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Tim Steele Wins the ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Series Winn-Dixie 500K

11 October 1997

TALLADEGA, AL -- Tim Steele has won the Winn Dixie 500K here at the 2.66 mile Talladega Superspeedway. But unlike Steele's recent romps against the competition, this one Steel had to work for. It was Mark Thompson who was the thorn is Steele's side and it was Thompson that Steele beat to the line by 0.112 seconds.

Steele credits the awesome success of the HS-Die/Cimlinc Ford to the team element. "We've been together for three years now and that makes it easier," said Steele. "Ya know it's almost like we can read each others minds - there is just no second guessing.

"It was fun racing Mark (Thompson). He's a class act and you can count on him to race you clean."

The drivers that rounded out the top-five were; Bobby GerHart, Mark Stahl and Mark Gibson.

The caution flew on lap 99 after several drivers tried to take it four wide into turn three. It got nasty in a hurry when Jimmy Kitchens started twisting in a space to small. Once Kitchens car started bouncing off cars the cars around him it wasn't long before the track clogged up. When the smoke cleared in between turns three and four there was a total of ten cars involved. The driver that received the worst of it was Drew White - who is okay but his car looked more like a modified ride than a stock car when it came to rest.

The race took 2 hours 21 minutes to complete and held an average speed of 131.547 miles per hour. There were 6 cautions for a total of six laps. The only lead changes, 4 of them, were between Steel and Thompson.

The victory, Steele's 11th of the year, marks the first time in ARCA history that any competitor has won four consecutive races. "Man I love racing, and I don't care if it's peddle bikes or go-karts. I'm there," said an exuberant Steele.

Mike Snow -- The Auto Channel