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Annett takes Toyota to Victory Lane at Talladega
Michael Annett, in the Pilot Travel Centers Toyota, made history Friday afternoon at Talladega Superspeedway, becoming the first driver in the 55-year history of the ARCA RE/MAX Series to bring the Toyota nameplate to victory lane.

Annett, in a Bill Davis Racing entry, fought off Roush Fenway Racing's Colin Braun on the final lap, and then edged eight-time series champion Frank Kimmel at the checkered flag by a half-car length to win the thrilling ARCA RE/MAX 250 in only his fourth series start.

"I knew they were going to try something (on the final lap)," said Annett. "Colin came to the outside of me going through the trioval. We kind of got together. I just kept my left side on the yellow line, and when we got together it slowed down his momentum. Then Frank (Kimmel) decided to go with me, and that really helped. Frank raced me clean. You can't ask for more out of your competitors.

"It was a learning experience throughout the race. We got shuffled back early, but I found out what the car needed to get back up front. And once we got up there, we pretty much stayed there."

Simultaneously, Erin Crocker, who finished 18th, made history of her own by earning the 2007 Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge Championship, becoming the first female driver to win the award.

"It's a really big deal for me," said Crocker. "It's a really prestigious award and it's a huge honor to win it. When you look back at some of the drivers who have won ARCA's superspeedway title, from Davey Allison to Frank Kimmel, it makes it even more special.

"I also think it could really help my career. It means something to be the ARCA RE/MAX Series Superspeedway champion. I'm truly honored to hold the title."

Kimmel, in addition to finishing second, clinched the 2007 Bill France Triple Crown Award, which is designed to measure a driver's success on three very different tracks. This year's edition of the award included a dirt track (DuQuoin State Fairgrounds), a short track (Salem Speedway) and a superspeedway (Talladega).

"I think the fastest car won the race," said Kimmel. "Michael (Annett) did a nice job. He was really fast. We just couldn't quite team up enough to pass him. I was able to get by Colin (Braun) right there at the very end, and then almost made it (past Annett), but didn't quite."

Dominick Casola, in Andy Belmont's A. Casola Farms Ford, finished third, marking his career best finish in his first restrictor plate start. Casola was also the highest-finishing rookie and earned the Hoosier Tire Hard Charger honors for advancing the most positions.

"I'd never drafted with anyone before," said Casola. "So this weekend definitely paid dividends. We started in the middle, fell to the back, and I tried to work my way back up there. My car was real strong all day. I just haven't had a lot of experience on these restrictor-plate tracks."

Richard Johns finished fourth in the BeavEx Ford. Billy Venturini finished fifth in the Hampton Luxury Homes Chevrolet.

From start to finish, Annett was the dominant player in the show, leading 75 of the 94 laps that made up the 250-mile race. Braun was also a factor most of the way, leading eight laps before getting shuffled back to ninth at the finish.

2007 Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti made his stock car debut in Chip Ganassi's Dodge, and finished 17th.

"I gained a huge amount of experience learning from the start of the race," said Franchitti. "The first part of the race I was drafting like an Indy car. I was getting up behind people and then I figured out it was more important who was pushing you than who is in front of you. Once I figured that out I was getting into side drafting and everything started to come together.

"It was a lot of fun out there. I'm disappointed with the result, but what I've learned, I don't think you can put a price on it. I learned so much today. I'm looking at the long game. I'm looking at next year. From that point of view, I'm very happy. I'm a little disappointed because I think the Target guys deserved a better result than that."  

Bryan Clauson earned the SIM Factory Pole Award on Thursday with a speed of 184.840 mph. Clauson also battled back from one lap down to finish 11th. 

Next up for the ARCA RE/MAX Series is Championship Weekend at Toledo Speedway. The Hantz Group 200, presented by Belle Tire, is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sunday, October 14. Tickets are available by calling Toledo Speedway at (419) 727-1100.



