A Solid Day at Berlin Ends with a Disappointing Finish MARNE, MI (July 26, 2009) -- Despite being involved in a late race incident, Kimmel Racing showed serious strength during the running of the Wolverine Power Systems 200 Presented by Generac.
A Solid Day at Berlin Ends with a Disappointing Finish
MARNE, MI (July 26, 2009) -- Despite being involved in a late race incident, Kimmel Racing showed serious strength during the running of the Wolverine Power Systems 200 Presented by Generac. Driver Frank Kimmel used his veteran skills to navigate the challenging Berlin Raceway.
"What a night," said Kimmel after the race, in which he led 35 laps. "We had a great car all day - from practice to qualifying and into tonight.
"Overall, there were some great battles for the lead, even if we had a disappointing finish. We were definitely a factor until five to go, when the 29 car turned us and we just flat got ran over. That was really frustrating. It would have been great to not only have the finish we deserved but to have reached that 10,000 laps led mark. Either way, we still accomplished another goal here by leading our first laps of the season, which is a great thing for the team because they've worked hard all year long and deserve to feel good about the cars we're bringing to the race track."
After turning in the seventh fastest qualifying effort during Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell, Kimmel went to working towards a spot in the top-five early in the race. He reached his mark on lap 25 and continued a steady delivery of solid lap times. Kimmel got in a dicey situation trying to avoid the lapped cars and inadvertently put a fender to the No.77 car sending him high and bringing out a caution on lap 27. Despite the contact, Kimmel's car was in good shape and the No. 44 Ansell / Menards Ford Fusion was sitting in fourth place when the race resumed on lap 33. By lap 52, Kimmel had claimed another spot and sat comfortably in the top three. The caution flag on lap 67 allowed the team the opportunity to work on the car, which Kimmel reported was a bit tight in the center of the corner.
Kimmel restarted the race in eighth place on lap 73 due, in part, to the pit strategy by several of the other teams. He was back up into the top-five by lap 77. Five laps later he was back up to third place and battling for the runner-up spot, which he claimed on lap 85. The leader was fast, but Kimmel was closing in on him lap after lap and nearly caught him when the caution flag flew on lap 88.
The race went back green on lap 108 and Kimmel resumed his battle for the lead which he took on lap 109. It was the team's first lap led of the year and put Kimmel one step closer to leading 10,000 total laps in his storied career. Kimmel led through the next caution period where many of the fastest cars pit for tires. Kimmel remained on track and took the green in the lead on lap 137.
On lap 144 Kimmel was passed by the No. 6 car, still seven laps shy of his 10,000 lap marker.
When the caution flag flew a few laps later, Crew Chief Bill Kimmel Jr. called his driver down pit road for fresh tires so he could go after the leaders. Kimmel restarted 10th on lap 154 and settled in for the 46 lap chase to the checkered flag.
Kimmel was up to eighth place by lap 166 when the field once again restarted after a lengthy caution. By lap 176, Kimmel had moved back into the top-five and was running in fourth place and knocking on the door for third. Kimmel took third on lap 189. On lap 197 an over aggressive driver turned Kimmel coming out of turn four and Kimmel's sideways slide allowed another car to drive over his front end causing significant damage to the right front of his car.
The team pit to repair the damage the best they could to finish out the last few laps of the event, but ultimately ended the day in 12th place with a wrecked racecar.
With another race in the books, the team heads to Pocono Raceway for next Saturday's Pennsylvania ARCA 200.