Kimmel Wrangles a Sixth Place Finish at Texas Motor Speedway FORT WORTH, Texas (April 17, 2010) -Frank Kimmel and his No. 44 Ansell/Menards team lassoed a sixth-place finish under the lights in the Rattlesnake 150 at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS)...
Kimmel Wrangles a Sixth Place Finish at Texas Motor Speedway
FORT WORTH, Texas (April 17, 2010) -Frank Kimmel and his No. 44 Ansell/Menards team lassoed a sixth-place finish under the lights in the Rattlesnake 150 at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) Friday.
Kimmel and team came into the weekend at TMS with a challenge ahead of them, as they were one of only a few teams that did not participate in the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards open test session in early March. Unloading a brand new Ford Fusion, Kimmel set to the track for practice under gray skies Thursday afternoon, posting the eighth-fastest time.
Pole sitter Nelson Piquet Jr. led the 38-car field to the green for the Rattlesnake 150 on Friday night, after rain forced qualifying to be cancelled. Kimmel, who started third, maintained position within the top-five through lap 33 when he radioed crew chief, Bill Kimmel Jr., that the car was good in clean air but tight in traffic.
When the caution flag flew on lap 38, Kimmel Jr. called his driver down pit road, from eighth position, for four tires, fuel and a slight air pressure adjustment. The Ansell/Menards Ford was sent back to racing action in 11th place, but while pulling off of pit road, Kimmel called to his crew that he had lost third gear.
When racing resumed, Kimmel maintained his position in the field until the next caution came out on lap 49, and Kimmel Jr. again called the No. 44 to pit road, this time for a slight track bar adjustment and to top off on fuel. The extra pit stop put the Ansell/Menards Ford back to 16th position.
During the next green flag run, Kimmel flew through the field, picking up nine positions in 20 laps. The yellow flag flew again on lap 71, and Kimmel brought his No. 44 Ford down pit road for the last pit stop of the night, changing four tires and adding a splash of fuel. Several cars stayed out, so Kimmel returned to the track in the 14th position.
Missing third gear, Kimmel had trouble getting up to speed on restarts but was still able to climb his way back up to the fifth position. Bad luck struck the Ansell/Menards team when a caution flag came out with only two laps to go, forcing overtime and a green-white-checkered finish.
As the green flag flew for the final time, Kimmel lost two positions while trying to get up through the gear box, but he was able to gain one of those positions back and post a sixth-place finish.
"The day went well," said Kimmel. "Unfortunately, we had some issues on the restarts and stuff. Third gear wasn't working right, so we had to fight through that. Once we got going, it was very, very good. We were a little bit tight on the first run, so we made an adjustment on that and got it much better. By the end of the day, we were just about as good as everyone out there."
The finish marked the second-straight top-10 finish of the season for the Ansell/Menards team and gave the team a lot of optimism heading into the remainder of the season.
"We had a new car, and this is the most competitive we have been on our speedway cars for the last year or so. So, that's a good thing," commented crew chief Bill Kimmel Jr. "It really gives us something to look forward to for the rest of the year."
-source: kimmel racing