happy Birthday; not-so-happy day at the Rock...
KBII celebrated his 26th birthday at Rockingham with family and teammates. The weekend started positive a strong top-10 qualifying run for the No. 22 Aaron's Lucky Dog Dream Machine. Initially damaged in an early multi-car wreck, KBIII continued to struggle for the remainder of the race. Hard contact on lap 120 ended the day for the Aaron's Dream Machine team and resulted in a 39th-place finish at Rockingham Speedway.

HARD CHARGIN'!
KBIII earned the Casite Hard Charger award in the Drive Smart! Buckle Up Kentucky 150 for climbing 16 spots, driving the No. 22 Aaron's Lucky Dog Dream Machine to the checkered flag in the fourth position.

Costly contact...
KBIII and the No. 22 Aaron's Lucky Dog Toyota were solid all day at Toledo Speedway. KBIII ran in the top-10 nearly the entire race until contact and a cut tire cost the No. 22 team two laps and a good finish. Despite the struggles, Butler, III remained tenth in the ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship points following the Hantz Group 200 presented by Federated Car Care.

The triangular Pocono Raceway proved a challenge to the young driver. KBIII qualified in the 17th position on Friday afternoon. Falling out of the top-15 only once following a pit stop, Butler took the checkered flag of the extended Pocono 200 in the 11th position.

Another Top-10!
The Irish Hills of Michigan are home to Michigan International Speedway. The Racing for Wildlife 200 was postponed until Saturday morning due to rain. In the closing laps of the race, Butler charged hard into the top 10, finishing the day in the seventh position.

Heading to Canada with a new Crew Chief, eh!
The ARCA RE/MAX Series crossed new borders this season with a return to racing in Ontario, Canada. Also new this weekend was the No. 22 crew, led by Crew Chief Jonathan Davis. Starting 11th, KBIII charged into the Top 5 and was running fourth when contact on lap 176 sent the No. 22 Aaron's Lucky Dog Toyota into the outside wall, ending Butler's day early and in the 21st position.

Friday Night Lights...
As KBIII was coming to the checkered flag with a top 10 finish in sight on the final lap at Kentucky Speedway, contact sent the No. 22 Aaron's Lucky Dog Toyota into the wall. Butler finished the Kentucky ARCA 150 in the 28th position.

Engine woes...
Despite the cool Michigan evening, the temperatures in the Aaron's Lucky Dog team pit were extremely high. It was this heat that forced Ken Butler, III bowed out early from Saturday night's Berlin ARCA 200. Eddie Sharp Racing's KBII made a stellar seventh-place start, but finished a disappointing 25th.

At Pocono Raceway, confident they had a strong car and needing a good finish to gain momentum for the second half of the season. Despite a disappointing qualifying effort, KBIII and his team ran a solid race to bring the No. 22 Aaron's Lucky Dog Toyota home in the seventh position and move back into the Top 10 in ARCA RE/MAX Series championship points.

Another Pole!
Eddie Sharp Racing's Ken Butler, III brought home another top 10 this weekend in the Toyota 150 at Nashville Superspeedway. His stellar performance this weekend jumped the driver of the No. 22 Aaron's Lucky Dog Toyota to the ninth position is ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship points.

Gettin' down and dirty!
KBIII rebounded back from what was looking to be a disastrous weekend at Illinois State Fairgrounds. The ESR driver suffered major left side damage during his qualifying lap. The No. 22 Aaron's Lucky Dog team scrambled to repair the damage before the green flag for the Allen Crowe Memorial 100 dropped. KBIII charged like a champ, gaining a fantastic 20 positions to finish in the 13th position in his first career dirt race.

After two rounds in the Illinois dirt, Ken Butler, III can confidently say that he is not a huge fan of dirt track racing. KBIII and his Aaron's Lucky Dog team struggled in the Labor Day heat and humidity at DuQuoin State Fairgrounds and persevered to bring home a 19th-place finish in the Southern Illinois 100.

Moving on up!
KBIII and the No. 22 Aaron's Lucky Dog team ran in the top-10 nearly the entire 136-lap Chicagoland ARCA 200 at Chicagoland Speedway. A late-race caution put the No. 22 team a lap down to the leaders. Butler drove hard to a tenth-place finish, catapulting the Georgia-native from tenth to seventh in ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship Point standings.

Rubbin's Racin'...
KBIII and his team left Salem, Indiana battered and bruised following some Saturday Night short track racin' at Salem Speedway. KBIII led the race early but heavy damage from the melee that red flagged the race left the No. 22 barely recognizable and 36 laps down to the leader following green-flag repairs in the pit. The No. 22 was still incredibly fast and running in a pack with the top-5 cars. KBIII took the checkered flag in the 19th position.

Turn RIGHT!?
KBIII made his road course debut at New Jersey Motorsports Park. KBIII had raced his way from 16th into the top-10 only to have contact send him back to the pits for repairs. Shortly after the stop the race was ended early due to anticipated inclement weather and KBIII took the checkered flag in the 16th position.

FIREBALL!
KBIII felt the wrath of the ticking time bomb otherwise known as Talladega Superspeedway. KBIII climbed an impressive 22 positions in only 12 laps when he was slammed hard into the outside by the No. 25, the first of many victims of a right-side tire explosion. The No. 22 burst into flames before KBIII could climb out of the wreckage. He was treated and released from infield care.

That's a wrap!
KBIII and his No. 22 Aaron's Lucky Dog team wrapped up the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Season this weekend with the Hantz Group 200 at Toledo Speedway. KBIII ran in the top-10 all day only to have late race contact put him a lap down. Butler took the checkered flag in 11th place, completing the season 10th in the championship point standings.

Following the season finale, KBIII traveled to Pensacola, Florida with his family for vacation where he proposed to girlfriend Jaime Wolf!

-credit: esr

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Ken Butler III , Ken Butler