Illinois: Frank Kimmel race report

Frank Kimmel's Promising Day Ends in a Spin at Springfield Takes a slim points lead to Chicagoland Speedway Springfield, ILL (August 23, 2010) - What looked to be a promising day for the Ansell/Menards team ended on lap 72 after Frank Kimmel...

Frank Kimmel's Promising Day Ends in a Spin at Springfield
Takes a slim points lead to Chicagoland Speedway

Springfield, ILL (August 23, 2010) - What looked to be a promising day for the Ansell/Menards team ended on lap 72 after Frank Kimmel spun and hit the wall while leading the Allen Crowe 100. The nine-time champion was able to continue on, salvaging a 12th-place finish, but his bid for an eighth win at Springfield's historic dirt track was put to an end less than 28 laps from the drop of the checkered flag. Kimmel maintains the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards points lead by a slim five point margin over second place, Tom Hessert, heading into the Ansell Protective Gloves 150 at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday, August 27.

Sunday was a busy day for the ARCA Racing Series teams as they rolled into Springfield's dirt mile at 6:00 a.m. prepared for a full day of practice and qualifying before the 1:00 p.m. start of the Allen Crowe 100. Kimmel and team were fast during the lone hour-long practice session, circling the track in a time of 34.974 seconds (102.934 mph), good enough to land fifth on the speed chart.

It was a short turnaround before qualifying began, and the Ansell/Menards Ford was the 10th of 32 cars to make a lap around the one-mile oval. Turning a lap of 36.118 seconds (99.673 mph), Kimmel was disappointed with his eighth-place starting position.

"I am not real happy with the way qualifying went," said Kimmel. "The car is actually pretty good, I think. The track is just a lot different than what we have had here in the past. Eighth is just a place to start, but I'm anxious to see what the track is going to do during the race. Hopefully we will have the right adjustments made and the car will run better the longer the day runs."

As the green flag dropped for 100 miles of dirt racing action Kimmel quickly settled into the 10th position, where he stayed until the first caution came out on lap 27. Kimmel, who was struggling with the handling of his Ansell/Menards Ford Fusion, radioed to his team that the car had no side bite and was pushing in the middle of the turns and loose off.

Crew Chief Bill Kimmel took the caution as an opportunity to bring his driver down pit road for service. The Ansell/Menards team made a left rear air pressure adjustment, track bar adjustment, changed two tires and added fuel to their Ford Fusion. With a great pit stop, the team gained four positions on pit road and returned the No. 44 to the track in fourth position.

The field restarted on lap 33 and it didn't take long for Ansell/Menards Ford to move into third place after sneaking under Joey Coulter's No. 16 on lap 35. As Kimmel was beginning to close in on the leaders, the caution came back out on lap 37 for a spin, slowing the field for a second time. During the caution Kimmel radioed to his team that the changes during their last stop really helped the car.

The field went back to racing on lap 41, but it only took 15 laps for the next caution to come out. Kimmel maintained his third position during the run, but the lap 51 caution brought leader, Mikey Kile, down pit road moving the No. 44 machine to second place.

The green flag dropped again on lap 61 and Kimmel was ready to race, moving under Steve Arpin to take the lead on lap 63. It was only one lap later when yet another yellow flag flew for a wreck in turn two.

Kimmel took the restart on lap 70 and began to pull away from the field until bad luck struck on lap 72. As he entered turn two, Kimmel lost control of the Ansell/Menards Ford and spun, hitting the wall and damaging the right front and right rear of the car. As the caution came out, he brought his damaged Ford to the attention of the crew on pit road. While the Ansell/Menards team worked quickly to fix the damage and change tires, the field came around to put Kimmel one lap down.

Kimmel returned to the track for the restart on lap 76 plagued in 16th position, one lap down. Despite a badly damaged car, he was able to move into 15th putting himself in position for the lucky dog. A caution flag on lap 86 gave the Ansell/Menards crew the break they needed, as Kimmel earned the lucky dog and was able to get back on the lead lap.

The field restarted on lap 90 for a 10-lap dash to the finish, and Kimmel maneuvered his damaged Ford into the 11th position before the caution flag came out for a final time on lap 99, setting up overtime and a one-lap shootout to the checkered flag.

As the green and white flag simultaneously waved on lap 105 for the final time, the damage to Kimmel's car impeded his chance to move through the field, and the team had to settle for a 12th place finish. The finish kept the Ansell/Menards team first in the ARCA Racing Series championship standings, as they hold a five point lead over second place, Tom Hessert.

"I'm just really disappointed today," said a dejected Kimmel. "The guys did a great pit stop and made an adjustment on the car. It really fixed it and made it a lot better. We were able to compete after that. I drove to the front and got the lead and really felt like we were in good shape. I don't know what happened coming off of two. I just lost the car. It got out from under me, spun the thing out to the wall and tore it all to pieces. It's just a disappointing day. They crashed there (turn two) earlier, during the previous caution, and I don't know if there was anything on the track or not, but that's my excuse today. I just lost it and it messed up a good day."

The Ansell/Menards team will look to earn their first win of the 2010 season and bring their Sponsors Ansell and Menards to victory lane next Friday, August 27 at Chicagoland Speedway.

-source: kimmel racing

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Frank Kimmel , Tom Hessert , Steve Arpin , Mikey Kile , Joey Coulter