BRYAN’S FIRST WIN MARKS CLOSEST FINISH IN ARCA RE/MAX SERIES RACE AT CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY
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September 10, 2005 - In only his second ARCA RE/MAX Series start, rookie driver Dawayne Bryan won the S-K Hand Tool 200 at the Chicagoland Speedway this afternoon. David Ragan finished second, just 0.267 seconds behind Bryan, shattering the previous track record for the closest finish in an ARCA race at Chicagoland Speedway. The old record was set on Sept. 6, 2003, when Greg Sacks finished 1.715 seconds behind Frank Kimmel. Fellow rookie driver Joey Miller captured third place. Steve Wallace, Tim Steele, Davin Scites, Mark Gibson, Billy Venturini, Frank Kimmel and Michael Simko rounded out the top 10.
Bryan, who started in the fifth position, managed to work his way up to first place on the 32nd lap, staying in the top position for four laps. Bryan regained the lead on lap 104 and never looked back, taking the checkered flag to win his first-ever ARCA RE/MAX Series victory.
"It was real nerve wracking," said Bryan. "I was ready for it to be over with a long time before it was. The last restart, I went from first to second and the fuel pressure light came on, motor shut off. I pulled down, out of the way, to keep from getting run over. For some reason, I don’t know why, I think God picked the motor back up and started going again. I got a run off Joey (Miller) and Billy (Venturini) off of Turn 2 and managed to get back by both of them. I got into Joey a little bit into (Turn) 3, but the last lap of the race you’ve got to go for it. I didn’t mean to, but that happens."
A late-race restart jumbled the pack and scrambled the leaders. Bryan bumped Miller from behind, allowing him and second-place finisher David Ragan to pass with just two laps to go.
"The car that won the race just won it on pit strategy," said Ragan. We (Joey Miller and David Ragan) had the two fastest cars all day. We only made a couple of adjustments. I wish we had another 100 laps by the time we caught back up. But it was a good run for us. I'm happy to finish in the top five, but we always want to win. We’ll try to do a little better next time."
Miller, who led 83 laps, fell back to fourth position later in the race. On the last restart, the Pork Pole Award winner charged forward, but was held to a third place finish. Miller, who was named Readyhosting.com Lap Leader of the race, has now earned six Pork Pole awards in 2005, more than any other driver in the series. After the S-K Tool 200 at Chicagoland Speedway, Frank Kimmel remains in the first spot with 5,435 points, followed by Joey Miller (5,050 points), Ken Weaver (4,505 points), Chad McCumbee (4,255 points), and Mark Gibson (4,260 points).