Chicagoland: Frank Kimmel preview

Kimmel Racing Ready to Represent Ansell in Sponsor's Title Event at Chicagoland Speedway CORNELIUS, N.C. (August 25, 2009) -- In addition to the usual race weekend excitement, Kimmel Racing will have the added thrill of carrying the colors and...

Kimmel Racing Ready to Represent Ansell in Sponsor's Title Event at Chicagoland Speedway

CORNELIUS, N.C. (August 25, 2009) -- In addition to the usual race weekend excitement, Kimmel Racing will have the added thrill of carrying the colors and branding of team sponsor Ansell during Friday's Ansell Cut Protection 150 at Chicagoland Speedway.

"Ansell has been a terrific supporter of our team, as well as the series as a whole in 2009," said driver of the No. 44 Ansell/Menards Ford Fusion, Frank Kimmel. "To have the opportunity to race the Ansell car during the Ansell sponsored race is a really big deal to this team and we're going to do everything in our power to put on a good show for all the employees and guests in attendance. We'd love to pull off the win so we could have a couple hundred of our closest friends from Ansell in victory lane right alongside us Friday night."

Kimmel, no stranger to Chicagoland victory lane, recorded a win at the track in 2003. While the No. 44 team has yet to record its first win of the season, the entire team has placed extra emphasis on preparing for Friday's 100-lap event.

"We definitely stepped up our preparation for this event so that we have the opportunity to be very competitive," said Kimmel. "As an entire organization, we worked hard to get the car right where it needs to be before even getting to the race track. Some of those changes should really help us get through the center of the turns throughout the race, which seems to be where we've gotten beat in the past."

In addition to his past experience at the track, Kimmel was one of 22 drivers to participate in the open test last week. As the fastest car in the morning session, Kimmel and Crew Chief Bill Kimmel Jr. found additional insight in the added practice time.

"The test actually taught us more about what we didn't want to bring back this weekend than what we did," explained Bill Kimmel Jr. "We knew we had a good car for the short run at the test but we weren't as good as we should have been for a long run. Based on that, we've been working on really getting the car to handle and stay quick for more like 25-30 laps as opposed to only two or three laps."

While rookie Brian Ickler was fastest overall at the test, with an average speed of 176.574 mph, the nine-time series champion Kimmel followed closely behind at 175.610 mph.

During last year's race at Chicagoland Speedway, Kimmel qualified eighth and finished 11th after unloading a brand new car for race weekend. The team's preferred primary was lost to a bad crash at Pocono Raceway.

"Last year we had to put a car together last minute for Chicagoland after the crash at Pocono and we really had to work to even get to the track, so we were probably a few steps behind in 2008," added Bill Kimmel Jr. "This year, it's the exact opposite since we've dedicated more time and effort into preparing for this particular race than we ever have before."

Overall, Kimmel has four top-ten finishes at Chicagoland, since his win in 2003.

"It's funny because there have been times that we've run really well at Chicagoland and other times where, unfortunately we've been off," said Kimmel. "It's a very fast racetrack and we've probably struggled with that type of track in the past which is why we put so much emphasis on the test last week. When we won the race in 2003, we just hit on something that worked for us and we were able to be dominant. Of course, that's what we're hoping for again this weekend."

-credit: kr

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Frank Kimmel , Brian Ickler