Rookie Ickler, Veteran Kimmel Lead in ARCA RE/MAX Series Open Testing at Chicagoland Speedway JOLIET IL (8-19-09) - On its way to the Illinois State Fairgrounds mile-dirt in Springfield for the next event on tour, the ARCA RE/MAX Series detoured...
Rookie Ickler, Veteran Kimmel Lead in ARCA RE/MAX Series Open Testing at Chicagoland Speedway
JOLIET IL (8-19-09) - On its way to the Illinois State Fairgrounds mile-dirt in Springfield for the next event on tour, the ARCA RE/MAX Series detoured for Chicagoland Speedway Wednesday where 22 drivers tested in preparation for next Friday's (August 28) Ansell Cut Protection 150 at the Joliet, Illinois Chicagoland speedplant.
Rookie Brian Ickler and veteran Frank Kimmel led the way on the speed charts during the day-long open test, which ended a half-hour prematurely when rain inundated the 1.5-mile track in the late afternoon.
Ickler was fastest overall with an average speed of 176.574 mph with nine-time series champion Kimmel trailing in second at 175.610 mph.
"I thought we had a good test today," said Kimmel, driver of the Ansell-Menards Ford.
"We came with some new ideas we changed on the car. Some worked well, some didn't work so well. We'll just go home and work on the things that didn't work that well and stick with what did work well."
Kimmel, who won at Chicagoland in 2003, is currently third in championship points and doing all he can to improve his program headed down the 2009 homestretch.
"We worked on our coil-bind set-up, hitting on the left-front. Worked really hard on the spring bucket so it hits properly. We tried different caster and camber to make it turn better, worked with some cross-weight stuff. We threw a lot at it today. We'll go home, look at our notes, make some decisions and bring it back with the best package we can."
Kimmel, winless on the tour since September of 2008, is just five wins shy of tying Iggy Katona's all-time win mark of 79, and just six laps shy of leading 10,000 laps in ARCA RE/MAX Series competition. He may get his best shot to win and lead laps this Sunday on the Springfield mile-dirt where he's won seven of the last 11 events there.
Fort Frances, Ontario's Steve Arpin, in the Venturini Motorsports Toyota, was third fastest overall with an average speed of 174.593 mph. Jesse Smith, in a second Venturini Motorsports Toyota, was fourth overall at 174.126 mph. Hal Martin, in the Cunningham Motorsports Dodge, rounded out the top five on the speed charts at Chicagoland with an average speed of 172.745 mph.
In eight previous ARCA RE/MAX Series races at Chicagoland, there has never been a repeat race winner, nor has there ever been a repeat pole winner. Race winners include Ed Berrier, Chad Blount, Dawayne Bryan, Kimmel, Kyle Krisiloff, Steve Wallace, Michael McDowell and most recently Scott Lagasse, Jr.
Practice for the Friday, August 28th Ansell Cut Protection 150 race event is scheduled from 4:10 - 5:30 PM Thursday afternoon, August 27th. A final practice from 8:00 - 8:50 AM Friday morning followed by Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell at 12:10 PM will precede the race, which is LIVE on SPEED Friday late afternoon.