8-time Champ Frank Kimmel Eyes Tough MIS Line-Up; Cup Cars Aplenty BROOKLYN MI (6-6-07) -- Eight-time ARCA RE/MAX Series champion Frank Kimmel has been averaging about 1,000 laps-led and 7.3 wins per season over the last seven years. Now...
8-time Champ Frank Kimmel Eyes Tough MIS Line-Up; Cup Cars Aplenty
BROOKLYN MI (6-6-07) -- Eight-time ARCA RE/MAX Series champion Frank Kimmel has been averaging about 1,000 laps-led and 7.3 wins per season over the last seven years.
Now enter the year 2007 where things have been a little different for the second-generation Clarksville, Indiana driver. After nine events, Kimmel has just one win and has led only 153 laps in three races. Not exactly the numbers Kimmel is used to churning out in his ARCA kingdom.
But despite Kimmel's lackluster '07 stat chart -- at least lackluster by Kimmel standards -- he is where he's spent the better part of the last 10 years of his life -- atop the ARCA RE/MAX Series national championship point standings (not including June 9th Pocono 200).
Nothing new here headed to Michigan Int'l Speedway for the Michigan ARCA 200 Friday afternoon, June 15th.
"I've always been a better points racer," said Kimmel. "But it used to be, not too long ago, that if you were off a little you could still finish in the top-three, top-five in the ARCA RE/MAX Series. That's not possible anymore. The fields are so spread out with so much great talent and great equipment, you're going to finish 15th on back if you're even a little off on the set-up...... at least on the superspeedways."
Kimmel, among his 69 career series victories, has won twice at Michigan.
"I always look forward to running Michigan. There's so much room to race there. The track's so wide with multiple grooves that you can recover through the corners if you need to. If you're not good on the bottom, just go to the top.
"But you still have to have a near perfect package to win at Michigan. The track's somewhat forgiving because you have all the room you need, but you still have to have a tremendous aero package. But you also have to have enough power to take on the straightaways. You've got to have everything there to win; it's a package deal -- horsepower plus a great aero package."
Kimmel will need all that and more to win at Michigan in the next round. The entry list is looking more and more like a Cup field than an ARCA show.
Already entered is IRL champ and Indy 500 winner Sam Hornish in a Penske Dodge.
"I raced against Sam (Hornish) in IROC," added Kimmel. "He's as tough as they come in any kind of racecar. His record certainly speaks for itself. He'll be in the very best equipment. He'll be tough to beat. We can't afford to be off our game."
Hornish won't be Kimmel's only Michigan headache. Also on the entry list is a Richard Childress Racing Chevy with Tim McCreadie in the driver's seat.
Both McCreadie and Hornish will be making their career-first ARCA RE/MAX Series attempts.
Now add Erin Crocker in an Evernham Motorsports Dodge, Bobby Santos III in a Bill Davis Toyota, Tim Andrews in a Dodge Motorsports Dodge and a host of ARCA RE/MAX Series regulars, and you've got a recipe for some serious competition.
One of those competitors will be an 8-time ARCA RE/MAX Series national champion looking for his third Michigan trophy, a tall order by anyone's standards.
Practice for the Michigan ARCA 200 is slated for Thursday morning, June 14th from 10:00 am to 12 noon. SIM Factory Pole Award Qualifying follows at 3:00 pm. The Michigan ARCA 200, LIVE on SPEED at 5 pm ET, follows Bud Pole Qualifying for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series.