Iowa: Frank Kimmel race report

Kimmel 7th at Iowa Speedway NEWTON, I.A. (July 12, 2009) -- Frank Kimmel had a busy weekend at Iowa Speedway. In addition to his participation in a variety of fan-friendly autograph sessions for both his own sponsors as well as track ...

Kimmel 7th at Iowa Speedway

NEWTON, I.A. (July 12, 2009) -- Frank Kimmel had a busy weekend at Iowa Speedway. In addition to his participation in a variety of fan-friendly autograph sessions for both his own sponsors as well as track sponsors, Kimmel had a two full days of on track activity at the one-mile oval track in Newton, Iowa en route to his fifth top-10 finish of the season.

While practice results may not have looked stellar to the naked eye, Kimmel's comfort with his racecar was sincere and his first competitive laps on the track yielded solid results.

Kimmel, who qualified in the 10th position for the 200-lap event, got a jump on the start and picked up two spots on the first lap. The opening laps of the race stretched out in a long green flag run with Kimmel holding steady on a position in the top-10. When the caution flag first flew on lap 33, Kimmel radioed Crew Chief and brother Bill Kimmel Jr. that the car was good but that it was next to impossible to pass cars for position. Kimmel Jr. made the call to pit for fuel only in effort to save tires for later in the race.

With a full tank of fuel, Kimmel restarted the race in the fourth position on lap 37. He moved quickly into the second position and battled for the lead for several laps before settling into the fourth position. The second caution flag flew on lap 50 and Kimmel once again reiterated the difficulty passing via radio communication.

The restart allowed Kimmel to once again get a jump on the cars in front of him and Kimmel battled for the second position for several laps before settling in for third place. When the next caution flag flew on lap 82, Kimmel Jr. called his driver down pit road for four tires and fuel. An extended pit stop relegated Kimmel to the 12th place starting spot when the field restarted the race on lap 88. By lap 106, however, Kimmel was back inside the top-10 pack of cars.

Kimmel's day took on a challenging turn when he reported to his team that his brakes were going on lap 125. With 75 laps left in the event, Kimmel Jr. instructed his driver to pump the brakes and stay off of them as much as possible.

The caution flag flew on lap 134 allowing Kimmel to pit for four tires and fuel and also gave him a chance to cool his brakes down. The veteran driver continued to battle for position inside the top-10, proving his ability to succeed in a challenging environment on the race track.

When the checkered flag finally flew, Kimmel brought the Ansell/Menards Ford Fusion home with a respectable 7th place finish.

"We just had a hard time passing tonight, mostly because the car was a bit tight getting in," explained Frank Kimmel after the race. "We didn't take tires there early and I thought that would give us a chance to get up front and lead some laps but the lap (down) cars made it tough to get the lead.

"Later in the race we started experiencing some problems with the brakes so it was a trying day that's for sure."

Still, Kimmel was upbeat about his results.

"As competitors, we always want more. We want to lead laps and run up front and more than anything we want to win one of these races for Ansell. Still, it was a solid day for the team, to start and finish in the top-10, that's what we needed with so many guests and supporters from Ansell here for the race. Were only half way through the season so we still have plenty of time to get to Victory Lane."

With race number 10 in the books, the ARCA RE/MAX Series prepares for next week's race at Kentucky Speedway.

-credit: kr

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Series ARCA
Drivers Frank Kimmel