by Don Radebaugh MADISON, IL - It pays to be lucky, and it pays to be good. Current ARCA RE/MAX Series point leader Frank Kimmel was both here Saturday at Gateway Internationall Raceway. Kimmel, in the Advance Auto Parts-Pork White Meat Ford,...
by Don Radebaugh
MADISON, IL - It pays to be lucky, and it pays to be good. Current ARCA RE/MAX Series point leader Frank Kimmel was both here Saturday at Gateway Internationall Raceway.
Kimmel, in the Advance Auto Parts-Pork White Meat Ford, won the rain-shortened Gateway ARCA 150 earning his career 25th RE/MAX Series victory.
Kimmel was good enough to lead more laps than anyone, and lucky enough to be out front at the halfway point when the rains came down on the 1.25-mile superspeedway ending the race 56 laps shy of the scheduled 120. "I've got to hand it to my car owner Larry Clement," Kimmel said in victory lane. "He told me to stay out because it was going to rain. We could have pitted with everyone else but decided to stay out and let this thing play out. The car was perfect from the start; that's part of the reason we didn't pit; we didn't need to. The car was great on long runs. I'd like to thank Larry (Clement) for letting me be a part of this first-class outfit, and thanks to my brother and crew chief Bill, the whole crew; they work so hard, and it continually shows. We're ready for Kentucky."
Mike Swaim Jr., in the Dynatek Chevrolet, finished second ahead of Tim Steele in third. Ed Berrier, in Cavin Councilor's Target Saws & Blades Chevy, finished fourth while Rick Carelli, in the RE/MAX Chevy, finished fifth.
Steele, who won the Old Milwaukee Pole Award with a new one-lap track record of 133.745 mph, led the first 16 laps before Kimmel, who started third, made his pass for the lead. Once Kimmel got out front, the Jeffersonville, Indiana driver began to pull away while Steele's loose HS-Die Softech Ford, fell back. Steele got the break he thought he was looking for when the caution, for debris, came out on lap 26. Steele, along with Swaim, Carelli and BSR Outside Polesitter Jason Jarrett, elected to pit for adjustments while Kimmel, who had pulled out to a three second advantage, decided to stay out. When the green flag waved again, Swaim, on fresher tires than the leader, raced his way into second and began closing in on Kimmel, who would soon be needing a fuel stop. But just as Kimmel crossed the stripe to complete the 60th lap, rain began to spatter the speedway bringing out the final caution of the race. As the rain increased, the cars continued to circle the track under caution up through lap 64 before being stopped on pit road while officials assessed the situation, which, weather-wise, would only worsen as evening approached. Having finished more than half the laps, the required distance to make it an official race, ARCA RE/MAX Series officials announced the race complete.
Laurel, Mississippi driver Robert Burroughs finished sixth in the Cooper Tires Pontiac recording his career-best RE/MAX Series finish while Jarrett finished seventh in the Biomet-Damon RV Pontiac earning the ARCA Highest Finishing Rookie Award. Billy Venturini, in the IRM-Permatex Chevy, finished eighth ahead of RE/MAX Series rookie Chad Blount, who in his career-first start, impressed all with a solid ninth place finish in the Braun Mobility Products Chevrolet, the last car on the lead lap. Local Illinois favorites' Joe Cooksey, in the Fuelvend.com Chevy, and Mark Voigt, in the Heuiser Truck Service Chevy, finished tenth and 11th respectively.
Kimmel earned $21,795 for the victory, which included the Loctite Halfway Leader honors as well as the Quarter Master Comin' Thru in the Clutch award.