Highs and Lows for Kimmel's ...
Highs and Lows for Kimmel's #44 Ansell/Menards Team at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (February 6, 2010) - Nine-time ARCA Racing Series Champion Frank Kimmel endured a roller-coaster weekend at Daytona International Speedway, ranging from a high point of announcing a three year contract extension with Ansell and Menards, to finishing a disappointing 25th in the season opening Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200.
"What a disappointing day," Kimmel commented after exiting the bent and bruised Ansell Menards Ford Fusion. "We were just biding our time at the start and hung around the top-10 to stay out of trouble."
Kimmel battled a slightly tight racecar in the beginning of the race but still managed to stay in the top ten. The team pitted following the third lengthy caution period, with the car running quite hot.
"The Ansell Menards team had a good pit stop, and we came back out and got to shuffling around to the tail of the pack and were doing just fine," Kimmel continued.
Just as Kimmel and team settled in the back of the lead draft to avoid any incidents, the No. 1 car of Nick Igdalski spun on the backstretch on lap 40. As Kimmel slowed for the caution, the No. 6 car of Formula 1 star Nelson Piquet Jr. failed to slow in time and rear-ended the No. 44 Ansell/Menards Ford.
"Next thing I knew we were under caution, and I got hit from behind on the backstretch," said Kimmel. "From that point forward, our day was ruined. What a shame. The Ansell/Menards Ford ran great, and I was really happy with it. You just can't run with the pack after being hit like that."
It took several yellow-flag pit stops to get the right side and rear-end aligned to alleviate a bad vibration caused by the accident. The last pit stop came on lap 60 as the Ansell/Menards team added two left-side tires and continued to pull out the right side of the car to prevent a tire rub and fix the toe-in. Kimmel finished the race two lapsKimmel Daytona down in the 25th position but left the weekend proud of his team, as they managed to keep the car on the track and on the lead lap until unscheduled pit stops caused them to lose the draft.
"Our guys worked hard all weekend and under some very adverse conditions," said Kimmel. "I'm proud of our guys...proud that they never quit."
The team suffered a rough start to the Daytona weekend. A blown radiator in the team's transporter during the ARCA Racing Series Presented by RE/MAX and Menards introduction hauler parade through the streets of Daytona was just the beginning, followed by Kimmel suffering from a scratched left cornea on Wednesday.
Fortunately there was an upside, as Kimmel participated in a press conference on race day morning to announce the continued sponsorship by Ansell and Menards through the 2012 season.
The Ansell Menards race team will remain in Florida, as ARCA has scheduled an open test at the Palm Beach International Raceway road course for Monday.
"I'm excited about racing there," Kimmel said, looking forward to the next event at Palm Beach International Raceway. "We're going down on Monday to test, and it will give us a little time between now and that race to work on the wrecked car, since we've got to get it ready for Talladega."
-source: frank Kimmel PR