Third Generation ARCA Racer Will Kimmel Wicked-Up for DuQuoin Mile Dirt; 57th Annual Southern Illinois 100 Coming Labor Day Monday DuQUOIN IL (9-6-09) - When ARCA RE/MAX Series rookie Will Kimmel entered the race on the Springfield mile dirt, it...
Third Generation ARCA Racer Will Kimmel Wicked-Up for DuQuoin Mile Dirt; 57th Annual Southern Illinois 100 Coming Labor Day Monday
DuQUOIN IL (9-6-09) - When ARCA RE/MAX Series rookie Will Kimmel entered the race on the Springfield mile dirt, it was supposed to be a day of learning and not much more. And no doubt he learned a lot. He also finished an eye-opening eighth on the lead lap, directly in front of nine-time champ/ARCA's all-time modern-day dirt winner Frank Kimmel - AKA - Uncle Frank.
"In the race, he's (Frank Kimmel) just another car," said Will. "It's still a race. Am I going to give him a little more room? Probably so, and I feel like he'd run me the same way; but when the green flag falls, he's just one more car we've got to beat."
Will, in a no. 68 Ford Taurus owned by his father Bill Kimmel, is entered for Monday's Labor Day classic - the 57th running of the Southern Illinois 100 at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds, a southern Illinois stock car jewel. It'll mark his second attempt on dirt. The car will be sponsored by the Motion Design Group and Sim Factory.
"The way I understand it, DuQuoin acts more like a dirt track (than Springfield does)," added Will. "You slide around a lot more. The track's shaped differently. You've got short-chutes in between the corners and the straightaways are shorter."
Whatever the differences may be between Springfield and DuQuoin, they are both undeniably dirt; and that's perfectly ok with Kimmel.
"Springfield was a blast. I wish there was another dirt track on the schedule. I think it'd be cool to run a half-mile dirt too.
"I know we run 'em pretty tight (on the dirt), at least at Springfield, but you slide 'em around a lot more than people think. I know they look straight, but it doesn't feel that way in the car. What I liked about it was that the driver can make a big difference. That's the way it should be." Kimmel hopes to make a bigger difference at DuQuoin. After a very solid run at Springfield, his confidence is on the rise.
"I finally figured out where they were beating me at Springfield - right through the center of the corner. I figured out that you have to hustle it harder through there. We actually blistered a right-rear tire in the race, and I thought we were done. But we came in and put four new tires on it, loosened it up, and it really came to life.
"The whole experience was one of the coolest things I had ever done. You really have to get up on the wheel as a driver. You can really make the difference if the car's not good.
"I had a good start at Springfield before I ever even got on the track. My car was really well prepared. I really have to thank all the guys in the shop. Now that I've done this, I think we can pick it up at DuQuoin.
"I'd like to give a special thanks to Motion Design and Sim Factory for taking an interest in us. I also want to thank Wendell Williams from WTW Enterprises, Bob Peters from Clarksville Schwinn & Cyclery, Crosley Radio and Klotz.
"I think we'll be good at DuQuoin. We changed some spring set-ups; and we're doing a little R&D type testing. If it works, it may end up getting over on Frank's car.
"I feel like we'll be better at DuQuoin than we were at Springfield, but I still don't really have enough experience to know what's good or bad. We'll see; I'm really looking forward to it."
Former Southern Illinois 100 winners at DuQuoin include AJ Foyt, Jimmy Bryan, Fred Lorenzen, Don White, Rusty Wallace, Dean Roper, Jack Bowsher, Bob Keselowski, Bob Strait, Kimmel, Billy Thomas, Tony Stewart and Schrader to name a few.
ARCA RE/MAX Series practice for the 57th Southern Illinois 100 is scheduled from 9:00-10:00 am local Central time Monday, September 7th, followed by Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell at 11:00. The start of the Southern Illinois 100 is set for 1:00 pm.