Nashville: Kimmel to start race, nephew to take over

Kimmel Subs for Kimmel at Nashville?; Defending Champ to Climb Out at First Caution NASHVILLE TN (8-6-08) -- Nine-time ARCA RE/MAX Series national champion Frank Kimmel, who was involved in an accident last Saturday at Pocono Raceway, has ...

Kimmel Subs for Kimmel at Nashville?; Defending Champ to Climb Out at First Caution

NASHVILLE TN (8-6-08) -- Nine-time ARCA RE/MAX Series national champion Frank Kimmel, who was involved in an accident last Saturday at Pocono Raceway, has announced that he will not be competing in the entire Toyota 150 this Saturday at Nashville Superspeedway.

On the advice of his personal physician's recommendations, Kimmel plans to exit his no. 44 Ford Drive One Ford during the first caution period.

"I've pretty much been cleared to do whatever I want to do," said Kimmel. "But my doctor strongly recommends that I stay as far away from another concussion as I can.

"Right now the plan is to get out at the first caution and put my nephew Will (Kimmel) in the car to run the race. But we're also talking to another team about putting someone else in the car, so it could change. At this point, it looks like Will will be the guy.

"Our plan is to run all day. While I'm in the car, my plan is to be as safe and smart as I can be. I won't put myself in any bad situation; at least I'll try not to."

Kimmel was involved in a three-car accident on lap 68 of the Pennsylvania 200 last Saturday, and was held overnight at the Lehigh Valley Medical Center for observation. He was released to the care of his personal physician Sunday morning. Monday morning, Kimmel was back in his race shop helping unload the badly-damaged car while getting another ready for Nashville.

"The doctor wants me to give it as much rest as possible. I make a living at this; Bill (Kimmel) and I are building a team for the future, and if I'm not capable of continuing then I'm not going to be good for the future; so I need to give it as much rest as I can right now."

The other side of the equation is that Kimmel destroyed one his very best intermediate cars, the same car the Kimmel Racing team was planning on taking to Nashville.

"It's a shame. I really don't think the car is fixable; it's hurt pretty bad. But we've got our Salem car back together -- the body's been repaired from the Salem wreck, the motor's in it; so it's pretty much ready to go."

Kimmel also fell from third to fifth in championship points resulting from the Pocono DNF, 220 points behind leader Scott Speed, with Matt Carter and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. sandwiched in between.

"We're not giving up on this championship. These things happen in this business. It's definitely not over till it's over. We'll continue on as hard as we can."

Regardless of the challenges, Kimmel's already looking ahead to the Illinois State Fairgrounds mile-dirt race in Springfield the following Sunday, August 17th. In his last eight attempts at Springfield, Kimmel has won six times, including last year. In the two races he didn't win, he finished second.

"We just need to give it a couple weeks rest. Overall, I feel fine. I want to be 100% at Springfield. Plus, it's Springfield, and I'm not gunna miss that."

Practice for the Toyota 150 is scheduled from 1:30 to 4:30 PM local time Friday afternoon, August 8th. SIM Factory Pole Qualifying goes off Saturday morning at 10:30 AM. The Toyota 150 is LIVE on SPEED at 4:30 PM Eastern Saturday afternoon, August 9th. The Toyota 150 also serves as a preamble to the same-night NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Toyota Tundra 200, also LIVE on SPEED.

-credit: arca

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Series ARCA
Drivers Frank Kimmel , Scott Speed