Daytona International Speedway, known for its high banks, speed and bump drafting, will host the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards 47th Annual Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200. Frank Kimmel, driver of the No. 44 Ansell/Menards Ford, will compete in his eighteenth race at Daytona International Speedway. Throughout his storied career at the famed 2.5 mile superspeedway, a victory has eluded Kimmel. With nearly a decade-long span of consecutive top-5 and top-10 finishes, Kimmel is ready for a win at Daytona.
Coming off a solid 3rd place finish in the 2009 championship battle, Kimmel's Ansell/Menards team is prepared to be a major contender again in 2010-beginning with Daytona. "The overall goal for the team this year is to ultimately win the championship," said Kimmel. "I think we're as prepared as we've ever been for this season, especially for this weekends' race. After a year like last year, we're all aching to get in victory lane again and fight for the number one spot."
On-track activities for the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 will begin on Thursday, Feb. 4, with the 200-mile event set for a 4:30 p.m. green flag start on Saturday. Coverage begins live on SPEED at 4 p.m. Eastern.
Frank Kimmel, driver of the #44 Ansell/Menards:
With your 3rd place finish in the 2009 championship battle, are you fueling 2010 with momentum built from last season?
"Last year was definitely a reality check for us. We have the momentum from 2009's successes with top-5 and top-10 finishes, but along with that comes preparation in the off-season. This team has prepared non-stop for the 2010 season, and we're ready to go out there and win some races and be a championship contender all year long."
Being a veteran in the sport, what would it mean for you to win at Daytona?
"I've never won here before so it would be amazing to win at Daytona. Winning at this track ultimately makes a drivers' career and is the first thing that comes up when asked of their accomplishments. I'm very optimistic, and I'm hoping the Ansell/Menards team can enjoy the feeling together in victory lane this weekend."
How do you feel about seven out of the last eight tries resulting in top-5 finishes at Daytona, but no win?
"This Ansell/Menards team is as prepared as we've ever been for Daytona. We're using a car that Boris Said drove and had the fastest qualifying time at Talladega. Even though he didn't 'legally' get the pole due to the rain delay, it was the car with the quickest time. I don't think we have a pole sitting car, but definitely a top-10 car for qualifying."
Striving towards your unprecedented 10th championship this year, what changes have been implemented for your team to leap ahead of the competition?
"Our desire and will to win has been set to another level after coming off a winless season last year. A Ford hasn't been in victory lane in a year, so we're hoping to change that starting with the big race. We hope to continue to learn and get better as the season progresses."
What are your thoughts on Danica Patrick racing ARCA at Daytona?
"I think it's great that she's here in Daytona. It's a really neat deal for ARCA and everyone involved. She's going to bring a lot of press to the series, whether it's good or bad press, she's going to make this race one of the biggest in ARCA's media history. It'll be great for my sponsors, as well as the other drivers and series as a whole. Danica can definitely drive a racecar, but it's going to be a challenge to make the transition and deal with all the media attention she gets. I hope she does well, and I think it'd be great if she finished second-right behind the #44 Ansell/Menards Ford!"
"Kimmel's Top Ten"
Top ten things to do and places to see in Daytona Beach, Florida:
10. Prime Outlets (For my wife and daughter!)
9. The beach...of course!
8. Ponce Inlet Lighthouse
7. North Turn - The birthplace of the Daytona 500.
6. Daytona 500 Experience
5. Cow Licks Ice Cream Parlor
4. Volusia Speedway Park
3. New Smyrna Speedway
2. Mario's Italian Restaurant
1. Visit Daytona International Speedway and watch the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200!! (And see those other guys qualify for the Daytona 500- whatever that is?!)
-source: frank Kimmel PR