KIMMEL SCORES EIGHTH PLACE FINISH IN ROUND THREE OF IROC AT DAYTONA ROAD COURSE
Daytona Beach, FL (June 30, 2006) -- Seven-time ARCA RE/MAX Series Champion, Frank Kimmel, competed on a road course for the first time in nearly 15 years on Thursday night in Round Three of the International Race of Champions (IROC). Kimmel, who tested as much as possible on the 3.56-mile road course, was well-aware that he was considered the underdog heading into the 20-lap event. Kimmel started the event from the eighth position as the field was set by inverting the current IROC Series point's standings. After a more than two-hour long event, Kimmel found himself battling road racing veteran, Max Angelleli as they came to the checkered flag with Kimmel earning the eighth position.
"I guess I am pleased with the eighth place finish," said Kimmel. "I really tried to get as many laps around this course as possible along with working with the road racers like Max Papis to try and learn some of the techniques that would help me. I laid back early in the race and just road in my position until the competition yellow came out and we were able to come to pit road for tires. In the final ten laps I really tried to battle for position and work my lines even better and I think it paid off with the eighth place finish."
Kimmel was involved in a couple close calls throughout the event including one in the horseshoe section of the race track when Scott Sharp and Sam Hornish, Jr. made contact sending Sharp through the grass backwards where he would again make contact with Hornish exiting the same corner. Just prior to the second contact, Kimmel was able to split through the two cars without making contact with either. As the race neared its conclusion, Kimmel was able to make a quick maneuver to avoid three lead cars spinning where he was once again able to pick up positions.
"I had a feeling that this race would be about survival," said Kimmel. "I didn't want to put myself in a position early in the race to get taken out because someone behind me is a better road racer. I tried to play it conservative and that seemed to work to avoid some of the wrecks. Racing in the IROC Series is such an honor for me and I knew this road course race would be my greatest challenge. But looking back on it now, I think I made great strides thanks to my fellow IROC drivers, the IROC test drivers and all the support from the IROC mechanics. I am pretty excited about the chance to learn more about road racing and when I look back on this race I think I will be pretty proud of everything I accomplished between all the testing and the race."
Kimmel leaves IROC Round Three in the middle of a three-way tie for the sixth position in IROC Championship points. Kimmel is tied with Mark Martin and Sam Hornish, Jr. for position now only nine points away from the third position as the series awaits their season finale at the Atlanta Motor Speedway on October 28. Kimmel quickly departed the Daytona International Speedway Thursday evening in order to make the long trip to the Kansas Speedway for this weekend's Kansas Lottery $200 Grand ARCA RE/MAX Series race which will be run on Saturday, July 1 at 4:45pm CT. Kimmel enters the event second in ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship points, 120 points behind leader, Bobby Gerhart.