Butler, III Charges to 4th Place Finish at Kentucky SPARTA, Ky. (May 10, 2008) -- Ken Butler, III earned the Casite Hard Charger award in Saturday's Drive Smart! Buckle Up Kentucky 150 for climbing 16 spots from his 20th-place starting ...
Butler, III Charges to 4th Place Finish at Kentucky
SPARTA, Ky. (May 10, 2008) -- Ken Butler, III earned the Casite Hard Charger award in Saturday's Drive Smart! Buckle Up Kentucky 150 for climbing 16 spots from his 20th-place starting position. Butler, III stayed out of trouble for what extended into a 168-mile race, driving the No. 22 Aaron's Lucky Dog Dream Machine to the checkered flag in the fourth position.
"The Aaron's Lucky Dog Dream Machine was pretty good tonight," said Butler, III. "it was a tick on the tight side, but nothing that was overwhelming. This was a 100-lap race -- well it was supposed to be at least. We didn't qualify very well, but stayed out of wrecks and on the lead lap, which allowed us to be in the top-5 in the end."
KBIII started the No. 22 Aaron's Lucky Dog Toyota in the 20th position following a conservative 31.250 second qualifying lap. Following the first caution at lap 4, KBIII restarted in the top-15 on lap 7. The No. 22 team followed the early pit strategy with their teammate, Scott Speed, coming in on lap 29 for four tires and fuel. Butler, III restarted in the 18th position due to lead cars opting not to pit. The remaining leaders pitted under caution at lap 36, allowing for the No. 22 Aaron's Lucky Dog Dream Machine to climb to the front of the field. KBIII restarted on lap 45 in the third position.
With 25 laps remaining in the race, KBII held strong to the third position. When the caution came out at lap 75, Butler, III radioed that the Aaron's Lucky Dog Toyota was "not bad but a little tight in the corners." Crew Chief Wayne Carroll made the call to come to pit road for four tires, fuel, and wedge and track bar adjustments to aid in the tight condition. KBIII restarted on lap 81 in the tenth position. The race did not stay green for one lap and another caution came out at lap 81. With cars wrecking around him, KBIII and the No. 22 Aaron's Lucky Dog Toyota received only slight cosmetic damage out of the melee and restarted on lap 86 in the tenth position.
The eighth caution of the day came out with a big wreck in turn one on lap 99; two laps shy of the finish. With debris scattered on the track, the cars were halted and the race red-flagged. The race would be completed with a green-white-checkered finish. Butler, III restarted on lap 103 in the eighth position.
On the white-flag lap of 104, the caution came out yet again. Due to an ARCA RE/MAX Series rule that no race finishes under caution, all remaining restarts would be one-lap dashes to the checkered flags, with the green and white flags waved simultaneously. Two additional cautions and fuel mileage eliminated cars in front of the No. 22 Aaron's Lucky Dog Toyota.
With twelve additional laps, the checkered flag for the Drive Safe! Buckle Up Kentucky 150 was finally displayed. The No. 22 Aaron's Lucky Dog Dream Machine finished in the fourth position.
"Today was one of those races where it worked to stay on the lead lap, stay out of trouble, and drive smart," said Butler, III. "With that and good pits stops from my guys, we were in the top-five at the end. This was a great point's day for the No. 22 Aaron's Lucky Dog Dream Machine team. We made up some ground in the points from our poor finish at Rockingham. We'll head to Toledo next weekend where the ESR teams have always been strong and look to continue that trend! I want to thank Aaron's for their support. We had some Aaron's employees here today so it was great for them to see such a crazy race at the end and for us to get our best finish so far this season."
The top-five finish is Butler's season-best finish and advanced him into the ninth position in the ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship points standings, 200 points behind new leader Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.