Past Meets Present at Salem Speedway This Weekend Salem Racers Reunion Art Work SALEM, Indiana (September 18, 2009)-Since the track's first MARC race in 1955, Automobile Racing Club of America stock car racing at Salem Speedway has become ...
Past Meets Present at Salem Speedway This Weekend
Salem Racers Reunion Art Work SALEM, Indiana (September 18, 2009)-Since the track's first MARC race in 1955, Automobile Racing Club of America stock car racing at Salem Speedway has become legendary and classic. The history and heritage of ARCA drivers from the Louisville area at Salem and the old Fairgrounds Motor Speedway in Louisville has grown over the years and continues to contribute to the success of the annual ARCA RE/MAX Series race events at Salem Speedway in the 2000s. Past will meet present this weekend at Salem Speedway, where many locally-based former ARCA drivers will be honored during pre-race festivities prior to Saturday night's Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA Fall Classic.
Racers from various eras of ARCA competition have considered the Southern Indiana/Northern Kentucky area their home base while contributing to the history, character and success of the ARCA sanctioning body. Notable among the list are drivers such as Bill Baird, Jesse Baird, Leonard Blanchard, Bill Clemons, Elmer Davis, Dave Dayton, Charlie Glotzbach, Willard Googe, Andy Hampton, Richard Hampton, Ralph Jones, Bill Kimmel Sr., Buddy Medlock, Larry Moore, Sparky Moore, Jerry Norris, Charlie Paxton, Ken Reiter, Jim Robinson, Sandy Satullo, Robin Schidneckt, Jack Shanklin, John Sommerville, Bob Thomas, Wayne Trinkle, Jack Wallace, Darrell Waltrip, Bobby Watson, Buddy Webb, Hubert West, Dill Whittymore, A. Arnold, N.D. Copley, Woody Fisher, Dick Freeman, Bruce Gould, Bill Green, Jesse Griffin, Ferrel Harris, Ralph Latham, Lamarr Marshall, bobby Sands, Les Snow, John Stout and Roy Wathen.
Bill Kimmel, Sr. was instrumental in Salem Speedway ARCA Racer Reunion initiatives, helping to form lists of past racer's from the area and gathering historical information for the race weekend. Long before his son Frank became a nine-time ARCA Champion and the all-time ARCA winner at Salem, Bill Kimmel, Sr., was a talented racer in his own rite, winning in the ARCA RE/MAX Series and at short tracks throughout the Southern Indiana/Northern Kentucky area.
Kimmel Sr. won the pole for a MARC/ARCA race at Salem in 1962, averaging 83.372 mph. The Clarksville, Indiana favorite was out front cruising with a huge lead during the race before falling off the pace with a flat tire that resulted from a toothpick that got stuck in one of the tires and produced a slow leak. He finished a disappointing 16th in the race. 47 years later, Kimmel, Sr., has watched his family grow into one of the major franchise players in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, building a dynasty to include nine-time Series Champion Frank Kimmel, crew chief Bill Kimmel and up-and-coming third generation drivers Will and Frankie Kimmel. The Kimmel Patriarch is among the former racers traveling to Salem Speedway for this weekend's racer reunion.
"That's going to be a really neat part of race day at Salem," said Bill Kimmel Jr., who leads the ARCA RE/MAX Series in Crew Chief Championships with eight. "With some help from our dad, Salem Speedway and ARCA have worked to gather some of the older racers who have played a big part in the history of Salem Speedway. Those guys, like Bill Kimmel Sr., Charlie Glotzback and Andy Hampton and quite a few others, will be on hand for the pre race ceremonies. It's really a neat deal and it would be especially cool if we could go out and win the race with Dad there."
The MARC/ARCA sanction has been a perpetual staple at Salem Speedway since the mid-fifties. What started out as a Salem stock car experiment in 1955, the present-day ARCA RE/MAX Series has grown into one of the track's largest and most-anticipated race events of the season. Heading into Saturday's Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA Fall Classic 200, the championship point lead is tied with 19-year-old rookie Parker Kligerman and second-year veteran Justin Lofton in the midst of a heated battle. Two drivers have not won since posting victories at Salem-Patrick Sheltra, who won the Spring ARCA race at the half-mile track, and Frank Kimmel, who heads into the race still searching for his first win of 2009 and with the knowledge that it has been exactly one year since he has made a trip to victory lane. The rest of the top-10 point contenders-Joey Coulter, Craig Goess, Bryan Silas, Steve Arpin, Robb Brent, Tom Hessert and Tim George-each head into the race searching for career first victories with just three races remaining in 2009.
The Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA Fall Classic 200 marks the 19th of 21 events on the 2009 schedule and rolls off at 7:15 p.m. on Saturday, September 19. The ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series will also be in competition. Live timing and scoring, live audio and live video of all on-track activity at Salem will be available at www.arcaracing.com.