Michigan: Frank Kimmel race report

Kimmel Racing Overcomes Adversity at MIS BROOKLYN, MI (June 13, 2009) -- Frank Kimmel drove his No. 44 Ansell/Menards Ford to a 12th place in the Racing for Wildlife 200. Kimmel's day was enhanced by another solid presence of Ansell guests as...

Kimmel Racing Overcomes Adversity at MIS

BROOKLYN, MI (June 13, 2009) -- Frank Kimmel drove his No. 44 Ansell/Menards Ford to a 12th place in the Racing for Wildlife 200. Kimmel's day was enhanced by another solid presence of Ansell guests as well as the proximity to several Menards locations encouraging a plethora of fan support.

Kimmel rolled off fourth for the race after qualifying was yet again cancelled due to inclement weather.

The action started early as Kimmel charged in the early laps but lost positions to both the No. 77 and No. 11 cars. With only 100 laps to race to the finish, every time around the 2-mile oval track was a fierce battle for position.

Several caution flags ensued but Kimmel was hanging tough in fifth spot. Following the second caution of the day, Kimmel was freight trained by a line of cars and reported that third gear was broke. The problems with the transmission sent Kimmel back to the 13th place in a matter of a few laps.

When another caution flag flew on lap 18, Kimmel had an opportunity to discuss the problems with Crew Chief and brother Bill Kimmel Jr. and the crew opted to pit for four tires and fuel as well as a track bar adjustment.

"Were going to go to the back regardless so we should come in and get tires and fuel," reasoned Bill Kimmel Jr.

After a trip down pit road, Kimmel restarted the race in 20th and the field immediately saw another caution as a multi car pileup occurred coming to the green flag. Kimmel restarted again facing the struggles of his faulty transmission. By lap 31, Kimmel was up to 16th place and working his way back up into the top 10. Kimmel broke into the 10th spot by lap 43.

Green flag pit stops put many of the leaders on pit road early so when the caution flag flew on lap 53, Kimmel was in a great position in seventh place. The No. 44 team pit on lap 55 for tires and fuel. Kimmel survived another pair of restarts despite the cars transmission problems. He was holding strong in 10th place when the field restarted after caution on lap 70. With 30 laps to go, Kimmel and the rest of the field prepared to endure the closing laps of the race with the bright sun glare obstructing their line of view.

Within 10 laps, Kimmel had overcome his free fall at the restart to battle back into the top 10.

An ill timed caution flew on lap 85 meaning Kimmel would once again have to recover from a slow start.

Kimmel opted to stay out and not hit pit road setting up a 10 lap chase to the finish in which the No. 44 car lined up eighth.

After enduring another caution flag and restart, the race finally came to a close with Kimmel in 12th place. Always a survivor, Kimmel's finish shows the teams ability to overcome adversity and stay in the hunt for a 10th series championship.

"It was a decent point's day, but it's just really disappointing," said Kimmel. "We had another great opportunity to finish up front and it's just one of them racing deals. We ripped out third gear on a restart and that's the first part failure of that kind that we've had all year. I guess we just have to hope that our bad luck has run out so we can start to knock off a few wins here for Ansell and Menards."

-credit: kr

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Frank Kimmel