KIMMEL EARNS FIRST WIN OF 2006 IN WILD WINCHESTER FINISH Winchester, IN (May 7, 2006) -- Frank Kimmel endured a day involving flat tires, running out of fuel and seven visits to pit road to earn his first victory of the 2006 ARCA RE/MAX...
KIMMEL EARNS FIRST WIN OF 2006 IN WILD WINCHESTER FINISH
Winchester, IN (May 7, 2006) -- Frank Kimmel endured a day involving flat tires, running out of fuel and seven visits to pit road to earn his first victory of the 2006 ARCA RE/MAX Series season. Within the final 14 laps of the ARCA 200 at the Winchester Speedway, the No. 46 Pork Racing Ford Fusion ran out of fuel, came to pit road and was able to take the lead and the win in turn four on the final lap of the race.
"This was an unbelievable race for the Pork Racing team," said Kimmel. "We battled back so many times today and just had a strong enough race car to work our way back to the front there on the last lap. When the car ran out of gas there on the backstretch with like 15 laps to go I couldn't believe it because fuel mileage was not even a concern for us at that point. But thanks to Todd Bowsher giving me a little help to pit road, we were able to get some fuel in it without going a lap down. Our Joe Rhyne horsepower helped get us through the field with 12 laps to go and then finally around TJ (Bell) on that last corner to take the checkered flag."
Kimmel qualified his Pork Ford in the fourth position after turning a lap faster than he had practiced. On the first lap of the event Kimmel quickly moved into the second position and looked to be on his way to the leader when on lap four he reported a tire going down. A lucky caution flew on the following lap due to another car spinning on the front stretch. Kimmel was able to come to the attention of his Pork Pit Crew on lap six for fresh left side tires and again on lap 11 for right side tires. When the field restarted on lap 14, Kimmel felt an extreme tight condition come over the race car making it nearly impossible to turn down off the corners. And when another caution flag flew on lap 20, the Pork Pit Crew once again sprung into action pitting Kimmel for right-side tires on lap 22 and left sides on lap 23.
Over the next 50 laps, the field saw five caution flags and Kimmel was able to work his way from the 34th position on lap 25 to the lead on lap 89. Once Kimmel gained the lead position he put a four-second lead over the second place car. But on lap 186 as the field circulated under caution, Kimmel's car ran out of fuel on the backstretch and his first victory of 2006 looked as if it has slipped away. But the Todd Bowsher car pushed Kimmel to pit road where the team gave him a splash of fuel and sent him back out for the restart with nine laps remaining in the race and Kimmel in the tenth position for the restart. With two more cautions before the checkered flag, Kimmel moved into the third position as the field set up for a green-white-checker finish and Kimmel on fresher tires was after the win.
Kimmel quickly moved into the second position on the green flag and worked around TJ Bell in turns three and four on the white flag lap to take the checkered flag and his first win with his new Pork Racing colors of 2006. This win marks Kimmel's fifth win at Winchester Speedway and fourth in a row at the famed short track.
"We really had to work hard for this win today," said Kimmel. "The guys did a great job all day and even with the adversity of the day, we all just kept plugging and got the win that we have been looking for this season. We got a lot of breaks on the track today with caution flags at the right times and being able to work through lapped traffic, but this was a hard-fought win and hopefully this will give us the momentum we need heading to Kentucky next weekend."
Following the ARCA 200, Kimmel moved into the third position in ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship points, only five points behind second place of TJ Bell and 85 points out of first place currently held by Bobby Gerhart. The next event for Kimmel and the ARCA RE/MAX Series is Saturday, May 13 at the Kentucky Speedway. The event is scheduled to take the green flag at 3:00pm ET.