Kimmel Short Track King: Ready to Tackle Berlin Raceway TOLEDO, OH (6-23-06)--Frank Kimmel has rewritten the record books during the course of his ARCA RE/MAX Series career, winning an unprecedented seven national championships, becoming the...
Kimmel Short Track King: Ready to Tackle Berlin Raceway
TOLEDO, OH (6-23-06)--Frank Kimmel has rewritten the record books during the course of his ARCA RE/MAX Series career, winning an unprecedented seven national championships, becoming the series all-time superspeedway lap leader and ranking second on the all-time winner's list with 65 career victories.
Three of those victories have come at Berlin Raceway, a feat that Kimmel hopes to repeat on Saturday, July 15th when the Sara Lee/GFS Marketplace 200 rolls off on the .4-mile paved oval.
Last season, Kimmel finished fourth at Berlin, just behind Joey Miller, Brian Tyler and Tim Steele in a short track thriller that kept fans on their feet for many of the closing laps.
Kimmel's last Berlin victory came in 2004, when he won the rain-shortened event in spectacular fashion over rookie AJ Fike. In 2003, he battled North Barrington, Illinois' Brent Sherman to win the 200-lap contest. Kimmel was also victorious at Berlin in 1999.
Other short tracks where Kimmel has captured ARCA RE/MAX Series wins include Toledo, Salem, Five Flags, Flat Rock, Flemington, Kil-Kare, Lake Erie, Shady Bowl, South Boston and Winchester.
Judging by his numerous career accomplishments, Kimmel is as prepared as anyone to tackle Berlin. This year, he was selected to join the 2006 Crown Royal International Race of Champions (IROC) Series, making him the first champion in ARCA RE/MAX Series history invited to compete in the series.
"I'm really, really excited to race in the Crown Royal IROC Series," said Kimmel upon learning of his invitation in January. "I'm very honored that they have given us this opportunity. I would be remiss to say that without racing in the ARCA RE/MAX Series I would never have had the opportunity to race in IROC. The folks at ARCA have been extremely helpful and racing in that series all these years has done a tremendous job preparing me for this opportunity."
But the Crown Royal IROC invitation is only one of many firsts for the veteran ARCA RE/MAX Series driver. In 2005 he joined Richard Petty and the late Dale Earnhardt as the only drivers in auto racing history to win seven championships on a national stock car tour that competes on both short tracks and superspeedways.
Six of those titles came consecutively, a feat unmatched in the aforementioned category.
He followed up his champion accolades last January when he was elected by the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association (AARWBA) to join the All-America First Team in the Touring Series category. The 2005 honor marks the second time he has been selected for the honor, and he remains the only driver in ARCA RE/MAX Series history to be elected to the team.
But for all of the awards, honors and races that Kimmel has won during his storied ARCA career, the veteran driver continues to push forward, trying to better his own records. This season, he has elected to run a second team for the duration of the 2006 season, fielding cars for rookie Ryan Foster.
Whether Kimmel can add to his seven ARCA RE/MAX Series championships in 2006 with a Crown Royal IROC title or a record shattering eighth ARCA championship remains to be seen. But first and foremost on Kimmel's mind is the Sara Lee/GFS Marketplace 200, where a large field of ARCA entries is expected.
Tickets to the ARCA RE/MAX Series Sara Lee/GFS Marketplace 200 are available by calling the Berlin Raceway ticket office at (616) 456-0122. For up-to-date information on the ARCA RE/MAX Series, visit the official ARCA website at www.arcaracing.com.