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Alexander Wins ARCA Michigan 200

July 21, 2001

BROOKLYN, Mich. (AP) _ Blaise Alexander won the ARCA Michigan 200 on Saturday, putting a Pontiac in Victory Lane for the first time at Michigan International Speedway since 1980.

It was Alexander’s first victory in seven races this season. He finished second on the road course at Watkins Glen two weeks ago, his only other top-five finish this year.

``I knew we had the car,″ Alexander said. ``We’ve been fast here all week.″

Frank Kimmel, the defending series champion, finished second, about six car-lengths behind Alexander after leading for a race-high 48 laps. Tim Steele was third and Rick Carelli fourth. Steele and Jeff Purvis are the only three-time ARCA winners at MIS.

Pontiacs won the first two ARCA races at MIS in 1980, but hadn’t won on the 2-mile oval in the 15 races since.

Alexander earned the pole after turning a lap at 183.650 mph, but he did not lead from start to finish. With 20 laps to go, he passed Steele and after a side-by-side battle, he maintained the lead. Alexander’s average speed was 141.149.

Kerry Earnhardt, the son of the late Dale Earnhardt, won the first ARCA race at MIS in June, but he did not here Saturday.

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