Kimmel Earns Another Top-Five at Chicagoland Speedway Points battle heats up after Ansell Protective Gloves 150 Joliet, ILL (August 30, 2010) - Frank Kimmel battled the handling on his No. 44 Ansell/Menards Ford Fusion to score a ...
Kimmel Earns Another Top-Five at Chicagoland Speedway
Points battle heats up after Ansell Protective Gloves 150
Joliet, ILL (August 30, 2010) - Frank Kimmel battled the handling on his No. 44 Ansell/Menards Ford Fusion to score a come-from-behind fourth-place finish in the Ansell Protective Gloves 150 at Chicagloland Speedway Friday night. The finish marked his seventh top-five of the 2010 season. With only five races remaining Kimmel now stands second in the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards championship point standings, only five points behind leader, Craig Goess.
The weekend began with a solid start as Kimmel turned the third-fastest time during practice Thursday afternoon. During Friday morning's final practice the Ansell/Menards team clocked the 11th-fastest time of the session and was ready for a solid qualifying run later in the day. Unfortunately the No. 44 Ford Fusion got loose during the qualifying run and Kimmel would have to settle for a 12th-place start.
Craig Goess lead the field to green for the start of the Ansell Protective Gloves 150, and Kimmel wasted no time showing the strength of his Ford Fusion. Fighting the handling of his car during the green-flag run, Kimmel was able to climb seven positions, moving into the top-five.
When the caution came out for a turn two wreck on lap seven, Kimmel radioed to his crew that the car was extremely loose and felt like it was going to spin out every lap. During the long caution period crew chief Bill Kimmel Jr called his driver to pit road on lap 13 relinquishing track position to make adjustments and improve the handling of the Ford Fusion. The Ansell/Menards team made a track bar adjustment and put a splash of fuel into their No. 44 and sent Kimmel back out to gain some ground.
The stop put Kimmel outside the top-25 when the field took the green for the restart on lap 15. Kimmel used the green flag run to methodically pick his way back towards the leaders, climbing to 19th by the time the caution flew again on lap 34. Still unhappy with his loose race car, Kimmel brought his Ansell/Menards Ford back down pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments to improve the loose condition. With a great stop, the Ansell/Menards team picked up six positions on pit road, and returned their driver to the track in 13th.
With a fast car, Kimmel quickly got to work after the lap 43 restart. While running lap times as quick as the leaders, he was able to climb into the top-six before the caution waved again for a turn two wreck on lap 72. With only 28 laps remaining and a good handling race car the Ansell/Menards crew decided not to pit, keeping their driver in sixth place for the restart.
When the field returned to green Kimmel passed Craig Goess to move into the top-five. After stalking Chad Finley for the next few laps, Kimmel snuck inside the No. 29 grabbing fourth position. Setting his sights on the leaders, Kimmel began to chase down the top-three cars.
A late race caution bunched up the field a final time for a nine-lap shootout to the finish. A slight tight condition prevented Kimmel from moving forward during the closing laps of the Ansell Protective Gloves 150, and he cruised to a fourth-place finish.
"It was a really good finish for the Ansell/Menards team tonight," said Kimmel. "Qualifying didn't go very well, and the car was really a handful to drive for the first part of the race. We made some adjustments during our final pit stop, and the team made the Ansell/Menards Ford a lot better. The sun went down, the track got a little cooler and the car picked up again. There at the end we were pretty good, just not as good as the top three cars that were in front of us, but we made huge strides on the car tonight. That's what we needed to do to get a good finish."
With only five races remaining on the ARCA Racing Series schedule the points battle tightened up yet again. Craig Goess takes a slight five point margin over Kimmel into DuQuoin for the running of the Southern Illinois 100 presented by Federated Car Care. Kimmel will look to regain his points lead in the Labor Day tradition on Monday, September 6th.
-source: kimmel racing