KIMMEL TAKES SECOND IN FRONT OF HOMETOWN CROWD AT SALEM SHORT TRACK; FURTHER EXTENDS POINT LEAD Salem, IN (September 16, 2006) -- Frank Kimmel and the Pork Racing team always look forward to racing at the short track of Salem Speedway not...
KIMMEL TAKES SECOND IN FRONT OF HOMETOWN CROWD AT SALEM SHORT TRACK; FURTHER EXTENDS POINT LEAD
Salem, IN (September 16, 2006) -- Frank Kimmel and the Pork Racing team always look forward to racing at the short track of Salem Speedway not only because it is a hometown race for many of the team members, but because of the extensive support of family and friends in the grandstands. Tonight's Eddie Gilstrap Motors 200 was no exception and Kimmel did his best to pay back his supporters with a exciting race including more than 30 laps of solid, clean racing with eventual race winner, Blake Bjorklund.
The Pork Ford would lead the most laps in the event with 83 of the 200 laps before losing the lead as the field came to the white flag. Kimmel would be forced to settle for a second place finish, but would leave his hometown track with a 290-point lead over second place with only two races remaining in his quest for a historic eighth ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship.
"This race was a lot of fun tonight," said Kimmel. "Blake (Bjorklund) raced me clean and I think we put on a good show for the great fans here at Salem. We were a little worried after our 15th place qualifying run, but the Pork Ford came around just like we thought it would during the race. Bill (Kimmel) and the team did not have to make many adjustments to the car, we got a little tight halfway through the race, but when we pitted for tires, we did not even change the air pressure in the new set from where we had qualified. While I did race Blake for the win, I also knew that I couldn't put myself in a position to get wrecked. Blake kept trying to dive to the inside of me in the corners, but he could not get his car to stick and would drift up the track, but there on that last restart he went to the outside and made the pass. I have to give him credit because if the tables were turned, I would have made that same move on him."
While Kimmel did not earn the starting position he would have liked, he did not spend much time in his 15th starting spot as he had moved into the tenth position by lap 29. Once Kimmel moved into the top-five on lap 53, he was focused on the lead. Following his only pit stop on lap 95 for tires and fuel, Kimmel took the lead under green on lap 117 and did not give it up until lap 198. But with his second place finish coupled with his five bonus points for leading a lap and five points for leading the most laps, Kimmel has now put 290 points between himself and second place in ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship points.
"We came into this race with the idea of finishing the race and working on earning as many bonus points as possible," said Kimmel. "We didn't get to give the Salem fans a very good show here in the spring, but tonight we were in contention all night and I think we gave the fans something to cheer for. I have to thank the great crowd that came out tonight to support our Pork team and this entire ARCA RE/MAX Series. We are in a good position heading into Talladega in a couple weeks so with a solid run there we should be in good shape heading to Iowa."
The Pork team will enjoy two weeks off before heading into the final two races of the 2006 season, but they will be hard at work in the race shop along with testing at Talladega prior to the running of the Food World 300 on Friday, October 3. Kimmel holds a 290-point lead heading to Talladega. The Food World 300 will be televised at 8:00pm ET the same-day as the race event on SPEED.