Wallace Captures First Chicagoland Speedway Win

In only his sixth ARCA RE/MAX Series race this season, Steve Wallace(19-year-old son of former NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series veteran Rusty Wallace) scored his second win of the season after capturing the checkered flag at the SK Hand Tool 200 at the Chicagoland Speedway this afternoon.

Blake Bjorklund (who started the day eighth) finished a distant second, 5.936 seconds behind Wallace, shattering the previous track record for the largest margin of victory in an ARCA race at Chicagoland Speedway. The old record was set on Sept. 1, 2001, when Jason Jarrett finished 2.165 seconds behind Ed Berrier. Scott Lagasse (who started the race next to Wallace) captured third place. Dexter Bean, Frank Kimmel, Billy Venturini, Jorge Goeters, Tim Russell, Justin South and Pete Shepherd rounded out the top 10.

Wallace - who won the Pork Pole Award with a qualifying speed of 177.113 mph on Saturday afternoon - held on to his first place position for the majority of the race, leading the first 50 laps. After Lagasse managed to pass him midway through the race, Wallace regained the lead on lap 100 and never looked back. This was Wallace's second win at a 1.5-mile track, with his first victory of the season coming at Kentucky Speedway's 1.5-mile oval on May 13.

"I like the mile in a half courses a lot," said Wallace. "Our Hantz Group-Nu South Lemonade Dodge ran really good today. We sat on the pole, we almost set a new track record and I think at one point we had a 15 or 20 second lead. So our car was just unbelievable today. It's the greatest car that I've ever driven in."

Bjorklund, driver of the No. 32 Country Joe Racing-Red Line Oil Dodge, was awarded the 2006 ARCA RE/MAX Series Bill France Triple Crown, a three race series that concluded this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. The Bill France Triple Crown is a separate point fund within the 23-race ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule that tests drivers on a challenging combination of venues during a nine-day stretch. The series began on Sept. 1 and included a race at Toledo Speedway (a .5-mile short track), a 100-lap event two days later on the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds one-mile dirt track and ended with SK Hand Tool 200 at Chicagoland Speedway's 1.5-mile track this afternoon.

"It's a very prestigious thing for us to win," said Blake Bjorklund. "There are some really awesome names that have won this award over the years so it's a pretty cool thing to win. We had an awesome weekend; our team is on a role...we've finished third at Toledo, fifth on the dirt at DuQuoin and had an awesome race here, finishing second. I would like to just keep climbing the ladder as far as we can get."

Bjorklund joins a list of drivers, including seven-time ARCA RE/MAX Series Champion Frank Kimmel, Brent Sherman, Tim Steele and Bill Venturini as former Bill France Triple Crown winners. In 17 career starts, Bjorklund has recorded nine top-10 finishes and four top-fives.

After the SK Hand Tool 200 at Chicagoland Speedway, Frank Kimmel remains in the first spot with 4,700 points, followed by Bobby Gehert (4,450 points), Billy Venturini (4,225 points), Ryan Howard (4,045 points) and Ryan Foster (3,830 points).

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