Solid Practice Session for the No. 44 Ansell/Menards Team Sets the Tone for Daytona Opener DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (February 4, 2010) - Frank Kimmel, driver of the No. 44 Ansell/Menards Ford Fusion rolled fourth off pit road for his first round...
Solid Practice Session for the No. 44 Ansell/Menards Team Sets the Tone for Daytona Opener
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (February 4, 2010) - Frank Kimmel, driver of the No. 44 Ansell/Menards Ford Fusion rolled fourth off pit road for his first round of practice for the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona International Speedway. In preparation for the 80 lap event, the Kimmel Racing team completed a mock qualifying run as he ran three, clean-air laps. Kimmel struggled with vision in his left eye during his on-track stint due to an eye injury he received Wednesday in the ARCA garage. While waiting in line for technical inspection, Kimmel was struck with a small piece of debris in the air, resulting in a scratched cornea.
The Ansell/Menards team's second run produced a lap time of 50.45 seconds and later improved in Kimmel's third run with a 50.36 second lap. Although he ran decent times, Kimmel continued to have trouble with his left eye. After his third run, he decided to make an appointment at an eye doctor to get a further examination.
During the racecar's fourth run, Will Kimmel, son of the No. 44 crew chief , Bill Kimmel, and Frank's nephew, took to the track to test out adjustments made during Frank's absence. With the car in race-ready form, Will logged many laps and clocked a 50.01 best-lap time during his first on-track stretch.
Bobbling back and forth between 10th and 11th quickest for the remainder of Will's time on the track, the Ansell/Menards Ford Fusion was tweaked and worked on until crew chief Bill Kimmel and the rest of the team felt they had a set-up that would best fit Frank and contend for the pole and a win.
To round out the last practice run of the day, Will logged a 49.658 second lap - just 0.279 seconds off the fastest lap of the day, making the No. 44 Ford 10th quickest out of the 53 car field. After the almost five-hour practice, the Ansell/Menards team is prepared for today's qualifying session set for 11 a.m. EST and excited to begin the season-opener on Feb. 6 at 4:30 p.m.
"I'm glad to be able to help Frank and the rest of the team out, I know he'll race hard," said Will. "The car should be really good in the race. It gets a little free about 10-15 laps into the run so the guys will have to tighten it up some. Other than that, the car should qualify in the top-10 and be a top runner in the race Saturday afternoon."
Although he was disappointed to sit out, Frank is excited to get back in the racecar and grateful his nephew logged some great laps. "After all these years in racing, new things happen every day," the ARCA veteran said. "Thankfully our team is prepared to adjust to any issue. We have a fast car, and I can't wait to get back on the track."
-source: frank kimmel PR