Salem Southtown Thunder report

********************************** *>>> * *>> * *>>> * * CREW CHIEF ARCA ...

********************************** *<<<<<<<< GO ARCA # 9>>>>>>>>>> * *<<<< SOUTHTOWN THUNDER >>>>> * *<<<<<<<< RULES >>>>>>>>>> * * CREW CHIEF ARCA #9 * * * * * * *

Flying Thunder

Are you ready for another installment of the Southtown Thunder's continuing saga? We headed for sunny Indiana early Saturday morning . No sooner then we crossed into Indiana then it started to rain . We arrived at Salem Speedway around 11:00 am and sat there in the rain . We had big plans of practicing and getting the car set-up for a winning run on Sunday. All we accomplished was getting wet and catching a cold . Sunday morning arrived and all the rain had cleared off , it looked like a great day ahead . For anyone that has never been to Salem Speedway they do not allow the haulers to stay inside the track . So the first thing you get to do is unload a semi truck full of parts . That means all springs , shocks , fuel , and every spare part you think you will need for the day and also anything you don't think you will need . This is always fun to do at 7:30 in the morning . The car went through tech just fine and we were ready for practice . We had one thirty minute and one twenty minute practice . This is not a lot of time to dial a car in . Our first practice did not start to good . Eric reported a bad vibration . Brought the car in and checked it over . Turned out it was our tires . We put on a new set and went back out just long enough to make one lap before the first practice session ended . The second practice session started and we were turning laps faster then our qualifying from this past April . We felt pretty good about the up coming qualifying . The car was running cooler then it had all year and the power steering was working better then it has ever worked . Visions of a win were starting to build . We readied the car for qualifying , changed the gear , and put on another new set of tires. We turned an 18.141 sec. lap , this is two tenths of a sec faster then this past April and ended up eighth on the starting grid . Race strategy was simple , since the tires Hoosier brought were only good for about ten laps before they fell off , we planned on running until about lap 100 then pit for tires and gas . The race started and we were in eighth place . The first 75 laps were pretty uneventful for us . We had a few close calls with such as Frank Kimmel getting into the back of us when Eric checked up for a wreck coming out of turn four . At lap 75 the caution flag came out and all the leaders stopped for tires . We chose to stay out since it was still early and wanted to keep our track position . When the green flag came out we were the leader . We fell back to fifth since we were on older tires . Like I said earlier , the new tires were only good for about ten laps. After ten laps we started to pull the leaders back in again . Around lap 100 the yellow was flying again and we decided to stop . This was going to be our first pit stop this in which we would change tires and fuel . Eric came down pit road , behind Frank K. Since Frank was in the pit stall just before us Eric radioed that he would have to stop a little farther past our pit stall then we had planned . Eric pulled in , we fueled the car and changed the right side tires and pulled back out in front of Frank K. For our first complete pit stop we had a great stop . When we lined back up for the green flag , we were in ninth place . Checked our tires and saw we were getting excellent tire wear . I am not sure about what lap the next event happened on , and it really doesn't matter . We noticed a few laps before that Perry Tripp , who was running in third , was very loose coming out of turn four . He finally lost it , spun backwards right at the exit of turn four . This started a chain reaction of events . Here again I do not have all the details because I was watching or car . I do know that Tripp was stopped in the middle of the track , Eric was hard on the brakes and committed to going low when Bobby Bowsher hit Tripp hard , this caused Tripp to lose his brakes and also started his car moving again , right into Eric's path . The right front of our car hit the right front of Tripp's car . Since he had been hit once already his nose was down pretty low and acted just like a ramp , sending our car up into the air . I am not sure how high Eric went , but I could see the bottom of our car over a three foot high inside wall . All I could think was that the car was going to come over the wall and end up in our pit stall . Luckily , the car came back down and Eric turned it just brushing the inside wall . I did not see the rest of the accident because I was watching our car coast to a stop farther down the front straight . When I looked back towards turn four there was a car sitting on top of Tripp's car and the whole track was blocked . This brought out a red flag stopping the race . I ran down to our car thinking we could repair it and get back in without loosing a lap . Wrong . The car was hurt pretty bad ; shock , upper and lower control arms , tie rod , strut , headers and the front stub was bent . Time for a major repair again . Then when the tow truck driver came to tow us in he backed into the car . This wreck took out several good cars and ours had the least damage . All because one driver was driving over his head . Our next race will be ??????????????????????????????????? We planned on running Winchester next Saturday , but the chances of that are very slim now . Looks like we are done for the year . Now we get to start the fun of rebuilding this car , finish our second short track car and possible get the speedway car done . Plus , we want to expand the shop , rebuild three motors and build up a new motor . Ah , the next season is just around the corner .

Until the next time the Thunder rolls ...............................

Randy... ********************************** *<<<<<<<< GO ARCA # 9>>>>>>>>>> * *<<<< SOUTHTOWN THUNDER >>>>> * *<<<<<<<< RULES >>>>>>>>>> * * CREW CHIEF ARCA #9 * * * * * * * **************************************************** * I hope I die in my sleep like my grandfather and * * not screaming in terror like his passengers * ****************************************************

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Frank Kimmel