Kimmel Racing Eyes First Win of Season at Kentucky CORNELIUS, N.C. (May 5, 2009) -- The Kimmel Racing crew heads to Kentucky Speedway with their eyes on the team's first win of the 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series season during Saturday's Drive ...
Kimmel Racing Eyes First Win of Season at Kentucky
CORNELIUS, N.C. (May 5, 2009) -- The Kimmel Racing crew heads to Kentucky Speedway with their eyes on the team's first win of the 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series season during Saturday's Drive Smart Buckle-Up 150.
"We should be really good this weekend," said Frank Kimmel. "I'd say we'll be as competitive at Kentucky as we were at Salem, where I really thought we had a shot at the win before we got caught up in that wreck. With the productive test we had last week and with the car we're bringing to Kentucky, it should be a great weekend."
The Ansell Gloves / Menards backed team has enjoyed a solid start to the year, including a top-five finish in the most recent race at Talladega Superspeedway. The group's consistent efforts have placed Frank Kimmel solidly in the run for a 10th series championship, as the driver of the No. 44 Ansell/Menards Ford Fusion, currently sits third in ARCA RE/MAX driver's standings.
"We've had some really solid finishes so far this year, but we're looking for more," explained Kimmel. "Getting out of Talladega with a top-five was huge for us, but now we need to start battling for wins on a week-to-week basis."
Kimmel Racing's preparation for this week's race included a one-day test session at the track last week, where Kimmel posted the fourth fastest speed.
"What we were able to pick up at the test gives me a lot of confidence in the team's potential this weekend," said Kimmel. "This test in particular was important for us because the chassis and spring set ups we worked on will apply to quite a few other tracks beyond just Kentucky."
Kimmel, a four-time Kentucky winner, has not won at the track since 2005, but Crew Chief Bill Kimmel feels this is the best shot the team has had at Kentucky in the past few years.
"I'd say we're more prepared for this event than we have been in the last few years heading to Kentucky," explained Bill Kimmel. "After we got back from the test we spent two solid days working on the front end geometry and fine tuning it before getting it on the pull down plates. We're definitely pulling out all the stops this weekend."
Kimmel was quick to point out that the approach to racing in the ARCA RE/MAX Series has changed in 2009 prompting Kimmel Racing, as an organization, to employ a new strategy when preparing for any given race.
"In past years, we'd run 20 laps and then have a yellow flag, so we were more focused on short runs," said Bill Kimmel. "But this year we've got such a quality field of competitors that we're seeing a lot of long green flag runs. That's something that challenges us to really set up our cars for longer runs in order to be there at the end -- battling for the win."
Kimmel Racing will unload chassis #440, nicknamed 'the Biff', as the team's primary Kentucky car. 'The Biff' came to Kimmel Racing from the Roush Racing stable of cars and was once driven by NASCAR veteran Greg Biffle.
"This car just handled really well for Frank at the test, actually exceeding our expectations, so we decided this was the best car for Saturday's race," said Bill Kimmel.
In addition to the team's on track activities, brother's Bill and Frank Kimmel have always enjoyed a trip to Kentucky because of a long-time tradition of stopping at the Cracker Barrel restaurant in Lagrange, Kentucky on the way to the track.
"It's become a tradition for us to stop and have breakfast as a team on the way to Kentucky," said Kimmel. "That sort of thing is important to keep our team united and to keep everyone on the same page before a race weekend."
In addition to the anticipated Cracker Barrel breakfast, Dave Coomer from Ann's by the River has volunteered to cook for the entire team on Saturday at the race track.
"Dave's a great supporter of this team and he's an awesome cook so we're always happy when he comes to the race track to take care of the team," added Kimmel.
The Drive Smart Buckle-Up Kentucky 150 will begin at 8 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, May 9. Practice and Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell will precede the race on Saturday afternoon.