From the Kentucky Speedway
SPARTA, Ky. (July 8, 2005) ARCA RE/MAX Series driver Chad Blount on July 8 won a fuel-mileage gamble at Kentucky Speedway and held off a late charge from pole winner Erin Crocker to bring home his series-leading fourth victory of the season in The Channel 5 150.
Photo by Don Ward
Chad Blount celebrates
his fourth win of the
season, and his second
Satisfied with his tire and car performance, Blount pushed his No. 67 Chevrolet 65 laps into the 100-lap race without making a pit stop. He held the lead and was running low on fuel on Lap 67 when T.J. Bell spun his Chevrolet in the backstretch to bring out the fourth caution of the race.
The break in the action allowed Blount to pit but it cost him the race lead for the first time when Crocker, who pitted on Lap 29 during the third caution period, stayed out to lead her first of five laps on the night.
The team did a real outstanding job giving me good fuel mileage, Blount said. We just new it was a matter of time that somebody wouldve run out of fuel before us or wed catch a caution. Who wouldve figured that wed ever go green that long?
The race restarted with Crocker in the lead on Lap 73, but it Blount took less than one lap to regain the top spot.
His lead, however, was threatened on Lap 74 when a critical caution flag flew for a multi-car incident in Turn 1 that began when the Dodge of Dawayne Bryan pinched the Pontiac into the wall coming out of the frontstretch.
Blount narrowly beat Crocker off pit road after the ensuing pit stop and raced away to a one-second lead following the Lap 86 restart, while four-time Kentucky Speedway winner Frank Kimmel and his No. 46 Ford lurked behind the pair in third.
Photo by Don Ward
Erin Crocker, backed
by Evernham Motorsports, won the pole and finished second at Kentucky.
Clean air is so important with these cars because theyre so aero dependent, Blount said. I knew that we were going to have to get after it on the restart if we stood a chance to get back out in front and keep the car in clean air.
His strong restart set up a dramatic closing-laps battle with Crocker. She cut Blounts lead to as little 0.155 of a second with five laps remaining with a strong run through the middle of Turn 4.
Blount remained focused, weaved his way through lapped traffic and held off Crockers final attempt at a pass with two laps to go and took his second career Kentucky Speedway win and his fourth top-two finish in as many starts at the track before a crowd of 15,205.
| | Pos Start Driver Laps Make
ARCA RE/MAX Series
"Channel 5 150"
July 8 at the Kentucky
Speedway, Sparta, Ky.
1 2 Chad Blount 100 Chevrolet
2 1 Erin Crocker 100 Dodge
3 3 Joey Miller 100 Dodge
4 19 Frank Kimmel 100 Ford
5 12 Justin Allgaier 100 Pontiac
6 9 Kyle Krisiloff 100 Chevrolet
7 5 Brian Keselowski 100 Ford
8 13 Walt Brannen 100 Dodge
9 16 Bobby Gerhart 100 Chevrolet
10 15 Ken Weaver 100 Pontiac
11 7 Johnny Leonard 99 Chevrolet
12 10 Chad McCumbee 99 Chevrolet
13 28 Todd Bowsher 99 Ford
14 11 Steve Blackburn 99 Dodge
15 17 Andy Belmont 99 Ford
16 8 Danny O'Quinn 98 Ford
17 4 David Ragan 98 Ford
18 20 Brandon Knupp 98 Ford
19 25 Josh Clemons 98 Ford
20 18 Michael Simko 97 Chevrolet
21 31 Ron Cox 97 Pontiac
22 6 Mark Gibson 97 Chevrolet
23 38 Brad Smith 97 Ford
24 21 Tandy Marlin 97 Dodge
25 30 Phil Bozell 96 Chevrolet
26 35 Mike Harmon 95 Chevrolet
27 29 Mike Guerity 95 Dodge
28 39 Tim Turner 90 Chevrolet
29 32 Howard Bixman 89 Ford
30 36 Norm Benning 85 Chevrolet
31 34 Bill Eversole 74Chevrolet
32 22 Billy Venturini 73 Chevrolet
33 14 T.J. Bell 72 Chevrolet
34 24 Dawayne Bryan 72 Dodge
35 26 Christi Passmore 68 Ford
36 27 Justin Ashburn 54 Ford
37 37 Darrell Basham 45 Chevrolet
38 23 Jason Jarrett 27 Chevrolet
39 40 Tim Mitchell 9 Chevrolet
40 33 Dana White 7 Ford
Winner's ave. speed: 103.587 mph.
Time of race: 1 hour, 26 minutes, 53 seconds.
Margin of victory:: 1.175 seconds.
Caution flags: 5 for 36 laps.
Lead changes: 2 between 2 drivers.
Lap leaders: Blount 1-68;
Crocker 69-73; Blount 74-100.
We definitely felt we had something for him, Crocker said. I started sliding the nose out a bit and couldnt keep up. The nose slid bad in Turn 4, we got real tight and I couldnt get around him. I wouldve liked to have a win, but Im happy with the finish. I still have a lot to learn.
Crocker ties Shawna Robinson for the ARCA RE/MAX Series record for best superspeedway finish by a female and posts the best finish for a female driver at Kentucky Speedway.
Sarah Fisher set the previous track benchmark with a thirdplace Indy Racing League IndyCar finish on Aug. 27, 2000. Robinson finished second at Daytona International Speedway in July 2001.
Blount led a total of 95 laps in the race to secure his eighth top-five and ninth top-10 finish through 11 races this season.
I knew if we kept our momentum up and I kept it on the bottom, we would have enough to hold her off, he said of Crocker late-race heroics. We just got real, real, real tight and in the last 10 lap run we were sliding the front tires. She had a good run. Congratulations to Ray (Evernham) and everybody over there, but this is a pretty sweet win.
Joey Miller finished third, Kimmel was fourth and Justin Allgaier completed the top five.