Ansell Gloves 'Save the Day' at New Jersey Road Course CORNELIUS, N.C. (September 16, 2009) -- In a 67-lap event on a 12-turn road course, there are few components of the racecar as important as the shifter. Even for veteran driver Frank Kimmel,...
Ansell Gloves 'Save the Day' at New Jersey Road Course
CORNELIUS, N.C. (September 16, 2009) -- In a 67-lap event on a 12-turn road course, there are few components of the racecar as important as the shifter. Even for veteran driver Frank Kimmel, who drives the No. 44 Ansell/Menards Ford Fusion, a broken shifter should have meant an early end to the day during Sunday's South Jersey Building Trades 150 at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
On lap 40, Kimmel radioed his crew that his shifter broke leaving only a nub of a shifter to work with -- and a small, sharp metal one at that. Despite the mishap, Kimmel continued to log laps on par with his previous in race pace, even recording his fastest lap of the day after the shifter broke.
So what was the saving grace for the nine-time ARCA RE/MAX Series Champion? According to Kimmel, it was his choice of gloves that kept him in the race, a racing glove specifically produced for Kimmel by team sponsor Ansell. It wasn't until after the race when Kimmel truly absorbed what happened in those final 27 laps and realized the full impact his Ansell gloves had on his challenging day at the track.
"Without a doubt, my Ansell gloves helped me tremendously in those final laps," said Frank Kimmel. "Even the protective boot that was between my glove and the shifter couldn't withstand the friction and it had a large hole torn in it by the end of the race. Any other glove would have ripped and left me with a sore or injured hand. I truly believe that the Ansell glove saved me from any real damage to my hand. As jagged and sharp as that shifter was, I was shocked when I took off my glove after the race and saw my hand was okay."
Kimmel's veteran skills most certainly played a part in the day, as well.
"For any driver, that would have been extremely difficult to deal with for 25 plus laps," said Kimmel. "But there's something to be said for being one of the older guys who has probably more knowledge about how the shifter works and what it takes to make it go from one gear to the other than some of the younger drivers. I have rebuilt shifters over the years and the mechanical knowledge that comes from that experience definitely helped."
But the challenge was still a tough one and yet Kimmel came away with a solid ninth place finish -- his 12th top-ten finish of the season.
"I even surprised myself with making that nub work there in the end," added Kimmel. "I guess having a veteran driver with a really great glove made all the difference in the world for our team at New Jersey Motorsports Park."