Illinois: Frank Kimmel preview

Kimmel Returns to Springfield to Defend Impressive Track Record CORNELIUS, N.C. (August 20, 2009) -- Frank Kimmel holds the distinction of being the defending ARCA RE/MAX Series Race Winner at Springfield and the current track record holder. His...

Kimmel Returns to Springfield to Defend Impressive Track Record

CORNELIUS, N.C. (August 20, 2009) -- Frank Kimmel holds the distinction of being the defending ARCA RE/MAX Series Race Winner at Springfield and the current track record holder. His success at Springfield, as well as that which he has enjoyed at DuQuoin, certainly earns him the title of Dirt Track Master among ARCA insiders, but Kimmel is humble when it comes to distinctions and he believes the most important race is the one that's ahead.

"Sure we've had success on dirt in the past but there's always pressure -- maybe some of which is self inflicted -- to add to those achievements each year," explained Kimmel. "We work really hard to prepare before heading to Springfield because it's such a fast day with practice, qualifying and the race all within a matter of hours. I think that definitely plays into our hands as a former winning team since we know a lot of what to expect when we unload."

In his last 11 races at Springfield, Frank Kimmel has won a record seven events. When he wasn't in victory lane, he was rounding out the day as the runner-up; giving Kimmel an average finish 1.36 at the one-mile clay oval. In addition, Kimmel is the track's all-time lap-leader with 570 laps-led.

"I think that being smooth and patient and taking care of your race car all day long is so important at Springfield," said Kimmel. "Tire management has also become an issue in recent years, so if you can take care of your equipment and be cautious with your tires, it gives you an edge over the competition."

"The Don" will be the car of choice for Kimmel Racing's No. 44 team. It's the same racecar Kimmel won both dirt events with in 2008.

"We're going with the same basic set up that we've raced for the last five or six years," said Crew Chief Bill Kimmel Jr. "And because of the limited amount of practice we get on Sunday before the race, we've stayed rooted in this set up. It seems to have worked in the past and we're hoping that is the fact on Sunday as well."

Kimmel Jr. believes his driver excels at Springfield because of his veteran-style patience.

"I think the style of racing required at this track really fits Frank's driving style because patience is an absolute necessity and a lot of other drivers don't have that same ability to stay focused and patient here for 100 laps without pause.

"My expectation is for the Ansell/Menards team to run up front and contend for the win. I can say without hesitation that we should be extremely competitive based on our past performance. We just can't beat ourselves by doing something like over engineering our set up or over thinking our pit strategy because, like I said, it's worked for us in the past and we believe in our plan."

Kimmel's nephew (and Crew Chief Bill Kimmel Jr.'s son) Will Kimmel will also be in the field for Sunday's race at Springfield. The younger of two Kimmel's entered in the Allen Crowe 100 will certainly look to his uncle for guidance in navigating the dirt track. The nine-time ARCA champion is used to mentoring young drivers and looks forward to the opportunity to share his wisdom with Will.

"Will and I have already talked at length about the feel of the car that he's looking for and what to expect in the race," explained the nine time ARCA RE/MAX Series Champion. "Based on how he is in practice and where he qualifies, I'll try to help him plan his race accordingly and do all that I can for him to prepare him for his first race at Springfield."

-credit: kr

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Series ARCA
Drivers Frank Kimmel , Will Kimmel