Kimmel Racing Rides Momentum into Rockingham Speedway CORNELIUS, N.C. (April 14, 2009) -- With a solid seventh place finish at Salem Speedway in his pocket -- his first top-10 for new sponsors Ansell and Menards -- Frank Kimmel turns his...
Kimmel Racing Rides Momentum into Rockingham Speedway
CORNELIUS, N.C. (April 14, 2009) -- With a solid seventh place finish at Salem Speedway in his pocket -- his first top-10 for new sponsors Ansell and Menards -- Frank Kimmel turns his attention to this weekend's ARCA RE/MAX Carolina 200 at Rockingham Speedway. The driver of the No. 44 Ansell/Menards Ford Fusion looks forward to the series' return to the historical track outside Charlotte, North Carolina.
"There's so much rich history at Rockingham Speedway, so when ARCA decided to go back there last year I was really looking forward to it," explained Kimmel.
"The track has a ton of character and it's a different type of track than the other's we go to which makes it fun for the competitors."
Up until last year, ARCA hadn't held an event at Rockingham Speedway since 1973, so Kimmel's overall opinion of the tricky, one-mile speedway has been shaped by just one start at the track where he started 29th and finished 10th.
"It's an exciting track but it doesn't have a lot of grip," said Kimmel. "Exiting turn one, the track really tightens up and it feels like the wall jumps out at you. Going into turn three the preferred line is down low even though that's a little rougher spot on the track. But you have to make that work so you can carry as much speed through four and down the backstretch."
Kimmel Racing Crew Chief Bill Kimmel has prepared a car the team calls #37 for this weekend's 200-lap event.
"We're actually taking the same car we had there last year but with a complete overhaul," said Bill Kimmel. "We put new sides on it and did some body work along those lines. At the track, we're planning to try a few more aggressive set ups in practice so we really hope that pays off in the race."
The team's extra effort put into preparing for this weekend's event leads Bill Kimmel and company to have higher expectations for the team's performance.
"Mostly due to timing, but I'd say overall we put a lot more effort into getting ready for Rockingham this year than we did last year," said Bill Kimmel. "Of course we hope to run up front, but we don't race against our competition -- we race against ourselves and our past performance -- so I'd like to see us run in the top-five this weekend."
Off track, the driver of the No. 44 car will be busy with autograph sessions, the hauler parade and several media commitments. Unlike other drivers who arrive at the track with a complete focus on racing, Kimmel's schedule stays busy as the driver/team owner works to balance his various commitments.
"Even before I was a team owner, I've always been a big part of what's going on at the track whether it's team management, media commitments or working on my own cars," said Kimmel. "The difference now is that I have to deal with a lot of the technical issues and still keep a focus on the finances of the whole operation but it's like any other balancing act and I think I've got it down pretty well."
In addition to his ARCA schedule, which will include two stops at Rockingham in 2009, Frank Kimmel's Street Stock Series also plans to make its second visit to the track later this year.
"As soon as Andy Hillenburg got ownership of the track, he approached me about running the street stocks there," explained Kimmel. "It was completely his idea, but if he hadn't asked me first, I planned to approach him about it. It's a great place for our series. The track is the right size and our cars can run three, four, five wide at times which is exciting for the fans."
Frank Kimmel's Street Stock Series will race at Rockingham Speedway this summer on the Fourth of July.