MARTINSVILLE, VA. (Aug. 3, 2001) -- Frank Kimmel has ruled the ARCA circuit for half of a decade with a couple of championship trophies and 23 race wins to prove his dominance. But all those trophies and championships will mean little this fall...
MARTINSVILLE, VA. (Aug. 3, 2001) -- Frank Kimmel has ruled the ARCA circuit for half of a decade with a couple of championship trophies and 23 race wins to prove his dominance.
But all those trophies and championships will mean little this fall when he makes his first major venture into the NASCAR Winston Cup ranks.
Kimmel unveiled plans Thursday morning to run three Winston Cup races this fall with Advance Auto Parts and the National Pork Council partnering as major sponsors.
Kimmel will attempt to qualify for the Old Dominion 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 14th along with the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway October 7 and the final race of the season at Atlanta Motor Speedway on November 18.
"It's going to be tough for us at all three places," said Kimmel, the 1998 and 2000 ARCA champion who is well on his way to a third championship with a lead of over 800 points.
"There are a lot of high-dollar (Winston Cup) teams that take provisionals or go home every weekend."
Although Kimmel has tons of short-track experience, it is the tight .526-mile Martinsville Speedway oval that has him concerned the most.
"I've never been to Martinsville, but I've raced a lot of short tracks," Kimmel said during a press conference in Roanoke, Va. "But actually, out of the three tracks we'll go to, Martinsville is the most difficult because the field is so close and there's only one round of qualifying."
Kimmel, who has won ARCA events at both Lowe's and Atlanta, said Martinsville was an easy pick as one of his debut tracks because it is so close to Roanoke, Va., where Advance Auto Parts is based. Advance has sponsored Kimmel's ARCA efforts for six years.
"Advance Auto Parts and Frank Kimmel share a unique drive for success," said Wendy Delano, director of marketing for Advance Auto Parts. "Since 1997, he's watched our company grow, and we've had the pleasure of watching him become a racing phenomenon in the ARCA racing circuit. Joining the Winston Cup series for a few races is the next logical step, and we're eager to support him."
Kimmel is ARCA's leading money winner (over $1.3 million to date) he has 23 victories and 95 top-5 finishes. He was Rookie of the Year in 1992 and champion runner-up only two years later.
"Advance has been a big part of our team," says Kimmel. "The Winston Cup sponsorship just illustrates their commitment." The next racing action at Martinsville will be the Taco Bell 300 on September 30. Tickets for the Taco Bell 300 are $20 each for adults and $5 for children ages 6-12. All seats are unreserved.
The NASCAR Winston Cup Series will run the Old Dominion 500 on Sunday, October 14 at 12:30 p.m. On Saturday, September 30 the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Series will run the Advance Auto Parts 200 beginning at 2:45 p.m.
Tickets for the Advance Auto Parts 200 are $30 each and children ages 6-12 get in for $5. All seats are unreserved. Great reserved seats are available in the towers for $40-$70. Tickets can be ordered by calling the speedway ticket office toll free at 1-877-722-3849 or (540) 956-3151. Tickets also can be ordered online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.