Salem II: Series race report

Kimmel Comes Home for Salem Victory Parade SALEM IN (9-13-08) -- ARCA RE/MAX Series veteran Frank Kimmel gave his hometown fans exactly what they came to see -- a victory in the Eddie Gilstrap Motors 200 by Advance Auto Parts Saturday night...

Kimmel Comes Home for Salem Victory Parade

SALEM IN (9-13-08) -- ARCA RE/MAX Series veteran Frank Kimmel gave his hometown fans exactly what they came to see -- a victory in the Eddie Gilstrap Motors 200 by Advance Auto Parts Saturday night at Salem Speedway.

However, it turned out to be much more than just another win for the local Clarksville, Indiana legend.

"This one's pretty emotional," said Kimmel in victory lane. "It's been more than four years since we've won here, and to do it here at home means more than I can say. It's also my dad's birthday; he turned 80 today, so this one's for him. This could not have played out any better for the Kimmel Racing team. We've been fortunate to win a lot of races, but this one ranks up there as one of the best -- maybe the best."

Kimmel, in the Clarksville Schwinn Cyclery-Fastline Performance Ford, survived the typical Salem short-track carnage and led the final 62 circuits en route to his ninth win at Salem and 74th series triumph of his career. The victory also puts Kimmel just five wins shy of Iggy Katona's all-time victory mark of 79.

"The car was really, really good on long runs," added Kimmel. "The last fifty laps or so I was holding my breath, especially through all of that lapped traffic."

Matt Carter, in the Stine Seed-Hantz Group Ford, finished second two seconds behind the winner and earned the SunTrust Highest Finishing Rookie honors. Carter's father and crew chief Travis Carter won the Cometic Crew Chief of the Race.

"Frank had a better handling car than we did tonight," said Carter. "But if I had to lose to someone there's no one else I'd rather finish second to than Frank Kimmel. It was a good run for us but to be honest the car was not that good. I don't know if we missed on air pressures or what."

Dexter Bean, with a badly damaged Glock Chevrolet, battled back from a spin on the backstretch that triggered a multi-car pile-up on lap 139.

"It was definitely rough racing but hey, that's Salem," said Bean. "I lost it coming out of two and spun on the backstretch and it really should have ended our night. We had a real good racecar and the team got the Glock Chevy back on track so that we could still manage a good run."

Bean's machine wasn't the only car with damage as very few cars went back on the haulers without twisted sheet metal, including championship contenders' Scott Speed and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr, separated by just 40 points headed into the race.

Stenhouse, who earned his third consecutive SIM Factory Pole Award, was running directly in front of point leader Speed when contact between the two sent Stenhouse's Aflac Ford hard into the backstretch wall. Stenhouse, after spending several laps on pit road for repair, finally returned to competition, finishing 17th, 26 laps down.

Shortly after Stenhouse wrecked, Speed found himself in the middle of the aforementioned multi-car wreck on the backstretch, which left his Red Bull Toyota with damage all the way around. However, Speed was able to stay on the lead lap and maintain his point lead with just three races remaining.

Sean Caisse, who qualified second in the AISIN Toyota, led the first 85 laps before Speed got around the former leader in heavy lapped traffic. Speed showed the way for 12 circuits before giving it up to Ken Butler III when Speed opted for a pit stop under caution, along with most of the other front-runners. Butler led the next 17 laps before Brett Hudson emerged as the leader on lap 115. Hudson held on for eight laps before Carter, who also pitted with Speed, took control of the top spot on the 123rd lap. Carter's lead lasted 16 laps before Kimmel slipped past on lap 139. From there, Carter could only watch as Kimmel continually pulled away as necessary.

Justin Allgaier battled brake issues much of the night but still managed to finish fourth in the Hoosier Midwest-AG Tech-Auto Xpress Chevrolet.

Caisse, who was involved in an on-track skirmish with Gabi DiCarlo, finished fifth with a badly bent right front fender that was rubbing against his right-front tire for the final 30 laps. Caisse also earned the Aaron's Lap Leader award for leading the most laps.

Hudson finished sixth in the Fannon Cable Construction-Double H Hydraulics Chevrolet with John Wes Townley trailing in seventh in the Zaxby's Ford. Speed held on for eighth. Bryan Silas finished ninth in the Nortrax-PBG Chevrolet. Michael Phelps finished 10th in the Bowen Family Homes Dodge.

Brad Smith, who started 26th and finished 16th, earned the Casite Hard Charger Award.

From Salem, several ARCA RE/MAX Series teams are making their way to Talladega Superspeedway for an ARCA Open Test on September 17th and 18th, 2008. The next ARCA RE/MAX Series race is the Loud Energy Drink 150 on Sunday, September 28th at New Jersey Motorsports Park. The race marks a return to road course racing for the diverse stock car series for the first time since 2001. For more information, visit arcaracing.com.

Top-10 ARCA RE/MAX Series Points After The Eddie Gilstrap Motors ARCA Fall Classic by Advance Auto Parts at Salem Speedway (9-13-09): 1) Scott Speed 4325; 2) Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. 4235; 3) Matt Carter 4190; 4) Frank Kimmel 4110; 5) Justin Allgaier 4070; 6) Tom Hessert III 3505; 6) John Wes Townley 3505; 8) Ken Butler III 3490; 9) Patrick Sheltra 3485; 10) Tayler Malsam 3460

-credit: arca

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Frank Kimmel , Scott Speed , Tom Hessert III , Ken Butler III , Justin Allgaier , Bryan Silas , Dexter Bean , Sean Caisse , Patrick Sheltra , Tayler Malsam , John Wes Townley , Michael Phelps , Gabi DiCarlo , Ken Butler , Brett Hudson