Andy Belmont Kentucky race report

Belmont Has Engine Trouble at Kentucky ARCA RE/MAX Series point leader Frank Kimmel pulled off the perfect night Friday under the lights at Kentucky Speedway. The Jeffersonville, Indiana driver won the Old Milwaukee Pole, led the most laps,...

Belmont Has Engine Trouble at Kentucky

ARCA RE/MAX Series point leader Frank Kimmel pulled off the perfect night Friday under the lights at Kentucky Speedway. The Jeffersonville, Indiana driver won the Old Milwaukee Pole, led the most laps, and in the end, checked out on the competition to win the Blue Grass Quality Meats 200. It was Kimmel's eighth career RE/MAX Series superspeedway victory and 28th triumph overall moving the two-time champ into sixth on the all-time win list ahead of Ramo Stott and behind Nelson Stacy who has 31. Kimmel also collected the National Pork Producers Pole-Win Bonus for winning from the pole adding $3,500 to his winner's pay bringing his total for the night to a healthy $26,695. At the checkered flag, Kimmel finished nearly four seconds ahead of his nearest rival John Metcalf who steered the RE/MAX Int'l Chevrolet to a career-best second place finish in only his fourth start. Second-generation drivers' Billy Venturini and Todd Bowsher also posted career-best finishes of third and fourth respectively with outside polesitter and 17-year-old rookie Chase Montgomery trailing in fifth, also a career-best finish. Venturini, in his father Bill Venturini's DANA-Jeff Wyler Chevrolet, charged from the 13th starting position and led five laps while Bowsher, in his father Jack Bowsher's Ford, hustled from the 16th starting spot to finish on the lead lap. As a result, Bowsher, coming off a seventh place finish at Watkins Glen, was awarded the ARCA Highest Finishing Rookie honors for the fifth consecutive week.

Kimmel led 73 laps in the 134-lap, 200-mile race while Montgomery was next in the laps-led category with 42. However, Montgomery ran out of gas leading the event during a long green-flag run and went a lap down eliminating any chance for the win. Former NFL head coach Jerry Glanville was stout all night long and led 13 laps before a turn-two tangle with local Walton, Kentucky favorite Willie Green eliminated both cars from the race. Glanville and Green, who were racing for fourth at the time, touched in turn two and slid backwards into the wall. Both machines were badly damaged and through for the night although neither driver was injured.

Penndel, Pennsylvania driver Andy Belmont started the race 8th on the grid in the America Online Ford Taurus and finished 15th--12 laps behind the winner. His brother, Kevin qualified in 22nd fastest and finished 32 after completing 16 laps before dropping out with handling problems. Andy said, "In the middle of the race, we were 3/10 of a second faster than Frank Kimmel but we ran into a series of problems. We lost the alternator, we developed an ignition problem that I could not cure by switching over to the backup ignition box, and eventually we burnt a piston. The crew worked their butts off in the pits and we were able to pull out a 15th place finish. Jason Jarrett also ran into problems and we finished the race in front of him so we were able to hold onto third place in the points. While Frank is checking out on the field, we are within 100 points of Tim Steele."

Andy commented on his intial experience as a road racer the week before at Watkins Glen. "I hated road racing. I don't understand why people do it. It is OK for cars that are designed for that sort of thing, but it just isn' t for stock cars. Between the cost of a transmission and the labor to switch a car over, it was a very expensive experience. I guess that I had better get prepared because I am told that we are going to do it again next year running as a companion race to the Winston Cup weekend there. I certainly know how to better prepare the car and how to achieve the right mindset. During the off season, I am going to take a road racing school such as Bertil Roos' at Pocono or Bob Bondurant's out in Arizona. Tracy Leslie told me that it will take a second or more a lap off my times."

When we spoke with Andy, he was in the hauler, stuck in traffic on I81 on his way to Michigan. "We have a fresh motor and a fast car and look forward to a great weekend on a very fast track. The following week, we will be at our home track, Pocono. We are entering three cars--mine, one for Kevin, and a third for Scott Ritter, our engine builder. It will be a big weekend for entertaining sponsors. We are expecting 50 to 60 people. It will be a terrific weekend." <pre> CURRENT POINTS: 1) Frank Kimmel 3465 2) Tim Steele 2875 3) Andy Belmont 2795 4) Jason Jarrett 2580 5) Ron Cox 2560 6) Todd Bowsher 2375 7) Norm Benning 2320 8) Chuck Weber 2280 9) Donny Morelock 2180 10) Billy Venturini 1555.

-AOL-

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Series ARCA
Drivers Frank Kimmel , Andy Belmont , Chase Montgomery , Bob Bondurant , Chuck Weber , Jason Jarrett , Donny Morelock , Tim Steele , Billy Venturini , Ron Cox , Todd Bowsher , Norm Benning , John Metcalf , Willie Green