Kyle Busch won the Channel 5 -205 tonight in dominant style in front of 25,486 fans at Kentucky Speedway. Busch and polesitter Frank Kimmel had the strongest cars in the field for the entire race, the two drivers combining to lead every lap. The...
Kyle Busch won the Channel 5 -205 tonight in dominant style in front of 25,486 fans at Kentucky Speedway. Busch and polesitter Frank Kimmel had the strongest cars in the field for the entire race, the two drivers combining to lead every lap. The victory was the second for Busch in only his second ARCA RE/Max Series start.
Kimmel took the early lead in the race, but Busch got a great jump from the second row to battle third-starter Brent Sherman for second place going into the first turn. Busch pulled ahead of Sherman at the end of lap one and began to shadow Kimmel closely. Sherman caused the race's first caution on lap 4 with a spin at the exit of turn 2.
The caution flag waved for the second time on lap 10 for a turn 4 spin by Vern Slaugh. Slaugh's car got stuck in the soft ground of the infield, so he needed a tow to get moving again. Despite heavy rains throughout the weekend to cause the soggy conditions, the showers stayed away during the running of the race.
Busch showed the muscle of his Rick Hendrick-owned Chevrolet by pulling alongside Kimmel on the lap 14 restart. After a side-by-side lap, Busch edged ahead of Kimmel for his first lead of the night.
From there the two leaders began to pull away from the rest of the field, headed by front row starter Matt Hagans. Busch held a two second lead on Kimmel and Kimmel was 15 seconds clear of Hagans when the yellow lights came on a gain at lap 40 for a light crash between Randy Van Zandt and Kim Crosby
The leaders made their first pit stops under this caution break. The yellow period was made a little longer when Sherman's Ford caught fire on the back straight and a fire crew was dispatched to douse the flames.
On this restart, Kimmel challenged Busch, and a lap later on lap 50, Kimmel got the lead. Kimmel couldn't pull away from Busch like Busch had earlier, but the two leaders continued to dominate the field. In this middle segment of the race, the pace of the leaders put many drivers off the lead lap. By lap 75, only nine cars remained on the lead lap.
On lap 78, Busch attempted an outside pass for the lead, but Kimmel drifted up the track to block the move. Two laps later, Busch tried again and he made the pass stick on lap 81.
Through three more caution periods over the remaining 56 laps, Busch kept the lead and pulled out to a 3.395-second lead at the finish. Hagans continued his strong run to finish 3rd. Shelby Howard and Jason Jarrett rounded out the top five. Mark Gibson finished in sixth place, the last car on the lead lap, despite suffering a spin that caused the race's last caution on lap 120.
The remaining top ten finishers, all one lap down, were Joe Cooksey, Michel Simko, Ron Cox and Billy Venturini. Venturini also caused a late race caution period (on lap 98) with a solo spin.
Eighteen-year-old Kyle Busch has a great future ahead of him, with the backing of Hendrick Motorsports and guidance from his older brother, NASCAR star, Kurt. Kimmel remarked: "Any time a young driver has teams like Hendrick and Roush competing for his services, you know he has a lot of talent."
Busch commented on his course to the big leagues through racing in ARCA: "Ryan Newman, and the other drivers who have come through here (ARCA), have shown how to do it."
Busch led 91 laps and Kimmel 46. The race had six cautions lasting for 35 laps, all for minor incidents. Twenty-eight of the thirty-eight starters were running at the end of the race.