SPARTA KY, 5-12-01, by Don Radebaugh -- Just ten laps deep into the Kentucky 150, Frank Kimmel's power steering pump failed. It didn't matter. Kimmel still stomped the competition Saturday afternoon at Kentucky Speedway earning his third...
SPARTA KY, 5-12-01, by Don Radebaugh -- Just ten laps deep into the Kentucky 150, Frank Kimmel's power steering pump failed. It didn't matter. Kimmel still stomped the competition Saturday afternoon at Kentucky Speedway earning his third consecutive ARCA RE/MAX Series victory.
The popular Jeffersonville, Indiana veteran started from the pole, led 96 of 100 laps and coasted across the finish line for a badly needed breather with Tim Steele peddling hard in second ten lengths back. Mike Swaim, Jr. finished third while Philip Kranefuss finished fourth recording his career-best RE/MAX Series finish. Also recording his career-best finish was local favorite Willie Green of Walton, Kentucky who trailed in fifth in the Wildwood-Inn.com Ford.
It was Kimmel's 26th career RE/MAX Series win in his 195th start. "This is big for the Advance Auto Parts-Pork White Meat Ford team," said Kimmel in victory lane. "We consider this track our hometown superspeedway; we've got a lot of support here; this is great. But I'll tell you; the checkered flag couldn't have come any sooner. We lost our power steering right away. It's been awhile since I've been this tired in a racecar; I'm just glad it's over. Just want to give a big thanks to my car owner Larry Clement for the opportunity, and the whole crew; it's just a first-class deal. I'm really lucky."
In addition to Kimmel's domineering day, the current point leader and defending champion won the Old Milwaukee Pole award as well as the National Pork Producers Pole-Win bonus and the Loctite Halfway Leader honors bringing his earnings total to $20,645 for the afternoon.
Steele, in the HS Die-Softech Ford, got within a length of Kimmel on a couple of occasions, but that was as close as the three-time champ could get throughout the 150 mile race. Swaim, in the Dynatek Chevrolet, was reeling in both Kimmel and Steele late in the race before time ran out on the High Point, North Carolina driver. Union, Kentucky driver Darrell Lanigan was in the hunt all afternoon and finished sixth in the RA Mueller-GE Ford while Laurel, Mississippi driver Robert Burroughs continued to impress with another top-ten run finishing seventh in the Cooper Tire Pontiac. Andy Belmont, in the AOL-York HVAC-Racecakes Ford, finished eighth. John Metcalf, in the RE/MAX Chevy, was the only other leader during the race, and that was only when Kimmel came down pit road for service. Metcalf, who was running fifth on the last lap before running out of gas, coasted to the checkered flag in ninth. Coach Jerry Glanville, in his 14th RE/MAX Series start, raced back from an early race spin to finish a respectable tenth in the Fricker's-Zicam Cold Remedy Ford.
Donny Morelock, in James Hylton's Ford, won the Hoosier Tire Hard Charger award as well as the Thermo-Tec Cool Drive honors for charging from the 36th position to 11th in the final running order. Morelock was the last car on the lead lap. Jason Jarrett, in the Biomet-Damon RV Pontiac, was running fourth just past the halfway point until the Hickory, North Carolina third-generation driver cut down a right front tire and hit the wall in turn three. Jarrett was not hurt in the incident and walked off with the Landrum Spring Hard Luck award as a consolation.