Kimmel Ends Season with Sixth-Place Finish at Rockingham Finishes Fourth in 2010 Championship Standings ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (October 11, 2010) - Frank Kimmel finished the 2010 ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards season in style by...
Kimmel Ends Season with Sixth-Place Finish at Rockingham
Finishes Fourth in 2010 Championship Standings
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (October 11, 2010) - Frank Kimmel finished the 2010 ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards season in style by claiming a sixth-place finish in the American 200 at Rockingham Speedway. The finish marked his 14th top-10 finish of the season and solidified his fourth-place position in the final 2010 championship standings.
"It was really a great race car all day," said Kimmel. "It was probably our best car of the season. We were very competitive and ran up front. Our first pit stop wasn't very good. We lost some spots, but I was able to drive right back up to the front. We ran second to Patrick (Sheltra) all day, and he was a little bit better than we were, but all in all we were very fast. That last set of tires, I really don't know what happened, but we lost a lot of grip. I just couldn't get up off the corners like I had earlier in the day. We ended up sixth, which is a disappointing finish compared to how we ran all day. We ended up fourth in the points. Congratulations to Patrick (Sheltra) and all the guys up front. They did a really nice job all season."
The Ansell/Menards crew worked hard on their No. 44 Ford Fusion all weekend. During Friday afternoon's practice session the crew turned their attention to race runs. They posted the 13th-fastest time of the session with a time of 25.177 seconds (142.988 mph).
Kimmel was the 37th driver to hit the track during Friday's qualifying session. He improved upon his practice time by circling the one-mile track in a time of 25.013 seconds (143.925 mph). The time was good enough to line the Ansell/Menards car up in 12th position for the start of the American 200.
It didn't take long for Kimmel to show the incredible strength of his Ansell/Menards Ford Fusion after the drop of the green flag. After only one lap he gained four positions and was running in eighth. By the time the first caution came out on lap 11 Kimmel had moved into the seventh position. During that caution Kimmel radioed to his crew that the car was really good.
The field restarted on lap 15 for what would be the first long green-flag run of the day. Kimmel immediately continued his climb to the front. He moved into the top-five on lap 22. The nine-time champion took fourth on lap 31 and continued in that position for the next 19 laps when the second caution of the day came out.
The caution brought all the leaders down pit road for service. Kimmel brought his Ansell/Menards Ford Fusion to the attention of his crew on lap 51. The team took four fresh Hoosier tires and fuel. Unfortunately the stop was a little slow as the team had trouble changing the left front tire. Kimmel rejoined the field in eighth place, losing four positions on pit road.
The restart came on lap 60 and Kimmel went on a tear to make up for the lost ground. In only seven laps he gained five positions to move into third place. The field was slowed for a third time on lap 75. During the caution Kimmel radioed to his Ansell/Menards crew that he was very happy with the car.
Choosing not to come to pit road during the caution, Kimmel remained in third position for the lap 79 restart. Posting a three-way battle for the lead with eventual series champion Patrick Sheltra and Justin Marks, Kimmel moved into the second position on lap 88. He remained in second for the next 42 laps. With a long green-flag run, the No. 44 began to fall off a little bit as Kimmel's tires wore. Trying to conserve his tires, he fell to fourth on lap 144. On lap 145 Steve Park's No. 53 blew an engine, leaving oil on the track. Kimmel hit the oil in turns three and four as he came around on lap 146, costing him two positions on the track. The next time around the caution came out slowing the field for a fourth time.
During the caution Kimmel radioed to his crew that the car was very good for most of the run but began to lose front grip at the end of the run. The field came down pit road for what would be their last stops of the season on lap 147, and Kimmel brought his Ansell/Menards Ford to the attention of his crew from the sixth position. Changing four tires and adding fuel, the Ansell/Menards crew had a lightning fast pit stop and returned their driver to the track in fourth, gaining two positions on pit road.
After a long caution period, the field went back to racing on lap 159 for the last 41 laps of the 2010 season. Kimmel's No. 44 Ford Fusion was too loose, often getting sideways coming off turn four. The loose condition caused him to lose two positions over the final 41-lap stretch. Kimmel took the checkered flag in sixth position claiming his 14th top-10 finish in the 20-race season.
"This season was kind of a bitter sweet season for us," concluded Kimmel. "I thought at times we ran better that we had during the 2009 season, and the car was much more competitive. We led a few laps but are still very disappointed that we didn't get a win this year. I felt like we ran good enough this year to win some races. It's one of those seasons that has not been our best, for sure, but has not been our worst. We'll take this and build on what we learned and try to get our cars better for next year so that we can come to Daytona and be very strong. With the Ansell and Menards sponsorships coming back next year, that by far is the best news of the season, we can build on what we have gained this year and continue and try to get better and better."
-source: kimmel racing