Sunday, May 13, 2001

Green leads locals in ARCA race




By Tom Groeschen
The Cincinnati Enquirer

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Frank Kimmel and Tim Steele finished 1-2.
(Ernest Coleman photo)
| ZOOM |
        SPARTA, Ky. — Willie Green of Walton, Ky., finished fifth to lead the Greater Cincinnati contingent in Saturday's ARCA RE/MAX Kentucky 150 race at Kentucky Speedway.

        Green, 36, is the son of former ARCA star Bill Green, who won four ARCA races in his career. The Green team was thrilled with Willie's best ARCA finish, because he's not a full-time racer. Willie's day job is director of transportation for Covington city schools.

        “This race, for us, was for fifth through 10th (places),” said Bill Green, who runs Master Motorsports out of Walton. “We weren't going to catch those factory cars.”

        Those would be Saturday's 1-2 finishers, Frank Kimmel and Tim Steele, the moneyed elite of ARCA. Kimmel has won three of ARCA's six races this year, Steele two.

        Darrell Lanigan (Union, Ky.) followed Green across the line in sixth place. Lanigan ran as high as third but lost ground after a midrace pit stop. Lanigan's crew said he got a subpar set of tires on the pit stop, which ended his bid to run up front.

        Jeep Pflum of Cincinnati finished 19th, and Jeff Alsip of Independence, Ky., finished 34th.

        “We're just thrilled to finish fifth,” Willie Green said. “This will help us with more sponsors in Kentucky now, too.”

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        THE WINNER: Kimmel led 96 of 100 laps, losing the lead only on a pit stop. He beat Steele by a comfortable 1.665 seconds.

        Kimmel, 39, might not be a household name in Cincinnati but is well-known to Kentucky racing fans. A native of Jeffersonville, Ind., just across the pond from Louisville, Kimmel was the 1998 and 2000 ARCA season champion and considers Kentucky Speedway a “home” track.

        “This is a pretty emotional win for us, to win here,” he said.

        Kimmel competed briefly in Winston Cup in 1998.

        CELEBRITY WATCH: Former NFL coach Jerry Glanville finished 10th in his first ARCA race of the year. Glanville, 59, has raced in several series, including NASCAR Busch and Craftsman Trucks.

        Jason Jarrett, son of Winston Cup star Dale Jarrett, started fourth but finished 29th after wrecking in Turn 3. Jarrett, 25, entered the day third in the ARCA points race.

        AUTOGRAPH BOOTH: Reds coach Ken Griffey Sr. joined Winston Cup drivers Michael Waltrip, Sterling Marlin and Brett Bodine to sign autographs at the speedway Saturday morning before the ARCA race.

        Former Winston Cup driver Ernie Irvan and ARCA stars Kimmel and Jarrett also signed.

        The speedway paid the Winston Cup drivers for their autograph shows, speedway general manager Mark Cassis said.

Special Ky. Speedway section



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