Frank Kimmel Hoping for Big Weekend at Talladega Superspeedway CORNELIUS, N.C. (April 21, 2009) -- While most competitors would be happy with a solid start to the season and a hold on the fourth place spot in the championship standings, Frank...
Frank Kimmel Hoping for Big Weekend at Talladega Superspeedway
CORNELIUS, N.C. (April 21, 2009) -- While most competitors would be happy with a solid start to the season and a hold on the fourth place spot in the championship standings, Frank Kimmel is not most competitors. After the first three races, Kimmel expects more out of the 2009 race season -- beginning with this weekend at Talladega.
"At the beginning of the year we were really just working to get this team -- with a brand new sponsor -- up and running," said Kimmel. "Those things we did early on may have resulted in a slow start as far as performance goes, but those same things will be the reason we really hit our stride from here on out."
Kimmel's focus on finishing up front at Talladega stems from a long history of battling for wins in the ARCA RE/MAX Series.
"I definitely think about getting this team back to Victory Lane on a daily basis," added the 74-time ARCA race winner. "All our guys have a competitive streak that seems to unite us and instills in us the need to run up front. We'd be satisfied with a top-10 this weekend but it would be even better to contend for a win or at least a top-five."
Kimmel, a longtime fan of plate racing, is especially looking forward to a second chance at superspeedway success during Friday's 250-mile event.
"I like superspeedway racing because it's something different and we only get to do it twice a year," said Kimmel. "The biggest challenge is that you're really at the mercy of everyone around you and one wrong move by another driver could potentially end your day early. The good thing for me is that because I've been around so long, it seems that people trust me as a drafting partner and choose to run around with. To win at Talladega, you've got to have those friends on the race track."
In Kimmel's first superspeedway start of the season, the driver of the No. 44 Ansell/Menards Ford Fusion endured several near misses before ultimately being collected in 'the Big One'. Despite rallying back to an 11th place finish, the resulting damage from the late race wreck marred Kimmel's hope for a win.
Kimmel's Talladega stats are strong. The driver has scored top-10 finishes in four of the last five events, including a race win in 2006. During Kimmel's most recent visit in 2008, the driver of the No. 44 Ford qualified 33rd and finished in 6th place.
Kimmel will race chassis #367 this weekend. In late February, Kimmel and Crew Chief Bill Kimmel made a trip to Roush Racing to purchase several racecars, including a new superspeedway car that had previously been driven by NASCAR standout David Ragan. Additionally, the team visited the Yates Racing chassis dyno earlier this week to ensure peak engine performance.
"We had thought of trying a little bit of a different engine combination, but we decided we weren't completely happy with the results," said Bill Kimmel. "So we changed motors on Monday and we're going to go with this -- a little bit more proven - engine package for this weekend."
ARCA RE/MAX Series practice is scheduled for 10 a.m. -- 1 p.m. on Thursday, followed by Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell at 5:05 pm. Friday's ARCA RE/MAX 250 will air live on SPEED Channel beginning at 4 p.m. Eastern.