SPARTA KY, by Don Radebaugh - ARCA RE/MAX Series point leader Frank Kimmel pulled off the perfect night Friday under the lights at Kentucky Speedway. The Jeffersonville, Indiana driver won the Old Milwaukee Pole, led the most laps, and in the end,...
SPARTA KY, by Don Radebaugh - ARCA RE/MAX Series point leader Frank Kimmel pulled off the perfect night Friday under the lights at Kentucky Speedway. The Jeffersonville, Indiana driver won the Old Milwaukee Pole, led the most laps, and in the end, checked out on the competition to win the Blue Grass Quality Meats 200. It was Kimmel's eighth career RE/MAX Series superspeedway victory and 28th triumph overall moving the two-time champ into sixth on the all-time win list ahead of Ramo Stott and behind Nelson Stacy who has 31.
"What can I say? It was just a great night for the Advance Auto Parts-Pork team," Kimmel said in victory lane. "We burned off right side tires early in the race and fell way back. I guess I was just driving a little too aggressively there at the start, but we settled it down, got back on track, and won the thing. Overall, the car was perfect all week and it really showed tonight. A lot of that's my brother and crew chief Bill, and the whole crew; they work so hard on this deal. They're just incredible. We always consider this place our hometown superspeedway; we have a lot of great support here from fans, family and friends, so a win here is even more special."
Kimmel also collected the National Pork Producers Pole-Win Bonus for winning from the pole adding $3,500 to his winner's pay bringing his total for the night to a healthy $26,695.
At the checkered flag, Kimmel finished nearly four seconds ahead of his nearest rival John Metcalf who steered the RE/MAX International Chevrolet to a career-best second place finish in only his fourth start. Second-generation drivers' Billy Venturini and Todd Bowsher also posted career-best finishes of third and fourth respectively with outside polesitter and 17-year-old rookie Chase Montgomery trailing in fifth, also a career-best finish. Venturini, in his father Bill Venturini's DANA-Jeff Wyler Chevrolet, charged from the 13th starting position and led five laps while Bowsher, in his father Jack Bowsher's Ford, hustled from the 16th starting spot to finish on the lead lap. As a result, Bowsher, coming off a seventh place finish at Watkins Glen, was awarded the ARCA Highest Finishing Rookie honors for the fifth consecutive week.
Kimmel led 73 laps in the 134-lap, 200-mile race while Montgomery was next in the laps-led category with 42. However, Montgomery ran out of gas leading the event during a long green-flag run and went a lap down eliminating any chance for the win. Former NFL head coach Jerry Glanville was stout all night long and led 13 laps before a turn-two tangle with local Walton, Kentucky favorite Willie Green eliminated both cars from the race. Glanville and Green, who were racing for fourth at the time, touched in turn two and slid backwards into the wall. Both machines were badly damaged and through for the night although neither driver was injured.
Mooresville, North Carolina driver AJ Henriksen finished a respectable sixth in the Fastenal-Engineered Components Ford while Memphis winner Billy Bigley finished seventh in the Spears Manufacturing Pontiac. Cincinnati, Ohio's Jeep Pflum, in the Rite Track Racing Chevrolet, raced home in eighth ahead of Kalamazoo, Michigan driver Larry Hollenbeck in ninth in the SWAT Fitness Club Ford. Columbus, Ohio driver Greg Sarff, in the Cross Country Inn Ford, chalked up his career-best RE/MAX Series finish in tenth.
In addition, Bowsher won the Thermo-Tec Cool Drive Award as well as the Hawk Best Brake of the Race honors while Montgomery picked up the Loctite Halfway Leader Award. Savannah, Georgia driver Robbie Cowart won the Hoosier Tire Hard Charger Award for advancing the most positions, from 33rd to 12th in the final running order while Green, as a consolation, was awarded the Landrum Spring Hard Luck Award. Kimmel also won the Quarter Master Comin Thru in the Clutch Award.