Kimmel Fifth at Kentucky SPARTA, K.Y. (May 9, 2009) -- Frank Kimmel took the Green Flag in tonight's Drive Smart! Buckle-Up Kentucky 150 in third position. While he was granted that starting spot due to the inclement weather, which left the...
Kimmel Fifth at Kentucky
SPARTA, K.Y. (May 9, 2009) -- Frank Kimmel took the Green Flag in tonight's Drive Smart! Buckle-Up Kentucky 150 in third position. While he was granted that starting spot due to the inclement weather, which left the track unusually wet, Kimmel and crew were thrilled with the chance to start at the front of the field.
"Track position is key at Kentucky so even though we would have loved to qualify, were happy with a top-five starting spot," said Kimmel prior to the start of the race.
The first caution came on lap two as Kimmel maintained a hold on third place. The field restarted the race on lap 10 after some serious cleanup efforts by the ARCA RE/MAX officials.
Despite losing one position during the long green flag run which ensued, Kimmel was solidly in the top-five when the second caution flag flew on lap 38. Under caution, Kimmel came down pit road for four tires and fuel. The No. 44 Ansell/Menards Ford returned to the track in the fifth position for the restart on lap 42.
Following the pit stop, Crew Chief Bill Kimmel said the tires looked really good and asked his driver to save him as much fuel as possible as he believed the 44 car could likely go the remaining distance without a visit to pit road.
Upon restarting the race after the second caution, Kimmel battled hard and charged up to fourth place. Another caution flew on lap 46 giving Kimmel the opportunity to save the fuel as requested by his team.
The field restarted the race on lap 51, just past the halfway point of the race. Immediately Kimmel resumed the on track battle but brief contact in the left rear from the No. 77 forced the driver of the No. 44 to chase his Ford Fusion up through turns one and two. Thanks to his veteran skills, Kimmel saved the car but lost several spots in the process. When the next caution flag flew on lap 55, Kimmel had fallen to eighth place but assured the team on radio that he was ready to charge back to the front.
Upon restarting the race once again, he immediately picked up a spot to sit seventh and picked another one off a lap later by avoiding the spinning car of Ken Weaver. Kimmel reported to Crew Chief Bill Kimmel that his car felt like it was bouncing through the corners during the next caution period on lap 73.
Kimmel survived another pair of cautions and hung on to the seventh position with less than 20 laps to go in the 100 lap event. Ultimately Kimmel rallied back to a fifth place finish when the checkered flag flew. The solid finish in the Bluegrass State is Kimmel Racing's second top-five of 2009.
"Unfortunately, I think that a top five was better than we could have expected for today," said Kimmel. "We've really been battling the handling of these cars this year but we're getting better and hopefully within the next couple weeks, we'll be up front battling for wins."
With race number four of the season in the books, Frank Kimmel turns his attention to next week's Menards 200 at Toledo Speedway.