KIMMEL EARNS TENTH AT GATEWAY, MINUS MOTOR Madison, IL (July 28, 2006) -- When the checkered flag finally flew on the Shop 'n Save 150 at the Gateway International Raceway Friday night, Frank Kimmel was not sure if he had just competed in an...
KIMMEL EARNS TENTH AT GATEWAY, MINUS MOTOR
Madison, IL (July 28, 2006) -- When the checkered flag finally flew on the Shop 'n Save 150 at the Gateway International Raceway Friday night, Frank Kimmel was not sure if he had just competed in an ARCA RE/MAX Series race or and endurance race after a record-tying four green-white-checker restart attempts on the race. The event was scheduled to go a distance of 120 laps and when it came to a conclusion the field had run an extra 22 laps in order to determine a race winner. However when Kimmel crossed the finish line in the tenth position it was very hard to see his Pork Ford Fusion as his motor blew on the final restart of the race sending a cloud of smoke all the way around the race track for the final lap of the race.
"That was one heck of a burnout," said Kimmel. "The motor started missing with less than ten laps to go in the race and we fell out of the top-ten. We were going to come down pit road on one of those cautions and check the plug wires, but then several of the top ten cars started wrecking there at the end and we were able to persevere and pick up the tenth place finish with the motor completely letting go there on the white flag lap."
Kimmel has qualified in the 12th position for the race after running tenth during the morning practice session. However the extreme heat made for a slick race track during the qualifying session. When the field took the green flag Kimmel was quick to take his Pork Ford up through the field as he found himself in the fifth position by lap 40. During the pit stops Kimmel did not want any changes made to his car by the pit crew, only fresh tires and fuel. But a loose lug nut on the front tire during Kimmel's first pit stop would put him in the ninth position on the restart forcing him to once again work his way back into the top-five.
"The Pork Ford was really working good on the bottom of the race track all night," said Kimmel. "When we took our qualifying laps earlier in the day the car was a little loose on the second lap so I knew we would be right on for the set-up when the race started. We really didn't have to make any adjustments to the car all night and except for the lug nut on the first pit stop, the pit crew did a great job getting me back out in good position."
As the laps wound down the battle for the ARCA RE/MAX Series points lead made its way onto the race track as Kimmel and Gerhart battled for the fifth position. The two would battle for nearly 15 laps before Kimmel's motor began to miss. However in the closing laps of the race Gerhart would also experience a turn of bad luck as he made contact with the outside wall. As the power plant under the hood of the Pork Ford began to go away Kimmel would fall back to the 14th position, but as attrition took hold of many of the top-ten cars, Kimmel would make his way back to tenth as the checkered flag fell.
Kimmel managed to hold onto the ARCA RE/MAX Series points lead following Friday night's event at the Gateway International Raceway and stretched his lead to 60 points over Gerhart. The ARCA RE/MAX Series will enjoy a well-deserved week off before returning to action on Saturday, August 12 as the series makes its second visit of the season to the Nashville Superspeedway.