Belmont Third In ARCA Points After Kentucky by Rich Romer Just ten laps deep into the Kentucky 150, Frank Kimmel's power steering pump failed. It didn't matter. Kimmel still stomped the competition Saturday afternoon at Kentucky Speedway earning...
Belmont Third In ARCA Points After Kentucky
by Rich Romer
Just ten laps deep into the Kentucky 150, Frank Kimmel's power steering pump failed. It didn't matter. Kimmel still stomped the competition Saturday afternoon at Kentucky Speedway earning his third consecutive ARCA RE/MAX Series victory. The popular Jeffersonville, Indiana veteran started from the pole, led 96 of 100 laps and coasted across the finish line for a badly needed breather with Tim Steele peddling hard in second ten lengths back. Mike Swaim, Jr. finished third while Philip Kranefuss finished fourth recording his career-best RE/MAX Series finish. Also recording his career-best finish was local favorite Willie Green of Walton, Kentucky who trailed in fifth in the Wildwood-Inn.com Ford.
It was Kimmel's 26th career RE/MAX Series win in his 195th start. In addition to Kimmel's domineering day, the current point leader and defending champion won the Old Milwaukee Pole award as well as the National Pork Producers Pole-Win bonus and the Loctite Halfway Leader honors bringing his earnings total to $20,645 for the afternoon. Steele, in the HS Die-Softech Ford, got within a length of Kimmel on a couple of occasions, but that was as close as the three-time champ could get throughout the 150 mile race. Swaim, in the Dynatek Chevrolet, was reeling in both Kimmel and Steele late in the race before time ran out on the High Point, North Carolina driver. Union, Kentucky driver Darrell Lanigan was in the hunt all afternoon and finished sixth in the RA Mueller-GE Ford while Laurel, Mississippi driver Robert Burroughs continued to impress with another top-ten run finishing seventh in the Cooper Tire Pontiac. Andy Belmont, in the AOL-York HVAC-Racecakes Ford, finished eighth. John Metcalf, in the RE/MAX Chevy, was the only other leader during the race, and that was only when Kimmel came down pit road for service. Metcalf, who was running fifth on the last lap before running out of gas, coasted to the checkered flag in ninth. Former NFL Coach Jerry Glanville, in his 14th RE/MAX Series start, raced back from an early race spin to finish a respectable tenth in the Fricker's-Zicam Cold Remedy Ford.
Andy Belmont qualified fifth for the race and described his race as, "œ...a decent run. I had a top five car all day, but late in the race the motor got tight so I had to back off. The oil temperature started going up and it is hard to focus on your driving and the gauges at the same time. The motor held together and we pulled out an 8th place finish. We were short of help at Kentucky so we qualified the car in race trim. Fifth on the grid was decent."
The AOL car Andy drove at Kentucky had a new Taurus body on it. "œThe difference between the 1999 and 2001 bodies is like night and day. The new body is so much more aerodynamic, it's like driving a different race car. I really like it. We are now working on a plan to reskin all of our race cars to the new configuration."
Andy's radio career seems to be taking a nice jump as well. Daytona Beach radio station WNDB has asked Andy to anchor their Speedweeks broadcast from the Daytona International Speedway during February of 2002. Andy will be working with Guy Hobbs. Preston Root who has worked in that slot has moved on to the Motor Racing Network with a 17 race deal this year.
After Kentucky, Andy Belmont is in third place in the ARCA/ReMAX season points trailing Frank Kimmell and Tim Steele and ahead of Jason Jarrett. Jarrett, in the Biomet-Damon RV Pontiac, was running fourth just past the halfway point until the Hickory, North Carolina third-generation driver cut down a right front tire and hit the wall in turn three. Jarrett was not hurt in the incident and walked off with the Landrum Spring Hard Luck award as a consolation.
The next ARCA race is at Lowes Motor Speedway in Charlotte as a support event to NASCAR's all star race--The Winston.