Frank Kimmel, driver of the No. 44 Ansell-Menards Ford, has been a busy man since leaving the beaches of Daytona last month. Since his 10th place finish at Daytona International Speedway the nine time ARCA Racing Series Champion has been very active. Frank attended a car show, appeared on a TV show, was present for two meet-and-greets at Menards locations, including a Menards grand opening in Sterling, Illinois, and shot an Ansell commercial at the Menards store in Columbus, Indiana. Nevertheless, Frank took a few moments to reflect on Daytona and discuss the upcoming ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards race weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.
Frank Kimmel Post Daytona Quotes:
What was the history of the Ansell-Menards Ford that you drove at Daytona?
“The Ansell-Menards Ford that I drove at Daytona is an old David Ragan Ford Fusion out of the Roush Fenway stable. I don’t know its exact history at Roush but we did race it at Talladega in 2010 and ran in the top-10 for almost the entire race…unfortunately I got shuffled out at the end and finished 11th.”
What was the strategy in dropping to the rear at the start of the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 and do you now think it was the right decision?
“Yea, I was really happy with how it turned out. I moved to the back with a few other guys that I trusted and we worked really well together throughout the race. The thought was to stay out of trouble for those first few laps and I think we accomplished that, considering many of the guys who went to the back with me finished well.”
What are your thoughts on the new pavement at Daytona?
“They did a really nice job. The track was so smooth, which made it very easy to move around.”
Do you think the racing will be different next February?
“I’m sure it will gain a certain amount of character throughout the year but I don’t think it will be noticeable the first few years.”
Did you have a chance to watch any of the other races at Daytona and what did you think about the racing?
“I watched most of the other races. The two car drafting was interesting and produced some exciting finishes, but I’m not sure I would like it.”
I also had a chance to watch the last 10 laps of the Phoenix race and it was nice to see Jeff Gordon get the win. Like me, he really wanted to win and seeing him break through gives me a boost of confidence that a victory for us is coming soon.”
What do you think is the key detail that you and the Kimmel Racing crew need to work on between Daytona and Talladega?
“We really need to get our Ansell-Menards Ford stronger for qualifying…that’s been a real inconsistent part of our restrictor plate program.”
How was the trip to Disney World with your Family?
“It was great…we rode plenty of rides. I get to see my family at the race track but it’s not the same as going somewhere with them and just enjoying their company with zero distractions. However, I’ll have to admit, I was completely worn out afterwards…all that running around had me grateful to see the bed each night.”
Frank Kimmel Talladega Quotes:
Will you test at Talladega later this month?
“Yea, we’ll go down for the test. There’ve been a few rule changes, so we need to get those tested out, as well as getting our Ansell-Menards Ford better in a few other areas.”
Will you run the same Ansell-Menards Ford at Talladega as you did at Daytona?
“We’ll take the same Ansell-Menards Ford that we ran at Daytona. I think it raced pretty well and drafted really good.”
What’s the major difference between Daytona and Talladega?
“Talladega has so much more room to maneuver. It’s more forgiving…even with the new surface. Running three wide at Daytona can get a little hairy and you really have to pay attention but at Talladega it’s much easier.”
You’ve won at Talladega, so what would it take to win there again?
“Absolutely, we can win again…if we’re in the right position at the right time. Talladega, like Daytona, is like playing a big game of chess. The right move means everything.”
Do you expect a different outcome at Talladega than at Daytona, or do you think your team’s better days are yet to come at some of the other tracks on the ARCA Racing Series Schedule?
“I’m confident that we can finish in the top-five at Talladega in our Ansell-Menards Ford and if we put ourselves in position a win is realistic.”
Overall, I’m very optimistic about this year. We’re getting our cars ready…working on the bodies, chassis and I feel like we learned a great deal from last year, so the heart of this year’s schedule should play to our advantage.”
How have you been putting your Ansell Gloves to work during the break between Daytona and Talladega?
“We’ve had plenty of storms come through this winter, so my wife has kept me and my Ansell gloves busy cleaning up the yard….picking up limbs and branches. Not to mention, I use them every day in the shop to work on our Ansell-Menards Ford Fusions.”
What features do you like to speak about when you’re recommending a pair of Ansell gloves to someone?
“It’s really an amazing glove that can be used in practically any profession. We use them in the shop everyday…from moving sheet metal, to welding, or even moving the cars around the shop. The thoughts that come to mind immediately are they’re really reliable and extremely durable, together with the fact that they fit your hand flawlessly. With Ansell gloves you can reach down and easily grip any small item, like a nail…..with other gloves that’s impossible, you’d end up taking them off and that slows down all your progress.”
-source: kimmel racing