1 2 28 Michael Annett/Des Moines IA Pilot Travel Centers Toyota 94 Running
2 9 46 Frank Kimmel/Clarksville IN Pork-Fort Dodge Animal Health-Greenheck Ford 94 Running
3 21 1 Dominick Casola/Holmdel NJ A. Casola Farms Ford 94 Running
4 14 39 Richard Johns/Charlotte NC BeavEx Ford 94 Running
5 10 15 Billy Venturini/Chicago IL Hampton Luxury Homes Chevrolet 94 Running
6 15 3 Jeremy Clements/Spartanburg SC Liquid Lightning Boltz Chevrolet 94 Running
7 7 21 Scott Speed/Manteca CA Red Bull Toyota 94 Running
8 35 65 Justin Marks/Rocklin CA Crocs Dodge 94 Running
9 3 99 Colin Braun/Ovalo TX Roush Fenway Racing Ford 94 Running
10 8 94 Max Dumarey/Gent Belgium BodyCoach.net Ford 94 Running
11 1 40 Bryan Clauson/Noblesville IN Memorex Dodge 94 Running
12 13 12 Mario Gosselin/Lake Wales FL DGM Racing Chevrolet 94 Running
13 30 16 Justin Allgaier/Springfield IL AG Tech-Schluckebier Farms-Auto Xpress Chevy 94 Running
14 16 7 Jason Hedlesky/Clinton MI Curtis Air Compressors Ford 94 Running
15 23 31 Tim McCreadie/Penfield NY Camping World Chevrolet 94 Running
16 27 60 Patrick Sheltra/Indiantown FL US Construction-CP Concrete Products Chevrolet 94 Running
17 6 42 Dario Franchitti/Edinburgh Scotland Target-FugiFilm-Tums Dodge 94 Running
18 19 98 Erin Crocker/Wilbraham MA MAC Tools Dodge 94 Running
19 31 52 Bill Baird/Sarasota FL Saturn Machine Dodge 94 Running
20 29 8 Marc Mitchell/Tallahassee FL Ergon Pontiac 94 Running
21 4 47 Phillip McGilton/Marion IL SI Performance Ford 94 Running
22 37 11 Bryan Silas/Stuart FL Nortrax-Holland Pump Chevrolet 94 Running
23 38 23 Josh Krug/Omaha NE Bigford Enterprises-ARCASimRacing.com Chevy 94 Running
24 40 90 Gabi DiCarlo/Phoenix AZ Great Clips Chevrolet 94 Running
25 12 04 Eric McClure/Abingdon VA Hefty Brand Chevrolet 94 Running
26 33 6 Dexter Bean/Westby WI Five Star Telecom-Glock-Cycle Country Chevrolet 94 Running
27 28 00 Robb Brent/Shelby Township MI Orchard Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ford 94 Running
28 20 5 Mark Thompson/Cartersville GA Lucas Oil Chevrolet 94 Running
29 41 25 Ryan Fischer/Surrey BC LBT Inc-Venturini Motorsports Chevrolet 94 Running
30 17 09 Eddie Mercer/Pensacola FL Miccosukee Indian Gaming & Resort Chevrolet 87 Running
31 32 4 Tim Andrews/St. Louis MO Dodge Motorsports Dodge 85 Running
32 22 61 Chase Austin/Mooresville NC HomeLife Communities Dodge 78 Engine
33 11 2 Michael McDowell/Phoenix AZ Lotame-Make A Wish Dodge 72 Accident
34 34 32 Brian Scott/Mooresville NC Red Line Oil Dodge 72 Accident
35 25 22 Josh Wise/Riverside CA NAPA-ESR Development Toyota 72 Accident
36 26 07 Billy Tanner/Newtown PA CheapCaribbean.com Chevrolet 72 Accident
37 18 18 Billy Leslie/Algonac MI Titan Tires & Wheel Ford 71 Accident
38 36 59 Justin South/Hueytown AL G-Force Racing Gear-Alabama Brick Dodge 67 Running
39 24 29 Mike Ciochetti/Clayton GA Daytona-n-Friends.com Ford 53 Accident
40 39 84 Norm Benning/Pittsburgh PA Valley Air Supply-Baptist Physical Therapy Chevy 52 Accident
41 5 20 Bobby Santos III/Franklin MA Chimney Rock Cattle Company Toyota 2 Engine

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