|X marks the spot for Borden’s Frank Kimmel|
When you think of the ARCA racing series one name usually comes to mind -- Borden’s Frank Kimmel.Kimmel is seeking his 10th championship in the series. He currently holds a sizeable 305-point lead over the next closest driver in the 2013 point standings.
He said there is still work to be done as a bad break or two could bring the rest of the field back in play.
“You can make up 200 or so points every week, so really just a bad finishes or two and we could be close to everyone,” Kimmel said.
As for what winning a 10th championship would mean to Kimmel, he said
“Everything that we’ve been through the last three or four years, being with a new team and a new car owner, it would be really big,” he said. “It would be a great way to get going and win races again like we had been doing in the past. Winning it would be a big deal and everyone knows that 10 is a better number than nine!”
While Kimmel has ran OK at Salem in recent years, he hasn’t won on the historic high banks in so long he doesn’t remember when the last victory took place. He hopes to change that trend Saturday.
“It’s been way to long since we won there, we need to end that get back to winning,” Kimmel said.
He said there are several things that factor into the struggles he’s had one of the tracks he has dominated in the past.
“There have been changes in who I am driving for and what I am driving,” Kimmel said. “I also think the competition level has gotten better. There are a lot of really good cars -- probably 10 or 15 that can win every time we go to the track. We’ve had some good cars, ran second a few times, been close, but haven’t gotten it done in a while.”
Kimmel is the record nine-time ARCA Racing Series driving champion (1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007), and has led 10,624 laps in 200 races, more than any other active driver. He is the all-time leading superspeedway lap leader with 2,677 laps led in 81 races, and the all-time leading superspeedway pole winner with 20. Kimmel finished as the second-place driver in the ARCA Racing Series in 1994, 1997, 1999 and 2012. He also finished third in 2009 and 2011.
His 76 career victories is second all-time, three behind Iggy Katona, and includes three as his own car owner, 66 for owner Larry Clement, four for Dan Falldorf, two for ThorSport Racing, and one for Terry Shirley. His 246 top-fives and 332 top-10 finishes are records for active drivers.
His 42 career Menards Pole Awards comprises a total one fewer than Katona’s record 43, and he has finished in the top 10 in ARCA Racing Series points in 20 consecutive seasons.
The 1992 ARCA Rookie of the Year, Kimmel is the all-time leading money winner in the series with over $4 million in career earnings. His brother, Bill Kimmel, is an eight-time Crew Chief of the Year. He is the only driver to have been invited from ARCA to compete in the International Race of Champions (2006), and has competed in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide, and Camping World Truck Series. Kimmel was the track champion at Charlestown (Ind.) Speedway in 1986 and 1987, and the champion at Louisville (Ky.) Speedway in 1989. His father, Bill Kimmel Sr., is a three-time ARCA Racing Series winner.
With more than two decades of racing under his belt, Kimmel gives no sign of retiring. He is a self proclaimed racing junkie and said he will continue to be for quite a while.
“I am happiest when we’re at the racetrack and that’s the thing we love to do,” Kimmel said. “Everything seems to be going really well with the sponsors, Menard’s and Ansel are happy with the program and as long as they stay around we plan to keep it going. We are chugging along and come back next year and race as hard as we can.”
The green flag will drop on the Fall ARCA Classic Saturday at 7:15 p.m.
For a complete schedule of events, visit www.gbpnews.com
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 September 2013 12:45|