Thiel continues to impress despite race problems Toledo, OH (May 5th 2003) - - ARCA RE/MAX Series rookie Jimmy Thiel made just his second start of his ARCA career on Sunday, and the rookie is already starting to turn heads. Thiel, who pilots...
Thiel continues to impress despite race problems
Toledo, OH (May 5th 2003) - - ARCA RE/MAX Series rookie Jimmy Thiel made just his second start of his ARCA career on Sunday, and the rookie is already starting to turn heads.
Thiel, who pilots the No. 09 CCIMNet powered by Catylist Pontiac for owner Dusty Whitney was proving to several people both on and off the track, that just because he has limited experience in ARCA, doesn't mean he had nothing to prove.
The crew arrived at Toledo Speedway early Sunday morning, in preparation for their second start of the season. The team made their first start of the season last month at Nashville Superspeedway.
The team had an impressive qualifying effort in Nashville, and backed it up during race conditions as Jimmy maneuvered his Pontiac to a top 15 finish in only his first career start.
"We had a really good run at Nashville," noted Thiel. "We battled a lot and this team is incredible and we're looking forward to a great rest of the year."
The teams would be able to get on the track for the first time on Sunday shortly after 10:00am EST. Thiel was among the quickest, locking down the third fastest speed early into the session.
However, The Whitney Racing team would experience a problem during the session, as Jimmy reported a transmission problem with the car. The crew quickly went to work and repaired the car in a short amount of time. "We're confident that our new transmission is just as good as the old," added Jimmy.
When the flags were waved at the end of the practice, the team would be sixth on the speed charts, as a few drivers improved their time near the end of the session. "That's a good time for us," said the former late model driver. "I think we've got something for them in qualifying, and we'll be strong in the race."
In qualifying, Jimmy drove his machine around the half-mile oval in speculator fashion, notching the third fastest time. Thiel drove his to a career best qualifying effort in a time of 16.896 seconds, which equals a speed of 106.534 MPH. "Wow, what a great lap, we had the same qualifying lap as Kimmel, so since he's higher he gets the front row starting position, but this is just a testament to this team, and shows that hard work pays off."
The series took the green flag to their second short track event of the season just after 4:00pm EST, and he was quickly a threat. Jimmy took shots at the lead early, before being beaten and banged around and being shuffled back into the top five position.
Despite several cautions, Thiel was able to maintain his position in the top ten after swerving to avoid an accident in front of him nearing lap 50.
Thiel would remain hovering in the top ten until a blown motor would take the youngster out of competition on lap 101, just after halfway.
The final rundown would show Thiel placed in the 29th position. A position that may be misleading to several.
"It's a shame, we had something break in the motor," said Thiel. "Despite, our problems this weekend, I believe that we are proving to the other competitors, that we have the equipment to race and that I am a clean driver."
Jimmy also mentioned "this is all a part of racing, we'll take a close look at the engine, fix it and hope to have it never happen again."
Car owner Dusty Whitney and Jimmy Thiel will make the trip to Kentucky this weekend, however they will not be competing, but helping out ARCA sensation Michael Simko.
We're heading out to Kentucky for two reasons," explained car owner Whitney. "One, we're there to help out Michael and two, we want Jimmy to get familiar with the track, what lines everyone are running and what Jimmy can expect for the future."
"I am looking forward to heading to Kentucky," Thiel advised. "I am looking forward to being a spotter for Michael and also learning more about these tracks."
The sixth race of the 2003 ARCA RE/MAX Series heads to Kentucky Speedway for the second night race of the season. The Channel 5-205 is scheduled for this Saturday May 10th with live coverage on the SPEED channel scheduled to begin at 8:00pm EST.