Kimmel claims 2006 championship

KIMMEL CLAIMS HISTORICAL EIGHTH ARCA RE/MAX SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP Newton, IA (October 15, 2006) -- Frank Kimmel and his Tri-State Motorsports team achieved history today at the Iowa Speedway by earning their eighth ARCA RE/MAX Series...

KIMMEL CLAIMS HISTORICAL EIGHTH ARCA RE/MAX SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP

Newton, IA (October 15, 2006) -- Frank Kimmel and his Tri-State Motorsports team achieved history today at the Iowa Speedway by earning their eighth ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship and seventh in a row. Kimmel surpassed the mark of seven championships previously set by Richard Petty and the late Dale Earnhardt while competing in a national stock car touring series.

"This is just amazing to think we have won an eighth championship and seven in a row at that," said Kimmel. "To win a single championship in a season in a great accomplishment, but to win eight is almost unbelievable. We really had to overcome a lot of obstacles this season and to earn this championship feel incredible. Bobby (Gerhart) gave us a fight for much of the season and with some of the bad luck we had at mid-season, we really had to battle back to the point lead. This Pork team did a great job keeping their heads up and staying focused on the big picture and that is ultimately what won this championship for us in 2006."

In addition to competing in the ARCA RE/MAX Series throughout the 2006 season, Kimmel also became the first ARCA driver to be invited to participate in the IROC (International Race of Champions) Series. Kimmel will compete in the final IROC race of 2006 on October 29 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. He is currently in a three-way tie for the sixth position in overall points.

"Being invited to compete in IROC this season has really been one of the largest highlights in my career," said Kimmel. "I know it has meant a lot to me and the entire ARCA Series to be a part of IROC this season. I know I am really hoping that winning the ARCA Championship again this season will earn me an invite again next season because I have really had a lot of fun getting to meet and get to know the champions from all over the world."

With the 2006 season now in the record books, Kimmel's overall ARCA career stats include 322 starts, 68 wins, 196 top-five finishes and 241 top-ten finishes. Kimmel's crew chief and brother Bill Kimmel also earned the SK Crew Chief of the Year Honor for 2006. While Kimmel did not finish the 2006 season with the number of wins he and his team have become accustomed to in years past, he also admits that the competition level within the ARCA RE/MAX Series has continued to grow each season.

"Every year the competition in ARCA is increasing and the challenge to go out and win several races in the year is that much harder," said Kimmel. "But that is a credit to the series and the amount of talent they have been able to draw year after year. Our teammate, Ryan Foster, added to the competition level this season by running as high as third in the point's standings this season and finishing second in the Rookie of the Year battle. I'm sure that added to the stress on the 46 team this season, but it made us work that much harder, I think resulting in the championship. I'm thrilled that we were able to wrap up this championship with probably our biggest team win at Talladega last weekend and then to come to our team owner, Larry Clement's home track at Iowa Speedway makes everything pretty special."

Kimmel will officially celebrate his unprecedented Eighth Championship at the ARCA RE/MAX award banquet on December 9. Kimmel will compete at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in the final IROC race of the season on Friday, October 29.

-credit: lmm

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Series ARCA
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Frank Kimmel , Richard Petty , Ryan Foster