Toledo: Race report

Kimmel spins and wins at Toledo. TOLEDO OH (5-4-03) -- ARCA RE/MAX Series point leader Frank Kimmel overcame a variety of potential problems Sunday afternoon at Toledo Speedway to win the GFS Marketplace 200 presented by Federated ...

Kimmel spins and wins at Toledo.

TOLEDO OH (5-4-03) -- ARCA RE/MAX Series point leader Frank Kimmel overcame a variety of potential problems Sunday afternoon at Toledo Speedway to win the GFS Marketplace 200 presented by Federated Car Care.

Problem number one for Kimmel was Winston Cup veteran Ken Schrader who dominated the first half of the race until electrical troubles forced him from competition just past the halfway point. With Schrader eliminated from the mix, all Kimmel had to do was thread the short-track needle throughout the 200 lap grind; but that proved as tricky as keeping Schrader's rear bumper within view.

In the end, Kimmel, in the Advance Auto Parts-Pork Ford, kept Jason Jarrett at bay long enough to capture his 44th career RE/MAX Series triumph and 7th overall at the Toledo half-mile oval.

"It was a fun day out there," said Kimmel in victory lane. "There was a lot going on that's for sure. We dodged a bunch of bullets today, and the crew did an awesome job in the pits. They really kept me in the game long enough so we could win this thing. I don't know if we would have had enough for Schrader, but I think we could have given him an honest run for it. We had a lot of fun out there today."

Jarrett, who caught Kimmel in traffic late in the race, finished second in the Biomet-Damon RV Pontiac just over a second away from Kimmel recording his second consecutive runner-up finish at Toledo.

Shelby Howard, in the Mack Trucks-Beck Dodge, finished up strong in third after surviving an early-race spin. Andy Belmont got back on track with a solid fourth place finish in the Verizon Ford with Billy Venturini trailing in fifth in the Dunham Sports Chevrolet.

Schrader, who won his eighth career the Old Milwaukee Pole earlier in the day, raced Kimmel side-by side for the first three laps before breaking away with Kimmel, Howard, Jimmy Thiel and Jarrett trailing. Soon the leaders were in traffic where Kimmel got tagged in the quarter panel by a lapped car causing him to spin in turns three and four while Jarrett steered low to miss. With the caution out, Kimmel headed to pit road for tires while most everyone stayed out. Back under green, Schrader, in his own Federated Auto Parts Pontiac, took off like a rocket while Kimmel hustled through the field from the tail-end. Kimmel eventually made his way back near the front where he and Howard locked horns causing Howard to spin bringing out another caution. Racing resumed with Schrader firmly in control ahead of Venturini, Jarrett, Belmont, Kimmel and Thiel all in pursuit while Howard, after changing tires, raced from the rear of the field. But as the leaders were working lap 107 of 200, Schrader's machine slowed abruptly on the backstretch. Still under green, Schrader steered for pit road hoping for a quick cure but ignition troubles would keep the nine-time RE/MAX Series winner from returning to competition. By then, Kimmel had raced his way back into the lead with Jarrett, Howard, Venturini, Belmont and Justin Allgaier in pursuit. Although Jarrett was able to reel in Kimmel in traffic late in the race, the Hickory, North Carolina third-generation racer could not find a way around the eventual winner while Howard settled into third. Belmont eventually got by Venturini for fourth while 16-year-old Allgaier impressed many with a solid sixth place finish in his father Mike Allgaier's Hoosier Tire Midwest Chevrolet, the last car on the lead lap. Allgaier, who started 18th, also led for seven laps en route to his career-best RE/MAX Series finish and earned the Hoosier Tire Midwest Hard Charger award for advancing the most positions.

Late Model veteran Fred Campbell, after leading three laps, finished seventh in Vern Slagh's Chicago Meat Authority-Van Eck Diesel Ford with Brent Sherman trailing in eighth in the Serta Mattress-Hickory Farms Ford. Bill Eversole, in the Think Pink Energy Drink Chevrolet, was the Highest Finishing Rookie in ninth with Ron Cox completing the top-10 finishers.

In all there were nine caution periods for a variety of typical short-track fender-benders although there were no injuries. Thiel, in only his second RE/MAX Series start, qualified third and was a top-five contender until mechanical woes sidelined the Woodhaven, Michigan driver 99 laps from the finish.

Kimmel's crew also earned the Gladiator of the Race honors and the Quarter Master Comin' Thru in the Clutch award while Schrader received the Landrum Spring Hard Luck award.

-arca-

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Ken Schrader , Frank Kimmel , Andy Belmont , Shelby Howard , Billy Venturini , Ron Cox , Brent Sherman , Vern Slagh , Justin Allgaier